Starting Solid Foods

shutterstock_113785492 (2)The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months. Some common signs that baby is ready to start solid foods are:

  • Baby can sit up on his/her own.
  • They reach for foods you’re eating.
  • They open their mouth when food comes towards them.

Remember starting solids is a gradual process and baby will continue to get most of their nutrition from breast-milk and/or formula. This is also going to be a messy endeavor! Most of these first feedings will wind up on baby, instead of in baby.

When first introducing solids, you may want to give some breast milk or formula to baby on a spoon, then some food mixed with breast milk or formula, to avoid frustration when baby is hungry and not sure why her feedings are different.

Often parents starts with a single grain cereal like rice or barley. However there is no medical evidence that starting solids in any particular order has any benefits for baby. There is also no evidence that starting vegetables before fruits will prevent a ‘sweet tooth’. Babies are born preferring sweet and the order you introduce solids won’t change that.

Meats and vegetables often contain more nutrients than fruits and cereals. Pediatricians sometimes suggest holding off on fish and eggs for fear of allergic reactions but there is no evidence that introducing these foods sooner or later will determine an allergy.

Always introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days before trying another. Watch for any signs of an allergy, such as rash, diarrhea or vomiting. If you think baby has an allergic reaction, consult your pediatrician.

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