Top Five Common Questions that Parents Ask About Introducing Food to Their Baby

What is the first food I should give my baby?


We are past the age of plain rice cereal– it offers very little nutritional value and can cause significant constipation. Instead, consider avocado or squash as a first food. The key is soft purées that your baby can easily swallow. I do not recommend going directly to hard solid foods such as chunks of fruit or veggies because they can lead to choking and stunt your baby’s sense of adventure when trying new foods.

What age should I first introduce solid food?


Age is no longer the key to determining if your baby is ready for solids. Instead, we focus on physical and behavioral cues. Your baby should have good head and neck control, allowing her to sit well with assistance. Additionally, your baby should show an interest in your food. When she watches you like a hawk during dinner– it’s time to think about letting her join in on the fun!

How much food should my baby eat each day?


Food before one is just about fun. This means that if your baby eats only a small amount of solid food on some days, you shouldn’t stress out. As long as she is getting adequate breastmilk/formula, then she is properly nourished. However, as your baby gets closer to one year of age, she should be eating three solid meals of baby food plus snacks each day.

How do I prevent allergies?


The old theory was that delaying the introduction of potential allergens would decrease the development of food allergies, however this is now known to be false. In fact, earlier exposure has been more effective. Once your baby has gotten a few basic foods down, at 6+ months, go ahead and offer puréed eggs or a small amount of peanut butter in yogurt or cereal. Just remember, it can take 2-3 exposures to a new food before you see a reaction.

Are there any foods my baby cannot eat?


No honey until one year of age. Beware of foods that are choking hazards such as solid nuts, grapes, hot dogs, and popcorn.

 

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