Solid FoodsHow will I know that my baby is ready for solid foods?
Starting solid food
The following checklist can help you determine if a baby is ready to begin solid foods:
Baby can hold head straight up when sitting 4 to 6 months
Baby opens mouth when food approaches
Baby is interested in food when others eat
Baby is between four and six months of age
Most healthcare professionals advise starting solid foods anywhere between four and six months of age. At this time, most infants can hold their heads straight up when sitting and can make chewing motions. They also start to suck in a new way. The first solid food
should be single-grain (usually rice) baby cereal, fortified with iron. ix one or two spoonfuls of cereal with enough breast milk or formula to make it look like thin gravy. Use a small spoon with a long handle. The baby should be hungry, but not starving.
At first, the taste of solid food may come as an unpleasant surprise. Most babies will make a face and push the cereal right out again. Don't be discouraged. Soon the baby will become more accustomed to eating. Scoop the cereal from the chin and start over. Placing the cereal far back on the tongue also may decrease the amount spit out.
The amount and thickness of the cereal gradually can be increased. After several weeks most babies eat cereal twice a day, totaling about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Always make sure the baby is sitting up to eat and drink.
Infants' appetites can vary from day to day. Babies indicate they are full by turning their heads away from the spoon or holding their lips closed. Never force them to eat more food than they are willing.
Once the baby has mastered cereals, other new foods can be tried. Begin with one to two spoonfuls of a single strained or pureed vegetable or fruit such as squash, carrots, bananas or applesauce. Gradually increase the amount of food to two to four tablespoons twice daily -- about 1/4 to 1/2 cup in total -- depending on the baby's appetite. Introduce one new food every few days to allow the child's system to adjust and to watch for any unusual reactions.
It's not unusual for the baby's stool to change color upon eating new foods. However, a skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing or stuffy nose may be signs of a food allergy or intolerance. Stop feeding the new food and tell your baby's health care provider about the reaction at the next visit.
During this stage, 100 percent fruit juices also can be given or mixed with infant cereal in place of other liquids. Babies also may be ready to try drinking from a cup. Approximately four ounces of apple, pear or other fortified fruit juices per day can help provide needed vitamin C. 7 to 9 Months
By about seven months, most babies are ready to increase their variety of fruits and vegetables as well as their texture. Strained meat or poultry and food mixtures also may be introduced. Home prepared foods should be steamed, then mashed with a fork. Never add honey or corn syrup as these sweeteners may contain botulism spores, which can be harmful to infants.
At this time, many babies are ready to begin finger foods. Infants should be able to sit up straight in a high chair, be able to grasp food with their hands or finger tips, and move the food from their hands to their mouths. Chopped pieces of ripe banana or dry unsweetened cereal are good choices. 10 to 12 + Months
Between 10 and 12 months, babies may have four to six sharp teeth. Meats should be finely chopped, as babies still won't be able to do much efficient grinding. Well-cooked vegetables, cottage cheese or other soft or lumpy foods also may be introduced. Although they don't have a complete set of teeth, babies use their gums and tongue to mash the lumps.
By this age, most infants eat three or four small meals a day. Gradually they grow more independent and may insist on holding a spoon when being fed or a cup with both hands while drinking.
If your family has a history of food allergies, it may be helpful to delay the introduction of certain foods such as wheat, egg white or cow's milk. Ask your health care provider for specific dietary advice.
By about one year of age, most babies eat small, tender table foods. Whole cow's milk can be introduced in the range of 16 to 20 ounces per day. Children need the fat in whole milk for proper growth and development; thus, low-fat milk should not be introduced until two years of age. Feeding Timeline
The following guidelines indicate when babies may be ready to graduate to various solid foods. Ask your pediatrician, pediatric nurse practitioner, dietitian or other health care professional for specific feeding advice.
Months May Begin
4-6 Iron-fortified, single-grain baby cereal
5 100% fruit juices
6-8 Strained/pureed vegetables and fruit
9-12 Strained meats/poultry
Babies start to feed themselves
12 Family foods
24 Low-fat MilkSafety at the Plate
When feeding children under four years of age or children with developmental disabilities, take extraordinary care with foods that require extensive chewing or could cause choking if swallowed whole. Foods such as hot dogs, grapes, raw carrots, candy and nuts should be chopped up into small pieces or finely ground. Certain "hard" foods may not be appropriate for young children. When watching young children, follow these simple guidelines: Always supervise them while eating. Choking incidents often occur when older siblings offer babies foods they're not yet developmentally ready to handle. Encourage children to take small bites and chew their foods completely. Young children have a tendency to bite off more than they can chew at any one time. Insist children sit down during mealtime or snacks. Never let them lie down while eating. Don't let children run with anything in their mouths.
Source: International Food Information Council Comments: Solid Foods
Comments 1 to 12 of about 12.
1143 days ago.
My little girl loves her solids. Fruit and veges are OK but everytime I give her cereal she gets really constipated, even if its just half a table spoon. Any advice? Mrs.jandrews
1445 days ago.
