5 Top Tips to Starting your Baby on Solids

When it comes to starting your baby on solids for the first time, it can feel like one big mess – both literally and figuratively. 

You’re trying to figure out when to start, how to start and what to start with. In the meantime, your baby might find it more fun to throw food around the room, than pop it into his mouth. 

But while feeding time might be a little messy, it doesn’t have to be stressful. 

Here are five top tips to get you started, according to Dietitian Kate Save. 

But when?!

Breast milk or infant formula provides all of the necessary nutrients for babies from birth to six months.

 Solids should be introduced to babies at 6 months of age, as an addition to breast milk and/or formula. 

It is also important that the baby can sit upright with limited support, and control the head and neck.

Choose the right foods

Babies should be having small amounts of iron-rich, low-allergenic, pureed, soft foods. 

The best option for a baby’s first food is iron-fortified rice cereal made with breast milk, infant formula or water. 

It is smooth and easy to mix and make in small quantities. It is also easy for the infant to digest in comparison to other grains such as wheat.

How much food?

At the beginning, babies should be offered solids once or twice after breast milk or formula feeds. 

Start with a teaspoon of iron-rich baby rice cereal. Gradually increase the amount over a couple of days until the baby is eating around 1-2 tablespoons at a time. 

As the baby gets used to the introduction of solid food, the amount offered at each feed can be increased. 

Be guided by bub!

Showing interest in food and an increased appetite are signs that a baby is ready to be introduced to solid foods. 

Babies are completely in touch with their hunger and fullness cues. A baby knows when they are full and when they are hungry, and they will communicate that to the parent. 

So if you listen to the baby, you can’t really go wrong! 

Provide food when the baby is hungry, and try not to feed them more than they want. 

Babies are the best judge of when they need more food and when they have had enough. 

As long as the baby is not being fed solids prior to 6 months, it is difficult to under or over feed.  

Make food time fun

Choose a time when bub is happy to introduce new foods.  

Add only one food at a time and wait several days before introducing a new food. 

By starting vegetables first infants are more likely to enjoy the taste now and later in life. 

Follow with fruit, and once the infant is eating a variety of vegetables and fruit start to introduce meats. 

You may also like to try baby led weaning.

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