Introducing Solid Food Into Your Baby’s Diet

This is an exciting first in your baby’s life!!!  Moving from only milk to solid food is a big step.  If you are familiar with this blog you will know that my suggestions lean to the simple and less complicated side of things.  Currently the advice of most pediatricians is to introduce vegetables to your baby first.  This is to help baby develop a taste for healthier and more substantial nutrients before introducing sweet things.

Baby does not need teeth to begin eating ‘solid food’.  First of all, baby’s first solids are not like yours and mine.  Ha!  For the first several months baby will eat only pureed vegetables, fruits, and infant cereals.  Until baby has many teeth they are not helpful for chewing food.

MY PERSONAL MUSTS:

1.  Keep a detailed written record of the new foods you are giving your baby.  This will be very helpful for relatives and sitters who help.  It will also help you remember which items you have tried and which ones baby enjoyed.  You can do this on a clip board to be left in the kitchen for reference.

2.  Introduce one new food item every few days.  Why?  This way you know whether or not your baby has a negative reaction to a particular food.  If you give baby several new foods in one sitting and baby has a bad reaction you have no idea which item is the problem.  Then you have to go back and try each item separately to discover the culprit.

3.  Be aware of food allergies within your immediate family,  Baby can be potentially allergic to these things.  Do not introduce them until baby has a good selection of foods she enjoys and you are confident she is not allergic to.

4.  I am all for preparing your own baby foods.  In the beginning all you need are the vegetables themselves.  No seasoning should be added.  The baby food companies add salt, sugar, presertaives, etc, because adults taste the foods, your baby does not need them!!!  I would clean and steam 5 lbs. of organic carrots, puree them, and pour the puree into ice cube trays.  Freeze then drop into ZipLoc bags.  Store in the freezer.  Defrost as needed and add a little infant rice cereal to improve the consistency.  You can literally do this with almost anything!!!  Sweet potatoes are a nutritious favorite.  Peeled and pureed squashes, spinach, and on and on!

How do you know when your baby is ready for solid food?  Below are some suggestions for making this important decision.   JUDY

Signs of readiness for solid food, usually around six months of age

The following are some guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your child is likely ready to try solids when he:

  • Can hold head up and sit upright in highchair
  • Shows significant weight gain (doubled birth weight) and weighs at least 13 pounds
  • Can close mouth around a spoon
  • Can move food from front to back of mouth

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Pureed vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash)
  • Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, peaches)
  • Semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal
  • Small amounts of unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk until age 1)

How much per day

  • Begin with about 1 teaspoon pureed food or cereal. Mix cereal with 4 to 5 teaspoons breast milk or formula. (It will be very runny.)
  • Increase to 1 tablespoon of pureed food, or 1 tablespoon of cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, twice a day. If you’re giving cereal, gradually thicken the consistency by using less liquid.
Healthy Children .org
Wholesome Baby Foods : which foods to introduce
Baby Center : Age by Age Guide to Feeding Your Baby   6 months through 2 years of age