In the first 6 months, your baby’s system is slowly getting ready to digest solid foods.
Once your baby eats well with a spoon, you can introduce pureed or blended foods. Start with pureed vegetables, such as peas or spinach. You can also introduce meat, chicken, or other healthy proteins. As your baby gets used to thicker food, slowly start introducing mashed cooked vegetables and fruits rather than pureed.
To help your baby start solid foods:
- Introduce solids when your baby is about 6 months old.
- Consider starting with baby rice cereal, a great first solid food.
- Wait 2-3 days after introducing one new food before introducing another. This will give time to watch for food allergies.
- Focus on nutritious, healthy foods that are made for babies and not adults.
- Skip desserts and sugary treats. These are not nutritious foods for babies.
- Don’t give up on the foods your baby doesn’t like right away. Try new foods many times to give her a chance to like them. Don’t make her eat a food if she cries or turns her head away from you.
- Don’t worry if your baby gets messy, especially when you first introduce solid foods. Start slowly with smaller amounts until he gets the hang of it.
- Learn the Heimlich maneuver. As children learn to eat more solid foods, it is possible that they can choke.
- Wait until she’s at least 1 year of age to introduce whole cow’s milk or other types of milk (like rice milk or almond milk). In her first year, your baby needs to get most of her nutrition from breast milk or formula.
Foods to introduce as your baby grows:
When your baby is 6 months old, the World Health Organization suggests that you start to offer solid foods, while continuing to breastfeed. Babies still need to get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula through their first year.
As you introduce solid foods, make sure that foods will not cause choking. Cut foods like grapes, cheese sticks, or hot dogs into small, bite-size pieces.
When your baby is under age 1, don’t give him these items or foods containing these items:
- Sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Whole nuts.
- Certain fish.
- Tea or coffee.
- Low-fat or reduced fat foods.
The above food items, which should be avoided, contain:
- Common allergens.
- Bacteria that can easily cause infection young immune systems.
- Caffeine, which should be avoided by children under 1 year old.