Babies often hit one of their growth spurts at six months. Around this time, it may seem that your little one just can't eat enough, and you may be wondering if now is the time to add some solid food. Here are some guidelines for knowing when your baby is ready for solid foods and how to introduce them.
A baby's growth from 5-8 months will allow for many changes in food intake.
or iron-fortified formula still needs to be the main part of a baby's diet. Solids may be started at this time.
Not Too Soon...
Solids do not help young infants sleep through the night. Starting solids too soon can:
Breast milk: 3-5 feedings, or on demand
Iron-fortified formula: 3-5 feedings of 6-8 ounces each
Infant cereal: 4-6 tablespoons
Infant juice: 2-4 ounces (from cup only)
Fruits: 1-2 tablespoons
Vegetables: 5-7 tablespoons
Meats: 1-2 tablespoons
Finger foods: One small serving (toast, crackers, teething biscuits, plain dry cereal). Watch child very carefully for choking. If he is having trouble swallowing these foods, stop and reintroduce after nine months of age.
Be extremely careful or avoid foods that can may increase the chances of choking such as hot dogs, hard candy, grapes, seeds, popcorn, and nuts (especially peanuts).
Suggestions When Using Solid Foods
Start with single-grain cereals: rice first, then oats and barley.
Wait until your baby is six months old to try other kinds of cereal.
Start by making the cereal thin—mix one teaspoon of dry cereal with 2-3 tablespoons of breast milk or iron-fortified formula.
As baby gets older, make it thicker—mix one tablespoon dry cereal with 2-3 tablespoons of breast milk or iron-fortified formula.
Use plain, strained meats when starting. If meat is too thick, thin with breast milk, iron-fortified formula, or meat juices.
Avoid meat and vegetable combinations or high-protein meat dinners.
You can use cooked egg yolk, but don't give egg white until your baby is one year old.
Fruits and vegetables
Start with pureed fruits and vegetables.
Start with single, plain choices without tapioca added.
Don't serve fruit "desserts."
Offer juice from a cup, not a bottle.
Start with infant juice. Mix one ounce of water with one ounce of juice. Gradually cut back the water until giving straight juice.
Start with single-flavored juices. Wait until your baby is older to give mixed juices.
Use only 100% juice, not flavored fruit drink such as Kool-aid®, punch, or soda (pop).
Limit juice to 4-6 ounces per day.
Bottles and Storage
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in a many products, including plastic containers or bottles (with recycling number 7), as well as canned goods. While BPA's effects in humans is still being studied, some experts recommend that you limit your baby's exposure to this chemical. To learn more, read the article "BPA Raising Concerns."
Baby Bites. Meadowbrook Press: Minnetonka, MN; 2007.
4/2/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Saki N, Nikakhlagh S, Rahim F, Abshirini H. Foreign body aspirations in infancy: a 20-year experience. Int J Med Sci. 2009;6(6):322-328.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a