When your baby is somewhere between 4 to 6 months old, it is time to prepare baby for solid food. Past the age of 6 months, milk alone would not give enough nutrients for baby. Baby has to learn to eat proper food.
It begins with a simple taste of baby food. Tasting sessions of up to 1 teaspoon each session. Mashed peas, mashed broccoli, porridge .. Basically soft food that baby can handle. This is the time to introduce baby to new tastes.
If baby is adventurous, he or she would love these tasting sessions. Some babies do not take change easily. If baby refuses the new food, you could give it a familiar taste by adding a little breast milk or formula milk to the food before offering it to baby.
An important thing to note here is that the food you feed baby at this point in time shapes the baby's tastes. Wean baby on broccoli and that could well become his or her favorite food.
That is exactly what happened with my kids. When they were babies, I was on this health food craze and bought broccoli based baby food in bulk. Now, broccoli is the only veggie they would take.
In fact these days, my 2 kids, a 6 year old and a 7 year old would fight over a plate of broccoli whenever it is served. We normally try to ration the broccoli but each meal often ends with one of them grabbing the plate of broccoli and dumping all the broccoli on his plate and finish it off. The other kid by then would have managed to grab some broccoli off the plate though, but us grown ups would be left without any broccoli to eat.
This is also the time to get baby to eat and to appreciate carrots, spinach as well as the usual meats that your family might eat. Tofu would be a great food to introduce to baby as it is soft and very healthy. As baby gets older, a healthy porridge full of veggies and proteins would be really good. Now is the time to serve baby mashed up versions of all the healthy foods you hope he or she would continue eating way past babyhood.
You can buy all sorts of baby food in stores that sell baby products . For convenience sake, I bought plenty of bottled baby food for my baby. I would use a clean spoon to take out baby's portion for 1 meal and refrigerate the rest. A microwave oven would heat up that meal meal nicely. Anything not consumed in 3 days would be thrown away. Anyone who complains about wastage would be welcome to eat up the leftovers.
Dry cereal baby foods are good too. Add water, mix well and the food is ready to serve.
You can also make your own baby food. For that, you need a food mill or food processor. Just boil the veggies, then use the food maker to grind or chop it into a smooth paste.
One thing though, baby's immunity is not as strong as ours, so you have to be very careful about hygiene when you prepare the food. I would sterilize everything I can that comes into contact with baby's food, to keep everything as sterile as possible.
Whether you get ready made baby food or make your own, this is the time to steer your baby towards healthy food. The tastes developed now can make a major difference in the future.