Food For A 4 Month Old Baby, our baby girl had been eating only breastmilk. We couldn’t wait to introduce solids to her but we were absolutely clueless about the food that should be given to babies in the first few months of life. In fact, even doctors are not in agreement about it. We tried several combinations and mixes but she didn’t like most of them and threw up after having these grains perhaps because she was too young or nothing suited her delicate system yet.
Food For A 4 Month Old Baby
Finding suitable food ideas for your four months old baby may be confusing as this is probably the first time they are being introduced to solid food.
As babies turn four months, they become more active and playful. In addition, they start to exhibit more interest in their surroundings. Their stomachs also grow bigger and are ready for more food. Moreover, they seem less interested in milk and are ready to explore new food varieties.
If you recognize these signs in your baby, it is an indication that they have reached the developmental milestone where you may introduce them to solid foods.
Read the post to find whether your baby is ready for solids and to discover some interesting food ideas for them.
Is Your Baby Ready For Solids?
Your baby must have lost the ‘tongue thrust reflex’ by the time he is four months of age. Thrust reflex prevents the infants from choking. It also causes them to push the food out of their mouths.
The World Health Organization recommends that we start solids at six months but solids may be introduced at four months. If your baby seems unsatisfied after milk feeds, can hold their head up without any support, can sit without support, wakes up more frequently at night to feed, follows your food with their eyes when you eat, then probably it is the time to introduce him to solid foods.
See if your baby is interested in the food or not. If your child stares and grabs your food at dinnertime, then he is ready for some variety. The baby should be able to sit well without any support. Your child needs a good neck control to eat solid foods. It will enable him to swallow his food efficiently. The 4 months baby food should consist of solids.
Top 10 Ideas:
Here are the top 10 ideas for 4 month baby food old as he begins his journey into solid foods.
1. Baby Cereal:
Baby cereal is the most recommended first food for infants. Prepare the cereal with formula or breast milk. It will give the cereal a texture and taste that he is already familiar with. Cereal is also one of the least allergenic foods, making it suitable for babies of 4 months. Give gluten free cereal, particularly if you have a family history of Celiac diseases or allergies. Wheat, barley and rye cereal may be unsuitable for babies as they contain gluten. Rice and oatmeal are the least allergenic varieties of cereal.
If you want to serve a complete and delicious meal for your baby, then you can serve him avocado. Slice an avocado and spoon out the flesh. Mash it with a fork or puree in a food processor. Add breast milk or formula milk to make it more ‘soupy’.
Bananas are considered one of the nature’s most perfect foods. Babies love them for their natural sweetness. Also, banana is rich in fiber, so it will keep the things moving through your tot’s digestive system. Remove the skin of the banana and puree the flesh. You can also thin it with a little formula milk or breast milk. The food for 4 months baby is tasty with this all round nutritious fruit.
4. Butternut Squash:
Butternut squash has a pleasing texture, making it ideal for a baby’s palate. Baked butternut squash will make a great food for your little one. All you need to do is pierce the butternut squash and bake for an hour at 375 degrees. Cut it lengthwise and then scoop out the fibers and seeds. Then spoon out the flesh and mash with a fork or masher.
5. Sweet Potato:
Sweet potato is a popular first food for babies. It is easier to digest and does not cause constipation in children. Cut the sweet potato and simmer in a little water until tender. Transfer to a food processor and puree, adding a little water or breast milk.
Carrot is another great choice for baby food. Cut the carrots into sticks and bake for over 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The food for 4 month old baby is healthy with carrots.
With your doctor’s consent, you can serve cooked apples to your baby. Dice the apple and simmer or steam until tender. Cooking apple until it is just tender will ensure that all the nutrients are preserved. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.The 4 month old baby food is extremely nutritious with this addition.
Pears are one of the safest foods to give as a first food. The allergic reactions to pear are rare. Also, they have a low acidity level, which makes them gentle on the tiny tummies. Puree steamed pear and add to the baby’s cereal.
At this stage, breast milk will provide total nutrition to your baby. Don’t even think of replacing breast milk or formula until 12 months of age. It can cause serious health implications. Also, never give your child low-fat or skim milk products until he is 2 years old. The 4 months old baby food is extremely delicious with milk.
Fiber filled peas will make an ideal first veggie for babies. Steam the peas for 6 minutes and puree in a food processor, adding the cooking liquid. Strain using a sieve to discard the solids. Pea puree may thicken after it is refrigerated. So stir in a small amount of water, formula or breast milk while heating.
FEEDING YOUR 4 MONTH OLD
At four months, breast milk and/or iron-fortified formula are still the main food in your baby’s diet. If he is showing signs of readiness (see below), you can start pureed foods. If your baby does not show these signs — do not start. Wait until he is ready.
