By Carly Dunn, KinderCare Registered Dietitian
Introducing your baby to solid foods is an exciting milestone. How and when infants start eating solid foods will be different for each child, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting at around six months. This depends on the baby’s readiness, and it is important to learn and recognize your baby’s cues and talk to your pediatrician before changing your infant’s diet or starting solids. For second time parents, your second child’s readiness and appetite may be very different than your first child.
What are the cues that your baby is ready to try solids?
- Baby can sit up (with support) and hold his or her neck up.
- Birth weight has doubled.
- Baby will start to notice what you and your family are eating. He or she may even reach out or grab food items from your plate.
- Baby can keep food in mouth and move food from the front to back of the mouth. Baby does not push food out of mouth with his tongue.
- Baby does not cough/choke on foods in mouth.
What will you need?
- A high chair with a seat belt that secures your baby upright.
- Bibs…but remember, it is OK that baby gets messy. This is a great opportunity for pictures!
- Plastic (or unbreakable) dinnerware. As baby gets older, they may think it’s fun to throw or drop dishes.
Other helpful hints…
- Offer foods that vary in color. Foods (especially fruits and vegetables) that vary in color often contain different vitamins and minerals. This is a great way for your baby to eat a well-balanced diet.
- Offer a new food every 2-3 days to see if your baby has any intolerance or allergic reaction to a food.
- Make sure that foods are finely diced or pureed to avoid choking hazards.
- Only feed babies solid foods when they are sitting upright. Avoid giving them snacks in a car seat or bouncer.
- Do not serve honey to children under 1 year old.
- Refer to this handy “how to feed your baby” chart for additional helpful guidelines.
For more information, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website or talk to your pediatrician.