Weaning: Solids, how much to give?
Solids can either help or make reflux worse when introduced.
It is best to start with a small amount and increase this very slowly. Puree the foods very smooth. Perhaps start with half a teaspoon to 2 teaspoonfuls per meal in the beginning and keep a note of the quantities your baby is consuming. If your baby turns the solid food away, leave it a few days and then try again. It may take several attempts with certain foods.
Reflux symptoms may be made worse if the total volume of food given in a day is increased too quickly. For example, the baby may be able to tolerate one tablespoon once a day or one teaspoon three times a day but not one tablespoon three times a day.
Don’t be too concerned about variety or amount of solids in your baby’s diet – they will eventually grow up and be able to tolerate larger volumes and variety. If you are concerned about their diet, consult a dietician.
Lumpier mixed solids
Some babies progress well onto solids, but are reluctant to take mixed (lumpier) textures. Aim to start your baby on mixed (lumpy) textured solids by seven to nine months of age.
Delaying introduction of mixed textures until beyond nine months is associated with fussier feeding and delays in developing speech mechanisms. Make eating a fun experience and allow your child opportunities to feed themselves and experience new textures in their own way. Be prepared for lots of mess! Research shows it is the frequency of tasting solids rather than the amount your child eats that helps them progress onto new tastes and textures. Therefore, try offering your seven to nine month baby very small amounts of mixed texture food at least twice daily until your child indicates he/she is keen to eat more.
Source: © Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator GRSNNZ and Fiona Kenworthy, Speech-Language Therapist with permission.