Starting Solid Foods
Once you've determined your baby is ready to start solid foods, there are few good rules to follow:
- For most babies, it doesn't actually matter which foods you start with. You can start with single-grain baby cereal (oat or barley for example), veggies, fruit, meat, dairy, etc. There is no medical evidence that starting these foods in any specific order is best.
- That being said, there is new evidence from the pediatric allergists that we can actually prevent food allergies from happening by introducing them early and often. Early means 4-6 months of age. Often means small amounts every day. Please read our food allergy prevention guide to make sure you do everything you can to stop food allergies before they start.
- Make sure the food is pureed, like the consistency of apple sauce.
- Start with one food at a time.
- Always use a baby spoon, not the bottle.
- Offer small amounts on the baby spoon a few times per day.
- It's usually best to offer this food after he's had some breast milk or formula, not at the beginning of the feed when he is hungry and easily frustrated. After a few weeks like this, you can start offering pureed food at the beginning of his feeds.
- Don't be discouraged if he doesn't seem to like what you give him. It can take babies 15 or more times of trying a food before they'll accept it into the diet. He probably won't be subtle about it either! Even if he tries to convince you he hates that food and always will, be patient and keep offering it every day. He doesn't hate it, he's just not used to it yet.
- At first, the majority of his nutrition will still come from breast milk and/or formula. Over the course of several weeks to months, this will begin to change. Follow your baby's lead on this. If he seems to like the food you give and want more, follow his cues and give more. There is no minimum amount of milk your baby must have per day.