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Transitioning to Solid Foods

  • We recommend the introduction of solid foods between 4 and 6 months.

  • When first trying solids, think of them as either a treat or an introductory lesson. Her main form of nutrition will still be breast milk or formula. Offer solid food once a day initially, building up to 3 times/day closer to 6 months.

  • When first trying solids, most parents start with an infant iron-fortified rice cereal or oatmeal. Mix a small amount of the cereal with breast milk or formula as instructed. Feed the cereal to your baby on a spoon, then see what they do with it. If they spit it back out, they aren’t ready for solid foods. Try again daily. At first, infants mostly are not certain of what to do. At some point, they will learn to enjoy it,  swallowing the food that is placed in their mouth. Once this happens, they are demonstrating they are ready for solid foods in earnest.

  • Try a new ingredient after introducing the last one daily for 3 days. That way, if she has a reaction to something, you’ll know which food it is. After tolerated for 3 days without a rash, worsened spitting up, blood in the stool, or discomfort associated with the food, you can give the food regularly.

  • You can start adding another new ingredient, mixing all the previously tolerated foods together once your baby has tried them individually.

  •  We generally recommend starting vegetables before fruit (as we can all likely use more vegetables), but there is no particular order recommended. You might want to start with the foods you like the most.

  • If you want to make your own baby food, make sure everything is cooked very well without any added salt or sugar. You want the food to be pureed.

  • After your baby has tolerated basic fruits and vegetables, you can give more potentially highly allergenic foods like peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, egg, and sesame. As with all other solids, introduce them individually and watch for a reaction. If your child has sensitive skin, try to be careful the food goes in the mouth only, avoiding those sensitive/red areas.The newest research suggests that early introduction before 8 to 9 months is associated with a LOWER risk of later developing an allergy!

  • Introduce cup use between 6 and 9 months of age.

  • Baby-led weaning: while we understand and support the concept of allowing a baby to feed himself/herself, and encourage doing so, we recommend giving infants foods that are age-appropriate:

    • In the form your child can manage (e.g., does your child have a pincer grasp that allows her to pick up a food and feed herself).

    • Has the size and consistency to avoid the risk of choking (e.g., small enough to not block a child’s airway, and ‘gummable’ enough to allow a child to chew into a form she can swallow).

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