Hot! Gallery Weaning Your Bubba

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After six months of being on full breast milk or formula milk feeds, your baby’s body weight should have doubled. At this point of time, you can start to introduce him or her to the exciting world of food!

Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends weaning to start at 6 months. Weaning is essential as full breast milk or formula milk will no longer be adequate to provide all the nutrients that he or she needs for growing. You may wonder how to commence or what to give as a start, especially if you are weaning your first born.

How do you know if your baby is ready? There are some signs that you can look out for:

  • Around 5-6 months (Doubled birth weight)
  • Milk isn’t adequate anymore
  • Watches you eat
  • Sits with support
  • Good neck strength
  • Puts hands or toys into mouth

Giving the first food can be daunting, so it should not be complicated. Safe and recommended first food can be:

  • Rice cereals, followed by
  • Single ingredient vegetable/fruit puree such as carrot, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, apples and pears.

Preparation can be easy and hassle free. You can choose to make it in bulk and freeze it, or prepare it on a daily basis. You may splurge on equipment to help you blend the baby food well, but the usual kitchen apparatus works just as well too.

Things you may need for food preparation:

  • Clean cutting board and knife
  • Pots and pot stand
  • Sieve
  • Spoons/forks
  • Ice-cube tray (preferably with cover)

Steaming is the easiest way to cook these first foods thoroughly and healthily. After cooking, use a spoon to mash up food through the sieve until it reaches a smooth consistency. It is alright to store it in a thicker consistency because you can dilute it to a runny consistency with breast milk or formula milk just before feeding.

You can start with 1-2 teaspoons of rice cereals in runny consistency that’s similar to formula milk. As your baby adapts to eating off a spoon, you can gradually increase the quantity of rice cereal per seating up to about 5 tablespoon or as recommended. Similarly for the pureed fruits or vegetables, start off with 1 ice-cube per feed and gradually increase at a pace that your baby is comfortable with.

Feeding apparatus you may need is simple:

  • Comfortable, supportive chair
  • Soft tip spoon
  • Bib
  • Wet towel
  • Small, non-breakable bowl/plate
  • Food warmer (optional)

Appropriate time and conducive setting is essential to enhance the weaning process:

Time Environment
Any time of the day as long as…
  • Baby is not too hungry or full
  • After morning/afternoon nap
  • Not feeling unwell or cranky
  • Face-to-face interactions with baby
  • No distractions e.g. TV or older kids playing
  • Give a lot of encouragement

Every baby is different and will develop at their own pace. If your baby rejects a certain food, be patient and do not force feed. Try out the same food again at another sitting.

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Author

Jenny Ng

Jenny Ng

Graduated from Flinders University in 2003, Jenny has started the dietetics department of two major community hospitals – Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Hospital and Ren Ci Hospital. In charged of the dietetics department, Jenny had seen a wide variety of patients with different nutritional requirements and has given public talks on a variety of topics, namely healthy eating, healthy diabetic eating, weight management, cooking demo, etc. She also managed and worked with the foodservice department closely to ensure the nutritional competency and adequacy of the inpatient’s diet. Jenny has a wealth of knowledge on foodservice industry, menu vetting and analysis, and worked closely with chefs and foodservice personnel. She’s now a private dietetic consultant who provides personalized diet counselling, meal planning, menu vetting, public talks, and writes for a newsletter column for a pilates studio. In the course of her private practice, she sees a wide range of clients, from children to elderly with a wide variety of nutrition-related health issues, e.g. Picky eaters (baby and toddlers), eating disorders, weight loss/gain, chronic illnesses (diabetes, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, gout, etc), malnutrition and tube feeding. Personally, she is a mother of 3. Other than planning diet for her clients, she loves to cook and feed her children with nutritious yet healthy food. Children are very hard to satisfy customers, and it can be a tough job to satisfy both their palate and nutritional needs.

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