As parents, we understand the feelings parents may have when introducing first foods to your baby. It is exciting, but also nerve-wracking. Starting pureed solids is a slow and gradual process. Keep in mind that early on, most of your baby’s nutrition is coming from breast milk or formula. Here are some tips and answers to help you get started.
How to Introduce Baby’s First Foods
When is my child ready for solids?
- If you notice that your baby is watching you while you’re eating, reaching for your food or seems eager, he/she may be ready.
- Your baby should be able to sit in a high chair with good head control.
- He/she should be able to keep food in his/her mouth rather than letting it dribble out.
*4-6 months is the best time to start introducing solids; however, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for the first 6 months.
*Babies with a high risk of developing food allergies (parents and siblings have allergies) might benefit from being introduced to solids later. Especially foods that tend to cause allergies such as milk, eggs, soy, nuts and wheat.
Where do I start?
- First-Stage Foods – “Baby” cereal and soft-cooked, thinly pureed fruits or vegetables. Examples include baby rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, peaches, squash, bananas, carrots, peas and sweet potatoes.
- Second-Stage Foods – Once your baby has mastered mashing foods with his/her gums or teeth, thicker and textured foods are next. Examples include avocado, mangoes, nectarines, spinach, turkey, chicken and whole-milk yogurt.
*First-stage foods are appropriate for 4+ months.
*Second-stage foods are appropriate once baby has been eating first-stage solids for at least two months (6-8 months).
If your baby doesn’t seem to like something, try it again. Enjoy this time as you and your baby explore taste and textures. Feeding time should be a fun time!