Infant Solid Food Introduction
Most of you love food and eating, and hopefully you can pass this onto your little one. Many parents find starting solids overwhelming or stressful at first, we are hoping this information helps to make this process fun rather than stressful.
A few key points of Infant Solid Food Instruction:
● Solid foods are usually introduced between 4-6 months of age, based on parental preference and the infant’s desire to eat solids.
● Your infant should be able to hold his/ her head up before starting solids, it is not necessary for them to sit independently before starting solids, but you should be able to prop them up comfortably.
● The only hard rule about what to avoid is honey. No honey before one year of age.
● If there is a strong family history of food allergies ( first degree relative) or your child has
severe eczema or milk protein allergy you should consult your provider before introducing solids.
● If you are breastfeeding at 6 months, you need to provide some extra iron in the baby’s diet via solid foods; dark meats, fortified oatmeal cereal, leafy greens, beans, peas.
Babies usually start to show some interest in your food between four and six months of age. Keep in mind initially your baby will not eat a large volume of food. The first two months or so is all about teaching your baby how to eat and allowing them to experience food. There should be no pressure to get a certain volume of food into your child, especially at the beginning. If you start before six months of age we recommend feeding mostly fruits and vegetables. Start one new thing at a time in case your child has a reaction, so you will be able to identify what the source is. Between six and nine months your child will gradually start eating more and more food, and tolerating different textures. By nine months they can start taking some “finger
foods” (small pieces) and table foods. By twelve months children should be offered three solid food meals a day, and the milk intake should be 12-20 oz.
A Quick Summary of Infant Solid Food Feeding Timeline:
4-6 months: Tastes of fruits and vegetables, let baby have as much as he/ she wants, offer food 1-2 times per day. It is not necessary to start solids before 6 months but if your baby is showing that they want it, feel free to give!
6-9 months: Fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, pasta, dairy, eggs, fish, cereals… Everything and anything other than honey. With eggs, start with the yolk and if they tolerate it you can offer the whole thing. Start slow, introducing one new thing at a time. As your child tolerates it, offer chunkier and chunkier things.
8-9 months: some finger foods.
9-12 months: Start to transition away from purees onto more finger foods and table foods. By 12 months most of their nutrition should come from food rather than milk.
We look forward to discussing this exciting new chapter in your baby’s life with you at the four and six month visits!
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