What are the Best First Solid Foods for Infants?

We had a request for some information on what the best first foods for babies are.  You asked, we deliver!  This will be part one of Best First Foods.  After reading several books, magazine articles, and searching the internet here is what we found.  

What are the Best First Solid Foods for Infants?

You should consult your pediatrician before giving your baby solid foods.  According the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best to introduce solid foods between 4 and 6 months.  Up until 6 months, breast milk and/or formula provide all the nutrients your baby needs.  {Klarissa’s pediatrician suggested we wait to give her solids until after 6 months because of our family history of allergies.}  If your baby is showing interest in other foods (such as whatever is on your plate) and able to sit up on his own, it’s probably a good time to start.  Remember that even if you are feeding your baby solids, he still needs breast milk and/or formula until his first birthday.

Before you start feeding your baby solids, know that this will be a gradual process.  You should set aside plenty of time for the first attempt.  Make sure you have a high chair that will safely secure your baby.  You will need a soft spoon, a small cup or bowl, and a bib. {Check out my favorite, the Baby Bibs and Baby on the Go Snack Set at Royal Feather.} Oh, and don’t forget a napkin or wipe.  It may be a messy one!  One more thing, don’t forget the camera and/or video camera!  You’ll want to catch this first for sure.

Now, what to feed your little one?  The standard first food is rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula.  {Visit H.E.B., Target, or Wal-Mart for an assorted selection of brands.}  Your baby may not like the rice cereal at first but give it some time.  Don’t give up if your baby doesn’t show much interest; try again the next day.  Your goal is just to get your baby to taste the first day.  Remember, take your time; you want to make the experience a positive one.  It is recommended that the first few days you only give half a tablespoon full of food to your baby.  Once your baby becomes accustomed to eating solids you can increase the amount.  If your little one is just not having it with the rice cereal, try flavored rice cereal or mix in a small amount of apple sauce.  You should feed your baby rice cereal at least twice a day for 4-7 days before moving on to the next food.

Following rice cereal, you can move on to strained, mashed and pureed (bought or homemade) fruits and veggies.  There are many brands and some great organic lines out on the market.  Suggested first veggies include acorn/butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, and green beans.  Suggested first fruits include apples, bananas, pears, and avocado.  Note that if you buy the food in a jar/container, the label will read, “1st” or “supported sitter” for beginners.  If you are going to make your own food at home remember that fruits and veggies, except for avocado and bananas, must be cooked or steamed before puréed.

These fruits and veggies should keep you busy with taste tests and messy lunch dates with your little one for a good while (until about 8 months) before introducing other foods.  Happy Feeding!

Things to keep in mind:

  • Remember to allow about a week between each new food introduction to watch for allergic reactions.  Yes, that means your baby will be eating the same thing for two or three times a day.  It sounds boring to us but it’s the best thing for your baby.  I figured that out with Klarissa when she got a rash all over her cheeks just three weeks in to giving her solids.
  • Stay away from honey until baby is at least a year.
  • Don’t ever force foods — if baby repeatedly refuses to try something new, he’s simply not ready yet.
  • Remember, baby still needs breast milk or formula until at least a year.

At any age, if your child experiences rashes, vomiting, bloating, gas, or diarrhea after a new food, stop giving it to him and talk to your doctor. He may have an allergy or food intolerance.



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