Things to Remember When Starting Baby on Solid Foods

I can’t believe my new twins are over three months old now! Before I know it, I’ll be starting to feed them solid foods, which got me thinking … how do I do that again? I gave myself a refresher course on baby food, and I’ll share here what I’ve learned, so that you’ll know, too, how to feed your baby solid food. Here are some things to remember for a healthy baby:

Wait until your baby is at least four months old before starting any solid foods. She’ll still be getting all the nutrients she needs from breast milk or formula. Starting solid foods now is the first step toward healthy eating habits as your baby grows. Make sure baby is physically able to sit up in a supported high chair and turn her head away. Usually, the first food choice is baby cereal, but new research is showing that vegetables and other soft foods can be just as good a choice. Maybe I’ll try that with my girls.

Give your baby some time to get used to eating solid food. Until now, she’s only ever had liquid, and the new texture of foods and a spoon in her mouth will feel strange. Don’t expect her to eat very much at first, especially at the first sitting. She might spit most of the food out and only eat a teaspoon or less. Just look at it as practice.

Introduce new foods to your baby one at a time. This way, you’ll be able to tell if your baby has any adverse reactions to a particular food. If you do notice any possible allergies, tell your pediatrician. I’ve heard of a “four day rule,” meaning you should wait four days before introducing another new food to baby.

Give baby a variety of foods in a variety of colors. Fruits, vegetables, meats and grains can all be part of your baby’s diet. More and more moms are choosing to make their own baby food. With my older child, I would cook and puree produce, then freeze individual portions in an ice cube tray. Cook baby’s food without adding any salt.

We’ve all heard of the Land of Milk and Honey, but it’s not a place baby should go just yet. Wait until baby turns one to give her cow’s milk, since she can’t digest it properly until then. Continue with breast milk or formula until her first birthday. Doctors say not to give babies honey until at least one year old. I’ve heard that this is due to the risk of botulism.

 Photo courtesy of Jencu.

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