When your baby is ready to add solid foods, here is what you need to know.
As babies grow and develop, they depend on nutritious fuel.
During the first six months of life, health organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the World Health Organization, recommend feeding your infant breast milk and nothing else. Breast milk is filled with nutrients, including protein, essential fats and vitamins, that optimize your baby’s development, growth and health.
When babies have doubled their birth weight and can hold their heads up, they may be ready to begin eating solid foods.
First Solids to Feed Your Baby
Start slowly by feeding your baby about half a spoonful of a solid food and introduce only one new food at a time. Give your child a chance to get used to the sensation of foods that are more substantial than breast milk. Good items to try in the beginning include:
- Single-grain cereals
- Strained vegetables
- Strained fruits
- Strained meats
As your baby starts cutting teeth and bringing his hands to his mouth, add more finger foods, such as finely chopped chicken, small pieces of banana and scrambled eggs.
Ingredients Your Infant Should Not Eat
During the first years of life, babies’ immune systems are not fully developed, putting them at increased risk for food poisoning, as well as associated complications such as infection and kidney failure. To protect your baby, avoid the following foods:
- Raw or undercooked eggs or products that include them
- Raw or undercooked fish, meat, poultry and seafood
- Raw sprouts
- Unpasteurized beverages and foods
Additionally, honey should be avoided until your baby’s first birthday. This is because it may contain small levels of bacteria that can harm a baby but are not harmful to older children and adults.