What Foods Do You Introduce To A Baby First
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a wide variety of recommended menu choices when introducing solid foods to your baby.
Though in the past parents were advised to start their baby with single-grain cereals, such as rice cereal, the AAP now says theres no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has any advantage for your baby, whether nutritionally or when it comes to their long-term palate.
Whats most important is that your baby receives the iron-rich foods their body needs. Whether it comes from iron-fortified cereals or a natural source like smoothly pureed red meat is up to you.
As long as your childs safety and nutritional requirements remain priorities, dont be afraid to try different foods to find what pleases your babys palate. Focus on introducing a variety of flavors and textures.
Wednesday 11 April 2018
So its time to start feeding your baby food. By now you and your baby have learned all about nappy changing, playing, sleeping , bathing and fitting tiny limbs into tiny clothes. Introducing family foods, sometimes called solids, complementary feeding or first foods, to your baby is another learning process you and your baby will embark on.
Starting family foods doesnt need to be stressful. Follow these simple tips for introducing food to your baby.
To 7 Months Old Feeding Schedule
Expressed breast/human milk or formula: 24 to 32 fluid ounces per day3
Solids: 1 to 2 meals
Baby is likely bottle-feeding six to eight times per day, with most still taking one or more bottles during the night. If your baby is taking more or less than this number of bottles and is growing well, peeing and pooping as expected, and overall thriving, then you are likely feeding just the right amount for your baby. Your baby should not decrease the number of bottles they are taking yet, even with the new addition of a solid food meal. When first starting solids, breast/human milk or formula should still be babys primary source of nutrition.
We recommend one mealtime per day at this age, though if you and baby have the time in your day and both enjoy being at the table, you are welcome to offer solids twice a day. You might need to offer a top-off bottle after solids if baby still exhibits hunger, as many babies will not eat much during meals at this age. Eating solid food at this stage will mainly be for practice, so try not to worry about consumption. Remember, we use the word meal to describe times baby is at the table exploring food. Even if baby does not swallow anything, this is still considered a meal.
Note: Some infants may drink more than the ounces listed above, especially during growth spurts. Some infants may drink less. As long as baby is growing appropriately, there is no need to worry about volume.
Don’t Miss: Are Solar Panels Worth It
When Can Babies Start Eating Baby Food Tips For When And How To Introduce Solid Foods To Your Baby
If your baby is giving grown-up food a lingering stare, leaning in toward mom with her every bite, or opening their mouth and smacking their lips like its their turn for a taste, its probably time to start introducing solid foods to their diet, says Kristen S. Treegoob, MD, a pediatrician at CHOP Primary Care, Haverford.
Here, Dr. Treegoob offers advice for when and how to introduce solid foods to babies. She encourages parents to consider the whole process an adventure it will take some trial and error , but you and your baby will get there!
When Can Babies Eat Lumpy Foods
Babies need to learn about food textures as well as food flavors, so consider introducing mashed or slightly lumpy foods around 6-7 months and before 9 months.
But wait! Babies dont even have teeth yet at this age. So how does this work?
The answer is that babies can mash soft, lumpy foods with their gums. And the exercise this provides might help babies develop their chewing muscles. Moreover, research suggests that babies may be less likely to develop fussy eating habits if they are exposed to lumpy foods before 9 months of age .
But watch out for choking hazards. Some foods might be too lumpy. How can you tell? Researchers recommend you taste the food yourself, and make sure the lumps are soft enough to mash between your tongue and the roof of your mouth . Foods that fail this test are high risk choking hazards.
Don’t Miss: How Many Kilowatts Of Solar Power Do I Need
Foods And Drinks To Avoid While Introducing Solids
There are some foods to avoid until your baby is a certain age:
- Honey until 12 months this is to avoid the risk of infant botulism.
- Raw or runny eggs and foods containing raw eggs like home-made mayonnaise until 12 months bacteria in raw eggs can be harmful to babies.
- Reduced-fat dairy until 2 years babies need full-fat dairy for growth.
- Whole nuts and similar hard foods until 3 years these are choking hazards.
There are some drinks to avoid until your baby is a certain age:
- pasteurised full-fat cows milk as a main drink until 12 months
- dairy alternatives like soy, goats, sheeps, rice, oat, almond and coconut milk until 2 years, unless your GP or child and family health nurse has recommended these for a particular reason
- unpasteurised milks at all ages
- tea, coffee or sugar-sweetened drinks at all ages
- fruit juice this should be limited at all ages .
Your baby doesnt need added salt or sugar. Processed or packaged foods with high levels of fat, sugar and/or salt arent good for babies and children. These foods include cakes, biscuits, chips and fried foods.