Your baby is ready for pureed foods when he:
- Can hold his head up steadily.
- Opens his mouth when he sees food.
- Can sit with support in an infant seat or high chair.
- Does not push the spoon out of his mouth with his tongue.
- Keeps food in mouth and swallows it.
- Can turn his head to stop a feeding.
Are vitamins recommended?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all primarily breast fed infants and infants taking less than 33 ounces of formula take a Vitamin D supplement.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all breast fed infants begin an iron supplement, including iron rich foods, at 4 months.
- Vitamins for infants are available in your pharmacy in the vitamin section.
- Vitamin D is not in breast milk. Every 8.3 ounces of formula has 100 IU. It is recommended for infants under 1 year to have 400 IU per day. If your infant has less than 33 ounces of formula per day a supplement is recommended. Skin can make it if exposed to sunlight, but no one knows how much is ideal and the risk of too much sun is great. Read more on our Vitamin D page.
- Iron is in breast milk and term babies are born with iron stores in the liver to last 4-6 months, but many babies are deficient when tested. Because iron deficiency can cause growth and developmental problems, prevention is worth the effort.
How much should my baby eat?
- Breast Milk or Infant Formula: 27 to 45 ounces in 24 hours.
- The amount of breast milk or infant formula your baby drinks will depend on how much he weighs and the amount of foods eaten. Around 6 months of age, you can expect your baby to eat 3 meals each day. Each meal may consist of about 2-4 ounces of pureed baby foods.
- Some babies are ready for pureed foods at 4 months, but others are not ready until 6 months. Do not push your child to eat if he’s not ready or desiring to eat.
What food do I start with to feed my baby?
- Babies prefer a smooth, semi-liquid texture. As he gets older and better at swallowing, he will like a thicker, lumpier texture.
- Use a baby size spoon to feed your baby.
- You can offer food one to three times per day, depending on how much your baby enjoys it.
- Previously rice cereal was recommended as a first food, but in reality the order of foods does not make that much difference. Try foods that have nutritional value, such as vegetables and meats, that your baby enjoys.
- It is no longer seen beneficial to wait 3 days between new foods. You can start more than one food in a day, as long as it is not one of the highly allergenic foods (egg, nuts, fish).
- It is now considered acceptable to give the more highly allergenic foods at earlier ages once babies are on most other foods.
- Do not give any textures that baby will choke on.
- Do not give honey before 1 year of age.
- You can purchase pureed infant foods or make your own foods with a food processor.
- Feed your baby foods from a spoon and liquids from a bottle. Never use an “infant feeder” syringe bottle.
- For more on first foods, see Starting Solids– The Old and the New and the Myths.
When should I offer juice?
Babies do not need juice at any age. Wait until your baby is at least 1 year old before offering juice.
- Let your baby decide how much he wants to eat. Never force your baby to eat more than he wants.
- Meal times will be messy. Have fun! Don’t expect a lot. Most of your baby’s nutrition will still come from formula or breast milk. Be patient. Give him time to practice eating with a spoon.
- If he doesn’t like a food, try again later. Some babies have to taste a food for 20 times before they decide they like it.
- Feed your baby in an infant car seat or a high-chair using towels for support. Infants can choke easily and should be watched closely while eating.
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle of breast milk or formula. It may lead to tooth decay. Wipe teeth down with a cloth or baby toothbrush and water or baby toothpaste twice a day.
How do I keep baby foods safe?
Always be sure to wash your hands before making your baby’s food.
Take the amount of food from the container that you want to feed your baby into a small dish. Feed your baby from this food. Throw any food not eaten at this feeding away.
Refrigerate the remaining food in the jar for up to 2 days. Dipping the spoon back in the jar after it has been in your infant’s mouth will cause bacteria to grow and make the food unsafe.
Check “use by” dates on baby food. If the date has passed, throw it out.
Don’t heat baby foods in the microwave. The heat is uneven and can have “hot spots” that can burn your baby’s mouth.
Can I make my own baby food?
Homemade baby foods are easy to make, can save you money, and increase the variety of foods for your baby. There is no need to add salt or sugar to your baby’s food. Babies will learn to enjoy the flavors of the food itself if you don’t add salt or sugar.
Exclusive List Of 8 Nigerian Food For 4-Month-Old Baby
Cost, nutritional value, and availability of recipes for the baby’s menu are major points of consideration while trying to evaluate what type of food to give to the baby when they are still very small.
However, we have compiled this list, which we know is very much easy to make, very cost-efficient as well as nutritious for the baby.
