What is the purpose of the Annprashan ceremony?
In our religious texts it is said:
The food reaching the child through the mother may not be as good as it should be. The child should be introduced to good food.
To wean the child away from the food reaching him through the mother, the ceremony of offering food to him for the first time is called annprashan. There is great emphasis on this ceremony and the texts suggest that the food reaching the child through the mother may not be ideal. When the baby is in the mother's womb, nature provides nutritional requirements through the mother. However, the mother's diet may not be proper, or it may be deficient. Even after birth, when the mother breastfeeds the baby, whatever the mother eats influences the child. This ceremony is conducted when the child is six to seven months old and is first introduced to solids. A family yagya and prayer is organized and the child is given the first morsel of solid food. The purpose of this ceremony is to begin teaching the child to eat the right kinds of food.
In the Chhandogya Upanishad, 7/26/2, it is said:
With pure food the best abilities are generated within the body.