What Products Do I Need To Start Solids
Starting solids may feel daunting , but there are really only a handful of essential products you need to kick off this exciting new phase:
- A safe place for baby to sit. A high chair, portable high chair or age-appropriate booster seat will all work here.
- Bibs. This ones pretty self-explanatory.
- Baby-friendly plate, bowl or feeding mat. If your high chair comes with a tray, you may want to skip these in the beginning, but at some point youll want to add a few of these items to your list.
- Baby-friendly utensils. Because babies + adult-sized metal forks dont mix!
Other than these solids must-haves, there are a few other things you may want to add to your shopping listbut theyre definitely optional.
- Baby food maker. If youre making your own baby food, a steamer, an immersion blender, a food processor or even just a good old fork can help you get the job done, but some parents like the ease and convenience of a baby food maker.
- Food storage trays and containers.Trays and containers allow you to store large batches of baby food and take food on the go.
- Splash mat. Solids are messy, and mats can be a nice way to protect your floors from constant spills.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost To Solar Power Your Home
Your Baby’s First Solid Foods
There is little evidence to tell us which foods are best for your baby to start with. But vegetables, fruit and rice can make good first foods. You could try starting with:
- Pieces of soft fruit or vegetables chopped into sticks or pieces small enough for your baby to pick up.
- Mashed or softly cooked pieces of parsnip, potato, yam, sweet potato, apple or pear.
- Baby rice or cereal mix the rice with a bit of your baby’s usual milk.
- For a younger baby who is being spoon-fed starting on solid foods, you can add expressed breastmilk or formula.
- You might be surprised that your baby can cope with pieces of lean cooked meat, pasta, fruit or bread that they can hold and suck.
Food for babies should not have salt added at either the cooking stage or afterwards . Babies also dont need sweet foods, such as biscuits or cakes.
Anaemia is one of the most common problems among young children . So iron-rich foods are important in your babys diet.
Iron-rich foods include red meat, pulses and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C, which is in fresh fruit and fresh or frozen vegetables, can help your baby absorb iron. Breast milk and formula milk also contain iron.
What If The Baby Makes Faces While Eating
What if a baby makes dramatic, negative facial expressions after tasting a particular food? Does this mean you should stop offering it?
Babies are notorious for making faces in reaction to new foods .
For example, in one study, researchers recorded the facial expressions of babies tasting pureed green beans for the first time .
These were the most common reactions:
- 95% of the babies squinted
- 82% waggled their brows
- 76% raised their upper lips
- 42% wrinkled their noses
In short, babies looked disgusted, and the more disgusted they looked, the more slowly they ate!
But heres the important point: They got over their initial dislike for green beans. It just took time.
After following an 8-day regimen of repeated feedings, the babies were eating three times as much pureed green beans as they had eaten during their very first experience.
But none of this means you should force your baby to eat. Thats not a good idea. Instead, hold a spoonful of the food up to your babys mouth until he or she has pushed it away. Then wait a bit, and try again, for a total of three tries.
Recommended Reading: Does The Government Pay For Solar Panels
To 15 Months Old Feeding Schedule
Expressed breast/human milk or cows milk: Anywhere from none to 14 to 20 fluid ounces 6
Infant formula: No more than 16 fluid ounces 15 months+ ideally none
Solids: 3 meals + 2 optional snacks
Solid foods are starting to become the primary source of nutrition at this age, and the solid food meal should ideally be offered before any milk feeds. The toddler should eat three meals of solid foods each day, and many take two snacks situated halfway between meals. Keep in mind that this does not have to be a hard stop on bottles or on formula or breast/human milk right at 12 months old. Some babies will continue to need a few bottles per day to get adequate nutrition and energy while they continue to build their chewing and eating skills. The goal is to wean all bottles and all formula by 15 months. If you would like to continue offering expressed breast/human milk at that point, you would aim to offer it in a cup at table meals.
Note: Some toddlers will drop the morning nap in this age range. Most toddlers do best with a 2-nap schedule until closer to 16-18 months, but certainly, some children are ready to drop one of their naps a bit earlier. Trust baby and your gut, and adapt the schedule as necessary. When your child does move to a 1-nap schedule, occurring midday , offer lunch before naptime to ensure hunger is not an issue causing a difficult or short nap.
For more on milk and milk alternatives, see our Milk FAQs.
Baby Milestone : When They Can Try Highly Allergenic Foods
Some pediatricians still recommend waiting until children are at least age 1 before offering them certain foods that are considered highly allergenic, like eggs or fish. But current research doesnt demonstrate any benefit to waiting past a certain age to introduce these foods, unless you have a significant family history of food allergies or other reasons to believe your baby may be predisposed to them.
