Human milk provides immunity factors for as long as the baby nurses, and many of the health benefits of breastfeeding continue well into childhood and beyond. Feeding complementary foods to your baby before he is ready is typically messy and inefficient as he will naturally push the food out with his tongue as long as the tongue-reflex is functioning. By waiting for him to be developmentally ready, he becomes an active participant in eating, rather than merely a passive recipient. This helps to put him in charge of how much he eats, teaching him important fullness cues. Starting solid foods before your baby is ready will not increase his sleep at night, is not necessary for larger babies, and does not initially increase calories.
At that point, babies can switch to whole milk. Juice reduces the appetite for other, more nutritious, foods, including breast milk, formula, or both. At the beginning, you'll have to experiment to find what works best. Do not be surprised if most Teens washing there vaginas the first few solid-food feedings wind up on your baby's face, hands, and bib. Avoid the canned varieties to which salt has been added. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Feeding directly to A-Z link. Your milk should Feeding solids to infants be the primary source of nutrition for most of the first year. So it's up to you whether you begin with bananas or carrots, or pureed chicken for that matter.
Oral gonorrhea look like. Why not start earlier?
Let mothers know It is wonderful that they are breastfeeding their baby. Support inffants mothers in breastfeeding. Cow's milk shouldn't be added to the diet until your baby is age 1. Our Mission We help grow healthy kids, families and communities Fefding create healthier generations! Babies younger than 12 months should Feeding solids to infants be given juice. This practice ensures the infant receives hindmilk, which is richer Feeding solids to infants nutrients. Simply select Healthy Snack and Routines and Schedules to generate the results. There are no hard and fast rules as to first foods, but here are some suggestions, plus a simple baby food chart you can print and keep have on hand:. The amount of formula an infant takes will decrease as the baby increases intake of solid foods, but formula remains a significant source of calories, protein, calcium and vitamin D for the first year of life. Free E-newsletter Escort services in london ontario to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Products and services. As the infant grows, it is important to expose the baby to variety of textures. One of the most difficult tasks is to trust our babies to know when they have eaten enough. Ask the Pediatrician: When can I start giving my baby peanut butter? About the Author.
Rice, oatmeal, or barley?
- Making appropriate food choices for your baby during the first year of life is very important.
- If you're a new parent, the question of when to start your baby on solid food can feel daunting.
- Introducing solid foods to your infant is an exciting milestone.
- Tiffani Hays, M.
Introducing solid foods to your infant is an exciting milestone. Here's everything you need to know about when to start baby food, what foods to start with, and more, plus a simple baby food chart to print. The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should start your child on solids between 4 and 6 months, but the answer really depends on your baby and when he's ready.
Here are some signs that your little one may be ready for baby food:. Remember, there's no need to rush this milestone.
Most babies are ready to start solids between 5 and 6 months. Don't start solids before 4 months. How long should you continue with breast milk or formula feedings? It should stay in the picture until your baby is at least a year old. At that point, babies can switch to whole milk. They provide necessary nutrition, and your baby is used to them—she'll be comforted by the feel of a nipple and the taste of milk or formula. Give baby the breast or bottle first thing in the morning, before or after meals, and before bedtime.
At the beginning, you'll have to experiment to find what works best. If she's a big drinker—say, if she'd drink a whole bottle before a meal, given the chance—feed her first with food and then with a bottle.
If she's a moderate drinker, try the opposite. Until she's 7 to 10 months, your baby will probably still drink the majority of her calories. So mealtime is more about her getting used to the act of eating and learning the tastes and textures of foods than it is about providing the bulk of her nutrition.
As soon as your little one understands the concept of eating and is excited by and interested in mealtime this usually happens between 6 and 9 months , start her on a routine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even if she isn't hungry at times, she'll get used to the idea of eating on a schedule. That said, never force or pressure your baby to eat. If she isn't interested, just take her out of the high chair and move on.
And treat liquids, either formula or breast milk, as a complement to a meal, not as a meal itself. A baby needs focus to eat, so start a routine where you wash his hands, soothe him, and then sit him down to eat. And maintain the calmness. Turn off the TV and any loud music. It will take time for your baby to feel comfortable with the new sensations that go along with eating -- the feel of a spoon in his mouth and the tastes and textures of different foods.