Help....I am open to any suggestions! My son will be 7 months on the 21st of June and I am having a horrible time getting him interested in eating it. I have tried rice cereal and I have been lucky sometimes...so I thought I would try other cereals and still no luck! He gags and eventually will vomit whatever he does eat. I have tried sweet potato, applesauce and he would rather be breastfed!!! I still try him twice a day even if he only has a few spoonfuls cause he needs to get use to it....I feel he doesn't like the texture. Is this ok....I haven't been to the DR yet as his appt was cancelled last week...gotta wait til the 23rd...Grrrrrrr....Please if any of you ladies can help I would love it!!!! Being a first time Mommy has been so easy until I started introducing food in May!!!!! lol Thanks :) luvbeingamom
1521 days ago.
stacka - I wouldn't worry. Just give it a couple weeks and try again. My younger son who was EBF didn't start solids until 8 months b/c he wasn't ready. Very hungry but not ready. there is not rule that every child should be ready for food at 6 months. Some are later. My older son was ready at 4 months. it is just different. I would give it more time. Talk ot the ped at your 9month appt if your LO still won't eat solids. Have you tried cereal mixed with BM? That way the taste is familar, still use a spoon to feed but make it almost liquid. That will help them get use to the idea of a spoon vs the breast (or bottle). Good Luck! stacka
1521 days ago.
My son refuses all solid food! he is nearly 7 months. I have tried so many different types and textures but as soon as they go near his mouth he screws up his little face and dry-retches and spits it out! he likes to taste yoghurt on the pacifier but thats about as far as he'll go. he is exclusively breast fed and feeds 3 hourly through the day and 2-3 hourly overnight. yes, we have not had a full night since he was born and i think he is a hungry boy but refuses food? Anyone else had this problem? any tips/ideas?? momentfrozenintime
1559 days ago.
Hey everyone! I had a quick question. My son is a little over 5 months old and is eating cereal and either one fruit or vegetable a day. But now, he has wanted to eat less formula. Actually I can BARELY get him to eat formula. The only time he eats is on demand, but even then he won't eat very often or the whole bottle. I know babies should be getting 24+ oz. of formula right now, right? What can I do? He would be happy only eating 16 oz., and it's so hard to FORCE him to eat (and it usually will just come right back up if I do that)
1613 days ago.
My son is 3.5 months old. I've given him cereal in his last bottle each night since he was about 2 weeks old...but just a little bit. I have given him cereal on a spoon and a few bites of banana/orange baby food and he loves it. I think this week when I am off work (starting tomorrow), I am going to start giving him cereal on a spoon every evening around dinner time. awaiting
1617 days ago.
Is there any one who introduced cerals before 4 months....only those who have reply please...you can message me though my page also. babynguyen2
1617 days ago.
My 4 1/2 month old daughter actually ate all the baby cereal I gave her today, it was like maybe a little more than an oz but still she ate it. I'm so proud I can't wait till I can get her on a better sleeping schedule so I can start a feeding schedule. I'm so excited! LKLmama
1623 days ago.
Any one doing baby led weaning??? I would love to hear about your experience RobinG
1639 days ago.
(((()))) Not to worry, go with what works best for her. My 13 months old has oral dyspraxia and has difficulties eating. doc has told us as well and his therapists that what he can eat is best instead of what we feel he should be eating. Often jarred foods are healthier anyhow since they dont have added preservatives etc etc. I spoke to doc just last week about a sim concern and he said treat eating like potty training. Some learn it at different ages so if it isnt working now stick to what you are doing and try again a week or two or even a month. Hunter choked on a piece of stuffing tonight and got sick all over. So some table food is not for him and thats ok :) try every few days and eentually she may learn better. Some babies just dont adapt to textures etc and it takes longer. What you need to try are food that disolve, those food help them to adjust to textures too and perhapsshe just has a strong gag reflex. Try puffs, they are great for first time eaters and regular cheerios broken in half. Even if she gags it doenst mean she is choking ~choking and gaging arent the same thing. We would put the cheerio or puff piece inside the cheek area so not tongue and less risk of gaging (()) As long as she is eating and it is healthy for her then what it is doesnt really matter all the time ~ :) RobinG
1659 days ago.
Successful hidden food trick I did today :) Hunter is hard to feed (has delays) getting nutrional foods into him isnt easy ~ he loves kraft dinner but is lucky to get it once a month and I really didnt want to give it but it seemed to be what was a good option today since I need to get groceries so I had some Earths Best Carrots stage 1 and mixed in a table spoon of the carrots and boy did he love it :) I tasted it and it was pretty good :) Just thought I'd share :) christie78
1660 days ago.
OK, so I need help with feeding. Addi has been exclusively breast fed since birth and has been on solids since 5.5 months. She LOVES her food (especially if it is orange)? But I do not know what the next step in feeding is.... She breast-feeds every feed (3 hourly and sometimes once in the night), and then she has two feeds a day of solids (about 11am and 6pm and the equivalent of half a jar of food at each feed - so 1 jar a day). But where to from here? When do we ween off the breast and cut back those feeds? When do we introduce more food? I am a bit lost.... she seems to want more solids, but I do not want to feed her too much if that is not what they are meant to have? Any ideas? Please post on my page too if you can? Cheers!