Anyone who has an infant at home - knows all the basic rules of introducing solids - single foods first, veggies then fruits, all food should be mashed, give the child a couple of spoons the first time and then slowly increase serving size, rice cereal is the easisest to digest etc etc. Also, there is a marked difference in the kind of foods introduced in India v/s the West - since I keep speaking to a lot of people in the US and lentils are a big no-no before 10-12 months and my baby has been on them since 6 months... so please use this information judiciously and ask your doctor your doctor for approval before introduing some of these recipes... since each child is different and different things work for different people.
I am going to give here recipes that I used to introduce food to Arav - some successfully and some not so successfully. This is just meant as a quick guide than can give you ideas when your mind has a thousand other things to worry about...
I was being advised from friends, family and acquaintences to introduce semi-solids to my baby from the 4th month but I resisted till 5.5 months and then everything I introduced to my baby gave him gas... so I held back till 6 months and I must say there is no harm. Do whatever suits your baby but starting off in the 6th month has worked well for us.
6th month onwards:
Lentil Water -Take a tablespoon of yellow moong dal and add at least a cup of water. Soak for 10 minutes and then cook in pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric and hing - at least 4-5 whistles or in an closed pan till dal is cooked. Mash the dal a bit and then strain through a sieve and introduce the lentil water only to the child. My child had a bit of gas when I introduced this - therefore I had to add hing to this.
Oats with Formula: I used Gerber Oats with Formula in warm water and it made a perfect breakfast cereal for him. I slowly added cooked and pureed apples, mashed banana's and cooked and pureed pear to this.
Stewed Apples / Pear: A peeled apple or pear - put in a pressure cooker or closed pan with a little bit of water (gets too runny and bland if too much water is added since the fruit leaves it own juice on cooking). I used to add a bit of cinnamon / sugar/ jaggery depending on the sweetness required in the food.
Rawa (Sooji) / Nachni Porridge: Roast a bit of sooji, nachni, dalia in ghee till light brown. Add water, jaggery / sugar and cook till it boils and you get a runny consistency - can be made thicker for older children. Switch of gas and add formula and stir. Can be served without formula too.
Mashed Potato with butter: A hit with my son - boil a potato very well (I usually pressure cooked it) and puree in blender with butter. Can mash it and feed it after 7th month or after he develops teeth. Variations: Mashed potato & carrot, sweet potato, beans-carrot & potato etc.
I have been trying to post this page for the last one week and haven't had an opportunity... am going to keep adding my recipes to this. Coming up are recipes for - Vegetable Pulao, Vegetable Upma, Khichdi