But she wanted more. And get used to messes! Your baby will likely fling food everywhere, especially if you're practicing baby-led weaning. This is common and doesn't necessarily indicate a dislike. There are no hard and fast rules as to first foods, but here are some suggestions, plus a simple baby food chart you can print and keep have on hand:. The level of iron that is stored up while in utero drops after birth, and a baby reaches an all-time low at around 9 months.
That's why cereals are fortified with iron and why they're a good early food. Combine one teaspoon of single-grain cereal with four to five teaspoons of breast milk or formula. Once your baby is used to swallowing runny cereal, thicken it by using less water or breast milk and more cereal. So it's up to you whether you begin with bananas or carrots, or pureed chicken for that matter.
Whether you've begun with purees or are starting solids just with finger foods, may babies enjoy experimenting with self-feeding from an early age. Don't offer any hard, raw foods, such as apple slices or carrot sticks at this point.
Make sure fruits and veggies are soft enough to mash with gentle pressure between your thumb and forefinger.
The shape matters too. Younger babies will be picking foods up with their whole palms, so a mound of mashed potatoes or a wedge of avocado will be easier to handle than smaller foods. As soon as your child is able, transition him away from smooth purees. Incorporate more finger foods and make sure there's texture in any mash. It's also safe to feed your child soft rice and casseroles at this point. It's fine to use cow's milk in cooking or baking, though. Print it out Pin FB ellipsis More.
Image zoom. Christina Minopoli. Comments Add Comment. Close Share options. Tell us what you think Thanks for adding your feedback. All rights reserved. Close View image.
Check out these articles to separate fact from fiction and learn more about how to navigate this exciting milestone in your baby's life. So mealtime is more about her getting used to the act of eating and learning the tastes and textures of foods than it is about providing the bulk of her nutrition. More growth occurs during the first year than at any other time in your child's life. Can you tell me how this is going for you? Because of the added sugars and fats, they will have a much stronger odor too.
Feeding solids to infants. Solid foods: How to get your baby started
The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP recommends that all infants, children, and adolescents take in enough vitamin D through supplements, formula, or cow's milk to prevent complications from deficiency of this vitamin.
In November , the AAP updated its recommendations for daily intake of vitamin D for healthy infants, children, and adolescents. When starting solid foods, give your baby one new food at a time — not mixtures like cereal and fruit or meat dinners. This way you can tell what foods your baby may be allergic to or can't tolerate. Start with small amounts of new solid foods — a teaspoon at first and slowly increase to a tablespoon.
Start with dry infant rice cereal first, mixed as directed, followed by vegetables, fruits, and then meats.
Don't use salt or sugar when making homemade infant foods. Canned foods may contain large amounts of salt and sugar and shouldn't be used for baby food. Always wash and peel fruits and vegetables and remove seeds or pits. Take special care with fruits and vegetables that come into contact with the ground. They may contain botulism spores that cause food poisoning. Cow's milk shouldn't be added to the diet until your baby is age 1.
Cow's milk doesn't provide the proper nutrients for your baby. The AAP recommends not giving fruit juices to infants younger than 1 year old. Dilute the juice with water and offer it in a cup with a meal. Feed all food with a spoon. Your baby needs to learn to eat from a spoon. Don't use an infant feeder. Only formula and water should go into the bottle. Don't give your child honey in any form for your child's first year. It can cause infant botulism. Don't put your baby in bed with a bottle propped in his or her mouth.
Propping a bottle has been linked to an increased risk for ear infections. Once your baby's teeth are present, propping the bottle can also cause tooth decay.
There is also a risk of choking. Get updates. Give today. Healthy Lifestyle Infant and toddler health. Products and services. Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Sign up now. Solid foods: How to get your baby started Solid foods are a big step for a baby. By Mayo Clinic Staff.
Show references Greer FR, et al. The effects of early nutritional interventions on the development of atopic disease in infants and children: The role of maternal dietary restriction, breastfeeding, hydrolyzed formulas, and timing of introduction of allergenic complementary foods.
Shelov SP, et al. Ages four months through seven months. New York, N. Duryea TK. Introducing solid foods and vitamin and mineral supplementation during infancy. Accessed April 3, Policy statement — Prevention of choking among children. Fleischer DM. Introducing highly allergenic foods to infants and children.
