Your baby does not need a pudding as well as her basic meal – it just adds unnecessary kilojoules. If you give a custard or fruit, incorporate it as part of the meal, dont add after a full meal.

By the time she is nine months old she should be having three small bowls full of solids a day as well as 600 ml milk. Introduce new foods one at a time with an interval of three days in between so that you know which food is the culprit if she has an adverse reaction.

It is a good idea to introduce new foods at the 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. feed when you are both reasonably fresh and relaxed, rather than the 6 p.m. feed which can be rather harassed.

Young babies do not have the same tastes as adults. They prefer bland, smooth foods that are not sharp tasting and are happy without highly sweetened foods unless they become used to them.

Some babies gag on potato, especially if it is mashed, and are very wary of jelly! Every new taste is a mind-blowing experience when you have only known milk before.

Use a small, shallow-bowled teaspoon for feeding and put a drop on her lips so that she can taste it before you give it to her.

If she seems eager, give her another taste or two, then a proper spoonful. If you hold the spoon high up in front of her she will usually look up and open her mouth automatically and you can then put the spoon in fairly far back over her tongue. If you put it too far forward she will most likely let the food dribble out.

You need patience and a sense of humour when feeding a baby. You should not expect to shovel it down in seconds. Sometimes a little bit of bright chatter or distraction with a picture book will keep her occupied so that she does not play with her food. Dont make this routine, however, or you will have to do a song and dance act every time you want your toddler to eat!


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