Black Rock Publications

Starting Solid Foods

Elin R. Cohen, MD

 

 

Remember that feeding solids should be a relaxed and fun experience. Your baby will get all the nutrition he/she needs from the breast milk or the formula. Feeding the solids should be to get him/her used to new tastes and textures and to get used to the social experience of eating.

Usually it is good to start with feeding solids 2 x per day- often mid-morning and mid-afternoon (around 10 am and 3 pm).

Always wait 3 days to add the next new food so you can see if there is a reaction - such as rash, diarrhea, or vomiting.

  1. Start with cereals. You can start with oatmeal first.

    1-2 Tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Mix it up very thin at first while the baby gets used to eating. Feed with a small baby spoon. It may look as if he/she is spitting it out, but that is a reflex, and he/she will learn with practice to swallow.

    If he/she does well with the oatmeal cereal for several days, you can try barley next.


  2. After the cereals you can start with fruits and vegetables. The order does not matter- any stage one fruits or vegetables are fine, with the following guidelines:
    • Start prunes early so that if any food makes him/her constipated, you can always use prunes.
    • Start some of the green vegetables early. A sweet tooth is a learned taste, so you want to introduce some green vegetables before your baby gets used to all of the sweet flavors.

    *There are certain foods that should not be used for home prepared baby food. Beets, turnips, carrots, collard greens, and spinach may all contain high amounts of nitrates, which can be unhealthy for young babies.

  3. Usually babies are ready for finger foods when they have a good pincer grasp to pick up the foods- often at or after 7 months. Cheerios, puffs, and small soft foods are good to start. Small pieces of banana, grated cheese, small pieces of tofu or avocado are all common starter foods.


  4. Foods to avoid before age 1 year: honey, choking hazards.


  5. Food allergy issues: the highly allergenic foods include eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Discuss with your doctor if or when to start these foods.

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