Berkowitz CD. Nutritional needs. Elk Grove Village, Ill. Younger Meek J, et al. Breastfeeding beyond infancy. In: New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. Heyman MB, et al. Fruit juice in infants, children and adolescents: Current recommendations. American Academy of Pediatrics Policy.
For consumers: Seven things pregnant women and parents need to know about arsenic in rice and rice cereal. Food and Drug Administration. Prchal T. Genetics and pathogenesis of methemoglobinemia. Baby sling Baby sunscreen Baby walkers Breast-feeding and medications Breast-feeding nutrition: Tips for moms Breast-feeding support Breast-feeding twins Breast milk sharing Breast-feeding and alcohol Breast-feeding and weight loss Breast-feeding strike Corn syrup for constipation: OK for babies?
Crying baby? How to keep your cool Baby sleep Tummy time Hyperlactation Infant botulism Infant choking prevention Infant constipation Infant development: Milestones from 10 to 12 months Infant development: Ages 4 to 6 months Infant development: Ages 7 to 9 months Infant formula preparation Infant formula: Is tap or bottled water better? Infant formula basics Infant growth rates Infant massage Infant swimming and asthma Returning to work after maternity leave Organic baby food Sick baby?
How to swaddle a baby Spitting up in babies Starting solids Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums Vitamin D for babies Weaning tips Well-baby exam What's causing my infant's diarrhea? Wheezing in children Show more related content. Mayo Clinic Marketplace Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition | CDC
Rice, oatmeal, or barley? What infant cereal or other food will be on the menu for your baby's first solid meal? Have you set a date? At this point, you may have a plan or are confused because you have received too much advice from family and friends with different opinions. Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP to help you prepare for your baby's transition to solid foods.
Remember that each child's readiness depends on his own rate of development. Can he hold his head up? Your baby should be able to sit in a high chair, a feeding seat, or an infant seat with good head control. Does he open his mouth when food comes his way? Babies may be ready if they watch you eating, reach for your food, and seem eager to be fed. Can he move food from a spoon into his throat? If you offer a spoon of rice cereal, he pushes it out of his mouth, and it dribbles onto his chin, he may not have the ability to move it to the back of his mouth to swallow it.
That's normal. Remember, he's never had anything thicker than breast milk or formula before, and this may take some getting used to. Try diluting it the first few times; then, gradually thicken the texture. You may also want to wait a week or two and try again.
Is he big enough? Generally, when infants double their birth weight typically at about 4 months of age and weigh about 13 pounds or more, they may be ready for solid foods. When you add solid foods to your baby's diet, continue breastfeeding until at least 12 months.
You can continue to breastfeed after 12 months if you and your baby desire. Check with your child's doctor about the recommendations for vitamin D and iron supplements during the first year. Start with half a spoonful or less and talk to your baby through the process "Mmm, see how good this is? Your baby may not know what to do at first. She may look confused, wrinkle her nose, roll the food around inside her mouth, or reject it altogether.
One way to make eating solids for the first time easier is to give your baby a little breast milk, formula, or both first; then switch to very small half-spoonfuls of food; and finish with more breast milk or formula. This will prevent your baby from getting frustrated when she is very hungry.
Do not be surprised if most of the first few solid-food feedings wind up on your baby's face, hands, and bib. Increase the amount of food gradually, with just a teaspoonful or two to start. This allows your baby time to learn how to swallow solids. Do not make your baby eat if she cries or turns away when you feed her.
Go back to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding exclusively for a time before trying again. Remember that starting solid foods is a gradual process; at first, your baby will still be getting most of her nutrition from breast milk, formula, or both. Also, each baby is different, so readiness to start solid foods will vary. NOTE: Do not put baby cereal in a bottle because your baby could choke.
It may also increase the amount of food your baby eats and can cause your baby to gain too much weight. However, cereal in a bottle may be recommended if your baby has reflux. Check with your child's doctor. For most babies, it does not matter what the first solid foods are.
By tradition, single-grain cereals are usually introduced first. However, there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby. Although many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first.
Babies are born with a preference for sweets , and the order of introducing foods does not change this. If your baby has been mostly breastfeeding, he may benefit from baby food made with meat, which contains more easily absorbed sources of iron and zinc that are needed by 4 to 6 months of age.
