Baby Talk: How to add solid food to your baby’s meals

Doctors recommend introducing one kind of food to your baby’s meal for two or three days to check if your baby has allergy and how well your baby accepts it. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 06 February 2020

Baby Talk: How to add solid food to your baby’s meals

  • Adding solid food to your baby’s meals is a step that typically begins when your baby is 9-12 months

DUBAI: Here are ways to add solid food to your baby’s meal. Solid food means the pieces that your little one can pick up and eat. This step is very important for babies, since it is a milestone towards their independence. It can also help them develop their fine motor skills. Here are the details…

What is the right time to start solids?

Typically, this step begins when your baby is 9-12 months. By this time, you notice that your baby begins to snatch food from your dish when they sit next to you, try to grasp the spoon and eat food. This is time, during which the baby starts to develop motor skills, called “pincer movement”.

Tips for adding solid food to your baby’s meals

  • Be willing to have a huge store of patience, because of the mess your baby will cause. You will also need to dedicate enough time every day for your baby to have his meal; your little one will enjoy this new experience. Once your baby is done, you can start cleaning.
  • You need to provide your baby with a high dinning chair with a tray to protect the baby from chocking on small pieces of food. 
  • Choose safe, anti-broken dishes to withstand high and low temperatures.




Cook vegetables well to make them easy for mashing and melting in your baby’s mouth, especially if they haven’t started teething yet. (Shutterstock)

  • Avoid tempting your baby by feeding the little one with cake, cookies, chips, and French fries in an attempt to make them eat because; babies at this age need foods full of protein, vitamins, and minerals not carbohydrates and fat.
  • Cook vegetables well to make them easy for mashing and melting in your baby’s mouth, especially if they haven’t started teething yet. Chop all food into small pieces to avoid choking. 
  • Choose colored and soft fruit; peel the fruit completely and remove its seeds, then chop them to very small pieces before serving them to your baby’s dish.
  • Stay away from serving foods that are not appropriate for babies under one year. You should avoid peanuts butter, honey, fish and all kinds of seafood because they may increase the risk of developing food allergy.
  • Doctors recommend introducing one kind of food to your baby’s meal for two or three days to check if your baby has allergy and how well your baby accepts it.

Suggestions for adding solids to your baby’s food:

  • Small cubes of seedless and peeled watermelon and melon.
  • Very small and soft pieces of pasta.
  • Small pieces of soft cheese.
  • Very small pieces (pea-sized) of well-cooked meat (chicken, lamb, calf, turkey).
  • Small pieces of well-cooked vegetables (broccoli, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkins  … etc.).

These are the best steps to add solids to your baby’s meal; all you need to do is to try them and be patient until your little one learns chewing and swallowing, after that, your baby will learn to eat independently.

This article was first published on babyarabia.com.


Inside Fishbone, the latest restaurant from Chef Susy Massetti

Fishbone is by Chef Susy Massetti. (Supplied)
Updated 21 February 2020

Inside Fishbone, the latest restaurant from Chef Susy Massetti

MANAMA: Chef Susy Massetti is a long-established star of the region’s culinary scene — from five-star hotel kitchens in the UAE and Bahrain to her unique concept at Bahrain’s multi-award-winning Masso by Chef Susy Massetti.

Having left Masso just over two years ago, many Gulf foodies were left wondering where she had gone. The answer is Fishbone, a gorgeous spot tucked away in the Novotel Al-Dana Resort, close to town but with a seaside feel, where she has had a hand in everything from the interior setup — even down to the fabric design — to, of course, the kitchen and menu (which, by the way, is not all seafood).

The restaurant has a gorgeous, and uber-romantic, outdoor terrace with liberal sprinkling of fairy lights. (Supplied)

I was lucky enough to try out a selection of chef’s recommendations on a cool evening recently — and no, this is not the customary British obsession with the weather, but an excuse to mention the gorgeous, and uber-romantic, outdoor terrace with its liberal sprinkling of fairy lights. I chose to sit inside because of the chill, but it will surely be warmer soon.

I was by the ceviche, knowing it to be one of Chef Susy’s signature dishes. But, instead, I went with the recommendation of Fishbone’s Poke Bowl — sushi-grade tuna with avocado, red onions, sesame seeds, coriander and black rice, with Asian dressing.

Chef Susy Massetti is a long-established star of the region’s culinary scene. (Supplied)

Firstly, it looks beautiful, with the black rice adding a visual twist. And that same black rice also contributes to the texture mix, slightly rougher and nuttier than its white counterpart. The abundant raw tuna is a fish lover’s dream, fresh and succulent. The flavor additions are a perfect mix, giving just the right piquancy without overpowering the tuna. If you’re not a fan of coriander, don’t feel shy about asking for it to be omitted, the kitchen is very happy to oblige — though you’ll be missing out slightly.

For my main course, I was delighted to discover a whole section of the menu devoted to truffles. In an ‘Every day’s a school day’ moment, Chef Susy informed me that, as well as working with top-quality imports, she’s also a big fan of local truffles. I never even knew such a thing existed. Apparently, in season, the desert sands of Saudi Arabia are abundant with both white and black truffles and they’re particularly plentiful after rainfall.

Fishbone is a gorgeous spot tucked away in the Novotel Al-Dana Resort in Bahrain. (Supplied) 

I chose white truffle risotto. In my view, it’s the ultimate comfort food, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Arborio rice was perfectly cooked — tender and creamy without a hint of stickiness. The generous portion of wafer-thin truffle slices, pungent, and with that unmistakable delicate taste, was the cherry on the cake, so to speak.

Purely in the interests of research, you understand, I went for a second main of Branzino Al Limone — seabass fillet with a classic lemon-and-caper sauce. Delicious! The flesh was that perfect consistency of fall-off-the-fork tender but still firm enough to retain its robust meaty texture and the accompanying sauce demonstrates the skill of the kitchen — the simplest dishes are often the hardest to get right.

In season, the desert sands of Saudi Arabia are abundant with both white and black truffles and they’re particularly plentiful after rainfall. (Supplied)

At this point, I have to confess that I should have taken the advice on the menu: “Life is short, leave space for the cake.” With choices including chocolate toffee pudding with mascarpone cream, strawberries with jaggery and balsamic syrup, and baked yoghurt with fresh berries, I would have been very much in my element. Sadly, I simply could not fit any more in — the price for having two main courses. However, I shall treat my omission as an excuse to return, not that one is needed.

And if you’re in Saudi Arabia, you don’t need to wait for your next trip across the causeway to sample Chef Susy’s culinary creations, as you’ll also find her at the recently launched Eat’sy on the corniche in Alkhobar. I feel a road trip coming on.