It can be a difficult task to decide what the best first food to give to your baby should be. The transition from milk to solids isn’t always easy but we can definitely try to help by providing you with some information regarding first foods; especially those readily available in Pakistan.
Available all year round, bananas are a fantastic first food for your baby. It is easy to prepare (simply mash with a fork) and is packed with important nutrients
Suji is a grain that is naturally fine but don’t hesitate to pulse it in the blender if you feel it is a little too grainy. The best part about semolina is that it is so versatile and can just as easily be made into a savory dish as a sweet one
The age-old khichdi is a combination of rice and lentils, cooked until very soft and mashed with a fork. This has been a desi cure for many ailments and acts as an excellent first food. Once your baby starts appreciating the taste of khichdi, you may add meat and vegetables to the mix
Sabudana or tapioca sago is commonly offered to babies as a first food. It is easy to digest and contains calcium, potassium and vitamin K. Simply soak sabudana pearls for 15-20 minutes and cook with cardamom powder and some formula milk. You can make savory versions too!
Plain rice is perhaps the safest bet as it is easy on the digestive system. Since it is a starchy grain, make sure you cook it to a soft consistency and thin it out with some liquid
Shakarqandi (Sweet potato/yams)
The variety that is easily available in Pakistan is technically known as yams and not sweet potato. This doesn’t divert from the fact that yams are full of vitamin C and other nutrients. It is an excellent food to keep in rotation in your baby’s menu. Simply boil and mash; thin out with butter and formula milk
Babies love applesauce. Peel and slice an apple, steam it and simply puree. You may add a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg to expose your baby to different tastes
Kaddu can also be prepared in either a sweet or savory manner. However, plain pureed pumpkin is always a hit as a first food. As your baby grows, you can play around with different flavors. Nutmeg pairs especially well with pumpkin
Your baby needs protein and chicken is an excellent source of it. You must ensure that the chicken is pureed well and contains no lumps that could potentially be a choking hazard. If your child does not appreciate the taste, you may add some applesauce to chicken.
Beta-carotene filled carrots are also baby favorites. Since it is such a versatile vegetable, you can add it to many purees. Apple carrot is widely loved. Carrots needs to be washed, peeled and boiled/steamed till very soft
Prepare in exactly the same manner that you would apples. Pears are an excellent addition to meats and other vegetable purees. Broccoli and pear is a combination that may be surprising, but is well loved.
This delicious summer fruit is underestimated as a viable candidate for first foods. Try a soft peach puree with a hint of cinnamon and see how your baby asks for more!