Recently a few people inquired about how I approached introducing solids foods to my baby. With SO much information available, it’s understandable the process can be a little overwhelming and to help ease some angst, I put together a quick and easy guide! All the information below was guided by my pediatrician, advice from family and friends, and good old fashion trial and error!
Start with grains such as oatmeal or rice (even if it’s just for the first meal or two), followed by vegetables and then fruit. Think of it as offering ‘dinner before dessert’, most people would not enjoy peas after tasting a banana!
▪ All grain packages should include first feeding instructions, but the ratio is generally 4:1 (liquid to grain) – expect a very soupy consistency. Depending on your baby’s reaction to solids – gradually increase consistency over the next few meals, using less liquid (breast milk, formula or water).
▪ Move to vegetables, allowing THREE days between introducing a new food (this allows for easier detection if baby has any type of allergic reaction). Avocado, Sweet Potato, Peas, and Carrots are examples of some good starter veggies.
▪ Next, move to fruits. Avoid citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes until 1 year of age. Pureed bananas and apples are a great option for a first fruit!
▪ After you’ve crossed the three-day “experimental” mark – you can start offering two (cleared) flavors per meal. I keep the two foods separate, but spoon a little from each – this way baby can still taste the difference in flavors and you’re not creating a new food.
▪ Offer baby anywhere from one spoonful to 4 OZ. per feeding. Milk or formula still takes precedence and should remain baby’s main source of calories until roughly 9 months.
▪ If baby refuses a certain type of food, trying mixing a small amount with oatmeal or rice. If baby still is not interested, move on and reintroduce at a later date.
▪ Begin offering small amounts of water to baby (via a Sippy Cup or Bottle) once he or she concludes a meal. The water will help rinse off any food residue and protect those baby teeth, so start getting into the habit now!
- Avoid using cloth bibs; a material like polyester works better
- If making your own food – choose measured containers (preferably in ounces)
- A facecloth and warm water works fine for cleanup, but Water Wipes (99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract) are the purest and easiest disposable clean wipes around
Useful Resources: Baby Food 101