There is no evidence that introducing highly allergenic foods to children under age 1 makes them any more likely to be allergic to them, and the American Academy of Pediatrics now says its fine to give these foods before the baby’s first birthday. Many pediatricians are still very cautious about shellfish and peanuts, however, because allergic reactions to these foods can be particularly dangerous.
Also Check: How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Alaska
Baby Food: A Cultural Boomerang
In 1880, babies were not commonly fed solid food until they were 11 months old, and by 1950, that age plummeted to just 6 weeks old.10 It wasnt until the 1970s that the medical community began to realize that the early introduction of solid food was contributing to a displacement of breast milk and formula, which doctors were starting to recognize as more nutritious.11
As of today, the American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. National Institutes for Health, and World Health Organization all recommend waiting until a baby is at least 6 months old to introduce solids.
The impact of commercial baby food on American food culture has been enormous. Not only were babies fed solids earlier and earlierdisplacing breast milk as the primary source of nutritionthey were exposed to textureless purées with refined sugar, salt, MSG, and other artificial flavors more than ever before, potentially impacting their flavor preferences for life.12
Which Foods Should Be Avoided
Wheat-based foods contain gluten, which is not recommended for babies under six months . After six months, babies can eat most foods except whole nuts and similar foods that could cause them to choke .
The NHS also recommends avoiding foods that might cause food poisoning under the age of one year, such as raw egg and raw shellfish. You should avoid giving your baby honey because of the risk of botulism .
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Solar Panels Cost In Ghana
Should I Feed My Baby Solids Before Or After Breastfeeding
There really is no clear right or wrong way to schedule solid food feedings regarding whether to feed your baby before or after breastfeeding or formula feeding. Some people swear by offering solids after a milk feed. While other people swear by offering solid foods first and nursing/ bottle after.
Keeping this in view, should I breastfeed before or after solids?
Nursing before the solids is a good way to help keep the transition to solids proceeding slowly so that mom’s milk supply is maintained and baby gets the breastmilk that he needs.
Also Know, how do I introduce solids to my breastfed baby? Here are some tips for starting solids.
Considering this, when should I introduce solid food to my breastfed baby?
Most babies start showing signs of readiness between five and six months of age. Some will be ready for solids as early as four months, while a few won’t need, or be interested in, solid food until seven months or so. Solids are meant to complement, or be added to, the breast milk diet, not to replace breast milk.
Do babies need solids before year?
You May Like Also
How To Introduce Baby To Solids
The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, as well as supplemental breastfeeding until your infant turns one. . Introducing solids is more about getting them used to chewing and swallowing food than providing any significant nutritional benefit.
Give your baby the breast or bottle first thing in the morning, before or after meals, and before bedtime. At the beginning, you’ll have to experiment to find what works best. If they’re a big drinkersay, if they’d drink a whole bottle before a meal, given the chancefeed them first with food and then with a bottle. If they’re a moderate drinker, try the opposite.
- Up to 9 months, feed your baby 20 to 28 ounces of formula daily or breast milk every 3 to 4 hours.
- At 9 to 12 months, feed them 16 to 24 ounces of formula daily or breast milk every 4 to 5 hours.
As soon as your little one understands the concept of eating and shows interest in mealtime , start them on a routine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even if they aren’t hungry at times, they’ll get used to the idea of eating on a schedule.
“My goal for the babies I care for is to get them on a big-boy or big-girl eating schedule by the time they turn 1,” says pediatrician Sara DuMond, M.D. “This means they should eat three meals a day with two to three snacks in between.”
You May Like: Can I Add More Batteries To My Solar System
Feeding Your Baby: From 10 To 12 Months
From about 10 months, your baby should now be having 3 meals a day , in addition to their usual milk feeds.
Around this age, your baby may have about 3 milk feeds a day .
Breastfed babies will adapt their milk consumption as their food intake changes.
As a guide, babies fed infant formula will drink about 400ml daily.
Remember that formula-fed babies should take a vitamin D supplement if they’re having less than 500ml of formula a day.
All breastfed babies should take a vitamin D supplement.
They should be able to manage a wider range of finger foods, and be able to pick up small pieces of food and move them to their mouth. They’ll use a cup with more confidence.
Lunches and teas can include a main course, and a fruit or unsweetened dairy-based dessert, to move eating patterns closer to those of children over 1 year.
As your baby grows, eating together as a family encourages them to develop good eating habits.
Remember, babies do not need salt or sugar added to their food .