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Solid Advice on Introducing Your Baby to Solid Foods
- Is able to sit up with little support, and head/neck movement is more coordinated
- Is interested in the foods you are eating
- Does not push food out of their mouth with the tongue
- Is able to pull forward when food is wanted and push away when full
Eating From a Spoon
- Do not expect the experience to be neat. —It is quite likely that more food may end up on the bib than in your baby's mouth, at least at first. Relax and try to make this an enjoyable experience for both of you. Talk calmly and softy to your baby while feeding.
- Use a very small spoon, one that is meant for babies. —A small spoon with a long handle is preferable. You can find them at most grocery and department stores.
- Start with only a small amount of food and work up to more. —Begin with no more than one or two teaspoons of food at a time and gradually work your way up to one or two tablespoons, two or three times a day.
- Make sure your baby is sitting up straight and leaning somewhat forward. —This position allows your baby to swallow more easily and minimizes the risk of choking.
- Let your baby set the pace of eating. —Do not feed too slow or too fast. Introduce only one new food at a time, at the beginning of the meal. Introduce new foods when your baby is most hungry. Otherwise, they may not be interested.
- Try, try again. —If your baby refuses a new food, do not force the issue. Be patient. Offer it again in a day or two. If you are still met with resistance, try again in 2-3 weeks.
- When do I stop feeding them—During a meal do not try and give more food after your baby seem satisfied. Allow them to feed themselves with their fingers or a spoon as soon as they are able to. These can both prevent overfeeding
What to Feed Your Baby
Consider Starting With Cereal
Try Vegetables and Fruits Next
After Vegetables and Fruits, Try Meats
Start With Single Foods
- Stomach discomfort
- Spitting up
- Skin rash
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, and mouth
Try Smooth Foods First
Offer a Variety of Foods
Avoid Foods That Could Cause Choking
Do Not Add Sugar, Salt, or Other Seasoning
Do Not Give Cow's Milk Until 12 Months
- Remember that the primary source of nutrition during your baby's first year is breast milk or formula.
- Offer juice in a cup rather than in a bottle. It helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.
- If warming food in a microwave, use a microwave-safe dish and heat to lukewarm.
- Always read and follow instructions on containers of baby food.
- Do not feed your baby directly from the jar or you could risk contaminating the leftover food. Spoon small amounts of food into a feeding dish and feed your baby from it. If your baby wants more food, take more from the jar with a clean spoon.
- Date, label, and refrigerate leftovers immediately after each feeding. Use all leftovers within three days.
- Leftovers should not be reheated more than once.
- Do not use raw honey or corn syrup. In babies, they can cause a serious food-borne illness called botulism.
- Never leave your baby alone during mealtime.
- If you feel that your baby is not eating enough, call the doctor.
American Academy of Pediatrics ttp://www.healthychildren.org
American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Duyff, RL. The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Minneapolis, MN: Chronimed Publishing; 1998.
Food allergy. EBSCO DynaMed web site. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Heartsaver First Aid With CPR AED—Classroom. American Heart Association. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/WorkplaceTraining/HeartsaverCourses/Heartsaver-First-Aid-With-CPR-AED%5FUCM%5F303778%5FArticle.jsp. Updated July 19, 2013. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Introducing solid foods. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442459352&terms=baby%20to%20solid%20food. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Switching to solid foods. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Switching-To-Solid-Foods.aspx. Updated May 28, 2013. Accessed February 4, 2014.
Working together: American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Breastfeeding and solid foods. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Working-Together-Breastfeeding-and-Solid-Foods.aspx. Updated May 11, 2013. Accessed February 4, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Update Date: 00/20/2014