Baby cereals are available premixed in individual containers or dry, to which you can add breast milk, formula, or water. Whichever type of cereal you use, make sure that it is made for babies and iron fortified. Once your baby learns to eat one food, gradually give him other foods. Give your baby one new food at a time. Generally, meats and vegetables contain more nutrients per serving than fruits or cereals. There is no evidence that waiting to introduce baby-safe soft , allergy-causing foods, such as eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts , or fish, beyond 4 to 6 months of age prevents food allergy.
If you believe your baby has an allergic reaction to a food, such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting, talk with your child's doctor about the best choices for the diet. Within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby's daily diet should include a variety of foods, such as breast milk, formula, or both; meats; cereal; vegetables; fruits; eggs; and fish. Once your baby can sit up and bring her hands or other objects to her mouth, you can give her finger foods to help her learn to feed herself.
To prevent choking , make sure anything you give your baby is soft, easy to swallow, and cut into small pieces. Some examples include small pieces of banana, wafer-type cookies, or crackers; scrambled eggs; well-cooked pasta; well-cooked, finely chopped chicken; and well-cooked, cut-up potatoes or peas. At each of your baby's daily meals, she should be eating about 4 ounces, or the amount in one small jar of strained baby food.
Limit giving your baby processed foods that are made for adults and older children. These foods often contain more salt and other preservatives. If you want to give your baby fresh food, use a blender or food processor, or just mash softer foods with a fork.
All fresh foods should be cooked with no added salt or seasoning. Although you can feed your baby raw bananas mashed , most other fruits and vegetables should be cooked until they are soft. Refrigerate any food you do not use, and look for any signs of spoilage before giving it to your baby. Fresh foods are not bacteria-free, so they will spoil more quickly than food from a can or jar. NOTE: Do not give your baby any food that requires chewing at this age.
Do not give your baby any food that can be a choking hazard, including hot dogs including meat sticks, or baby food "hot dogs" ; nuts and seeds; chunks of meat or cheese; whole grapes; popcorn; chunks of peanut butter; raw vegetables; fruit chunks, such as apple chunks; and hard, gooey, or sticky candy.
When your baby starts eating solid foods, his stools will become more solid and variable in color. Because of the added sugars and fats, they will have a much stronger odor too. Peas and other green vegetables may turn the stool a deep-green color; beets may make it red.
Beets sometimes make urine red as well. If your baby's meals are not strained, his stools may contain undigested pieces of food, especially hulls of peas or corn, and the skin of tomatoes or other vegetables. All of this is normal. Your baby's digestive system is still immature and needs time before it can fully process these new foods. If the stools are extremely loose, watery, or full of mucus, however, it may mean the digestive tract is irritated.
In this case, reduce the amount of solids and introduce them more slowly. If the stools continue to be loose, watery, or full of mucus, consult your child's doctor to find the reason. Babies do not need juice. Babies younger than 12 months should not be given juice. Offer it only in a cup, not in a bottle. To help prevent tooth decay , do not put your child to bed with a bottle.
If you do, make sure it contains only water. Juice reduces the appetite for other, more nutritious, foods, including breast milk, formula, or both. Too much juice can also cause diaper rash, diarrhea, or excessive weight gain. Healthy babies do not need extra water. Breast milk, formula, or both provide all the fluids they need. However, with the introduction of solid foods, water can be added to your baby's diet.
Also, a small amount of water may be needed in very hot weather. If you live in an area where the water is fluoridated , drinking water will also help prevent future tooth decay. It is important for your baby to get used to the process of eating—sitting up, taking food from a spoon, resting between bites, and stopping when full.
These early experiences will help your child learn good eating habits throughout life. Encourage family meals from the first feeding. When you can, the whole family should eat together.
Research suggests that having dinner together, as a family, on a regular basis has positive effects on the development of children. Remember to offer a good variety of healthy foods that are rich in the nutrients your child needs. Watch your child for cues that he has had enough to eat.
Do not overfeed! If you have any questions about your child's nutrition, including concerns about your child eating too much or too little, talk with your child's doctor. Working Together: Breastfeeding and Solid Foods. Is Your Baby Hungry or Full? Responsive Feeding Explained. Ask the Pediatrician: When can I start giving my baby peanut butter?