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
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
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:
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
Fruits to avoid initially:
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
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
- 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