Let’s take a quick look at these meals in a brief
- Breast Milk/ Milk Formula
- Vegetable Puree
- Fruit Puree
- Meat Puree
- Brown Rice Cereal
- Unsweetened yogurt
1. Breast Milk Or Formula
Breast milk is the most important and the most readily available meal for all babies at a young age. This is always the case for the children who have the opportunity to suck their mummy’s breast.
Of course, there are cases where babies of even 1 month will be introduced to baby formula. Probably the mother traveled while in some cases, the mummy’s breast might not be dilating enough of milk sufficient to satisfy the baby.
In this case, introducing milk formula to the baby at a tender age is inevitable.
However, if any of the above is not the case, then the baby is expected to be given breast milk for a minimum of 6 months before being introduced to any other kind of meal.
Some formulas can also take the place of breast milk break milk, some of which are;
- Aptamil 4 Growing Up Milk Formula
- Cow & Gate Form Birth First Infant Milk
- Aptamil First Infant Milk, 1 From Birth
- Nestle Pre NAN Infant Formula
- Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula with Iron, 14.1 Ounce.
2. Vegetable Puree (Peas, Squash)
Purees in general are a great choice of meal for babies that have not grown any teeth to chew or bite. Vegetable purees, however, fall among the list of purees most recommended for your babies when they are under the age of 4 months and above.
Making this is very simple and it provides their body with lots of rich and important nutrients necessary for their growth and development.
There are also different kinds of ways to make this depending on the kind of vegetable you want to use.
One very important step to making a good vegetable puree for babies is that; you must dice them evenly in other to make all the vegetables cook to soften at the same time. If your vegetable isn’t evenly cooked, it might not be too eatable for the baby.
Also, while blending and adding the other ingredients, ensure not to add too much pepper, if possible, do not add any at all, your baby will not want to eat the food if it has too much spice.
You might as well add a little pinch of butter and cream to make the puree even more nutritious for the baby.
3. Fruit Puree
Of course, we have earlier established the fact that the best milk is undoubtedly the best option of food for babies especially when they are still very small.
The absence of this makes fruits a great idea for great nutrients sources for them. Fruit purees are very simple as well as easy to prepare. It is filled with almost all the essential vitamins and nutrients required by the baby.
There is very little expertise required in making any kind of fruit puree and it is what you can make by yourself at the comfort of your home not just because the ingredients are easy to come by, it is also a very good way to keep the hygiene in check.
Other types of puree you can make for your baby includes;
- Apple Puree for Baby
- Banana Puree
- Apple and Banana Puree
- Mango Puree for Babies
- Banana and Mango Puree
- Avocado Baby Food Puree
- Quinoa, Banana, Apple, and Dates Puree for Babies
- Peach Puree
4. Meat Puree
Meats are a great source of nutrients of protein for babies. Since babies at a small age might not be able to chew or bite meat, then it’s very necessary to make it in a form that will make it easy for them to consume.
It is very easy to make a meat puree and a very good way to start feeding your baby with meat puree is to start with the chicken puree.
Chicken is the best choice because it readily softens evenly when cooked. It is also important not to add many ingredients and spices to this while preparing it.
Other choices of meat puree for babies under the age of 4 months include;
- Beef Baby puree
5. Brown Rice Cereal
Making this at home is quite easy and can be made at a very low budget. I call it, a fun and great meal for infants.
Although, I would recommend feeding you baby with brown rice cereal when he has attained the age of about 6 month, however, you can also start introducing it to them little by little when at just a few days past 4 months.
The brown rice cereal is well rich in Iron, Magnesium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
6. Unsweetened Yogurt
Most babies around the age of 4 months to 6 months tend to fall in love with anything in the texture of milk. Hence Yogurt is a very great option for them.
It should be one of the earliest foods to be introduced to babies even before most of the other meals mentioned above.
Unsweetened yogurt is very rich in nutrients such as Calcium, Protein as well as Vitamins.
The good side of this is that it is unsweetened, pasteurized, and made from whole milk as well as contains “live cultures.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions on Exclusive List Of 8 Nigerian Food For 4-Month-Old Baby
1. How Much Food Should My 4 Month Old Baby Eat?
- A baby around the age should eat about
- 4 tablespoons of cereal at 4 month
- 24 to 36 ounces of formula or milk (or five to eight nursing sessions a day) once to twice a day.
- 1 to 4 tablespoons of fruit and vegetable once or twice a day
2. Can I Give Cereal To My 4 Months Old Baby?
It is very much recommended to feed your baby exclusively with breast milk till around 6-6months after which they will be getting ready to start taking some pinch of solid food.
Exclusive breastfeeding remains the best option for your baby when at the age of 0 to 6 months. But in other to familiarize or introduce them to some new trend of solid type of food, the above are a great option which you really need to try out.