Starting Solid Foods

Important Things to Know:

  • There is no wrong way to start
  • This is supposed to be FUN! Get out your camera!
  • Every baby is different, be prepared for trial and error
  • Solids are in addition to breast milk or formula

When do I start?

  • Baby is >13lbs
  • Between 4-6 months
  • He/she has good control of head
  • He/she is watching you eat
  • Getting hungry sooner

Feeding Timeline

4-6 months      1 meal per day

6-7 months      2 meals per day

8-9 months      3 meals per day

9-12 months    3 meals plus finger                     

Before Starting:

The most important thing to know is that you can only give your baby
ONE new food every FOUR days

This way if your baby has an adverse reaction, you will know which food caused it!

Foods to Avoid:

  • Honey (until age 1)
  • Whole milk (until age 1)

Step 1: Cereal

  • Start with cereal either rice, oatmeal, or barley
  • Avoid “3-grain”
  • Whole wheat is ok
  • Feed one time per day
  • You may want to nurse or give formula first
  • Feed cereal on spoon
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of cereal with 4 tablespoons of breast milk, formula, or water
  • Gradually add more cereal to make it thicker as your baby tolerates it

What if my baby doesn’t like cereal?

  • Try again! It is normal to spit it out at first.
  • Try a different type of cereal (remember one new food every four days)
  • Take a break and try again next week
  • Still doesn’t like cereal? Move on!

Step 2: Fruits and Veggies

  • Next try either fruits OR veggies
  • Babies tend to prefer sweet stuff!
  • You may give fruits/veggies in addition to, in place of cereal, or mixed with cereal
  • Start with one tablespoon and increase to 4-5 tablespoons per meal


First Veggies to Try:

  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Sweet potato
  • Fruits

First Fruits:     

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Apricots
  • Banana

Fruits to avoid initially:

  • Citrus
  • Berries
  • Tomato

Step 3:     Proteins

  • Chicken, turkey, veal, beef, tofu, etc can be introduced at 8 months of age
  • These can be from the jar or you may puree cooked meats
  • You may also add yogurt and cheese between 8-9 months

Signs of Allergy:

  • Rash- may be around mouth or anywhere on body
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling
  • Coughing/wheezing

What’s to Drink?

  • 4-6 mos: continue Breastmilk or formula
  • Over 6 mos: add water 2x per day
  • NYC tap water has fluoride in it!

What about juice??

Juice is not recommended. It is better for your child to eat the fruit than drink the juice. Juice is empty calories and can fill toddlers up causing them not to want to eat real food! Plus it can be harmful to the new teeth that are coming in.

Resources for making your own foods

First Meals by Annabelle Karmel 

Healthy Baby Meal Planner 

The Nutrition & Feeding Resource List from the Food and Nutrition Info Center at the USDA National Agriculture Library

Finger Foods

  • Start to offer chunkier foods and finger foods at 8-9 months of age
  • Remember choking hazards!
  • Look for the pincer grasp (ability to use the pointer finger and thumb to pick up small pieces)

Foods to try:

  • Banana, avocado, pasta, mango, peaches, cheerios, cheese, well cooked veggies, tofu, meat


Office Hours
Monday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday:10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Contact Us

Phone: (212) 535-3131
FAX: (212) 535-4159

For non-medical questions: [email protected] For non-urgent medical questions you may email your provider directly: And then you can list all the email addresses from the “Our Providers” page here