Introduction of semisolids – Basic Concepts

1Home-made foods  Commercial/ Packaged foods
2Thick consistency of food  Soups/juices/daal ka pani/chawal ka paani
3Minimal salt to be used in cooking.  High Salt foods like chips 
4Minimal sugar, preferably use fruits to sweeten. Biscuits, mithais etc
5If using animal milk , use full fat version  Toned/ skimmed milk
Not forcing /coaxing the child  Insisting that baby finishes the given amount.
7Keep offering healthy food choices   
8Meal times should be “Screen Free” times to ensure mindful eating.Distracting or Tricking the child into eating can lead to faulty eating habits 
9Breastfeeding to continue for as long as the baby and mum are comfortable.(A minimum of 2 years of breastfeeding is good for optimal health of baby and mother.)Bottles can cause numerous issues related to oral health, overfeeding , airway development and malnutrition. 
10Baby led eating  Parent led spoon feeding

Introduction of Semisolids : What to give?

  • The older concept of trying less allergenic foods first and more allergenic foods later is not recommended now. The child can be offered anything and everything. 
  • There are 2 popular ideologies, 1) Baby Led feeding and 2 )Parent led (spoon) feeding. 
  • More and more researches indicate that baby led weaning / feeding leads to better nourished kids who are healthy eaters.

Following are just few examples, recipes  would be made differently in different families but the basic concepts should remain the same as mentioned above

1. Fruits (All fruits can be offered)

  • Pulpy, soft fruits like banana, cheeku, papaya , melons can be given mashed or as big chip size pieces which the baby can grasp and self feed.
    • Eg: potato, pumpkin, carrots, cauliflower, bottlegourd, broccoli etc…
    • Boiled and mashed and given as such or added into dals/ khichris
    • Add butter or ghee
    • Add curd to smoothen

2. Vegetables (All vegetables can be given)

  •  Eg: potato, pumpkin, carrots, cauliflower, bottlegourd, broccoli etc…
    • >> boiled and mashed and given as such or added into dals/ khichris
    • >> add butter or ghee
    • >> add curd to smoothen

3. Pulses.. 

  • Start with less roughage (dehusked / धुली) ones and slowly move on to more roughage ones ie whole dals. You can make dough of roti / paratha with pureed dal too .
    • Add ghee or any cold pressed oil (eg coconut oil)
    • Or mix curd

4 Cereals (try to flavour with natural sweeteners like banana, khajoor, raisins etc)
> Wheat as in  Suji,  Rava,  Dhalia, Halwa
> Rice as in khichdi, Kheer, Phirni, Upma
> Ragi flour cooked in milK, Ragi Dosa

5 Eggs/ Chicken / fish/meat – Can be introduced after age 9 months

Starting semisolids for your baby is a very significant event in their lives. The way babies are offered food has a big impact on their health status as well as their future relationship with food. 

Most of the times, the way we were raised , has an impact on how we parent our kids 

Same applies to offering food/feeding. Many times when as parents we struggle with making our children eat/ eat healthy, we need to pause and reflect on the way we have been offering food to our kids , whether it’s a pleasant experience for us (and the kids) or is it too stressful and whatever rules / ideologies we are following are they actually helping?

Click Here for Printable version/ PDF of above information

To know more about how to offer food so that you can raise a healthy eater, Join Dr Shacchee Baweja, Paediatrician , IBCLC, Infant and young child feeding (IYCF)Specialist for Online Sessions on Infant and toddler feeding on

CLICK HERE for details

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