Being a parent of an infant requires countless love, care, and responsibilities. Especially when you are new to parenting, things can seem confusing. As your baby grows up, your excitement is increases. At first, you breastfeed your baby or use supplemental formula. Then a few months later, the baby needs solid food for potential growth.
For every parent, introducing solids to infant babies is an exciting milestone. But What Foods To Start Babies On? Continue reading the article to learn about the baby’s first foods.
When your baby becomes four to six months old, you are used to breastfeeding or formula. But do not become too comfortable with this! Your child will soon show the readiness sign for solids.
When To Introduce Solids
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the right time to introduce solids to your child is between four to six months. However, it still depends on your baby; every child reacts differently to food. If your little one is not ready, you better wait and start solid foods between six and eight months. Most babies become ready in the period of 5 to 6 months. You must not rush this milestone. Remember, there is no need to give first food before four months.
Starting your little one on their baby food depends on your baby. Here are some signs that your baby may be ready for baby food.
- They are curious, looking at things around them, especially what you’re eating!
- They can sit up with support and have good head control.
- They still seem hungry after having all their milk (breastfeeding or formula).
The AAP advises that the baby should also be double their birth weight and weigh at least 13 pounds.
From 4 months to 1 year and on, you are facing providing nutritious, balanced foods and exposing your little one to various tastes and textures to encourage a future of healthy eating.
Every baby is different; when my baby was born, he was 9 pounds and 10 ounces. He was always hungry; calling my doctor when Jeff was just four days old, the doctor said to start him on cereal and formula; he became very happy, and believe it or not, Jeff began to sleep all night. I was one of the lucky ones; very, very few infants do that. He is now six feet tall and very healthy. But please do not do this without your doctor saying so.
Baby’s Foods by Age
Age: Birth to 4 months
Breast milk or formula only, unless instructed differently by the baby’s doctor.
Age: 4 to 6 months (Stage One)
When the baby is ready for solids (baby food), you don’t need to worry. Introducing foods to your little one does not need to be in any particular order, while baby cereal is the traditional first food. (Single-Grain cereals fortified with iron for starters.) At 4 to 6 months, feed your baby two meals a day. It might not be easy to feed cereals initially. But you can try! Combine one teaspoon of cereal with four to five teaspoons of formula or breast milk. Most of the cereal may initially spill on the baby’s chin and all over, but do not panic. Things get better with time and practice. As your baby gets used to it, you can make it thicker by adding more cereal and less breast milk or formula.
The best 5 Baby Cereals:
The Best Overall:
The Best Whole Wheat:
The Best Variety Pack
The about (stage one) baby foods are ranked by
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- Forbes Health Panel of Pediatricians and Registered dietitian
Now that your little tyke is doing well with the new experience of cereal, it’s time for stage 1, baby foods like vegetables and fruit. (The stage 1 baby foods are watery pureed of a single ingredient.)
Now your little one has made their way through their adventure of these delicious stage 1 purees; they are ready for the exciting world of combination puree to Stage 2 purees ( The Stage 2 food is thicker but continues to still be fairly smooth.)
You may have heard that it is preferred to start with vegetables over fruit or the baby will develop a preference for sweet foods, but there’s no research to back that up. So it’s up to you to start with vegetables or fruits.
Age 6 to 8 months
Same as 4 to 6 months with some additional things
Here are examples of some stage 2 baby foods
Pureed Baby Foods:
Pureed Squash, Pears, Peaches, Applesauce, Bananas,
Zucchini, Apples, Spinach, and Chicken blend,
Sweet Potato with Pear Blend. Green Beans, and Broccoli blend Blueberry, Mango,
Per amazon customers’ ratings, these are 6 of the best baby foods, stage 2
Rating 9.6 — Gerber – Gerber 2nd Foods Hawaiian delight Dessert
Stage 3 Baby Foods: are chunky and lumpy. They contain larger pieces of soft foods that train babies to develop munching and chewing skills (since munching and chewing are learned, not innate, behaviors). They’re meant for babies who have mastered the stage 2 textures and who are ready to explore a wide texture variety.
Along this journey of taste and textures (About 8 months), your little one will start picking-up food and trying to feed themselves.
Baby’s now becoming interested in doing things like the following:
- Picking up food with fingers or hands.
- Tries to use a spoon.
- Transfers items from one hand to the other.
- Is swallowing food more easily.
- Moves jaw like their chewing.
- Don’t push food out with tongue.
Around 8 months or a little sooner, your little one is most likely to be interested in finger food—things they see you eating at the table. We had our son’s high chair at the table for meals. There are many types of finger food in the baby food section for this age.
Some good finger food include
Dissolves easily, For 7 months & up
Around 8 months, you can try new tastes and textures to baby’s treats, things like:
Diced Avocado – this is fun to mash, pick-up, and feed it to their self.
Small pieces of scrambled eggs are a great finger food, full of protein and other things the baby needs. As far as things like scrambled eggs and some other finger foods go, the timing is still out with some doctors; checking is always a good idea when in question.
At 9 months old, babies are more comfortable feeding themselves and eating the foods the family enjoys.
For babies, eating solid foods is a sensory delight of texture, smells, and tastes, plus all that fun of making a mess with those curious tiny hands.
Continuing thru the 9th month and on to the 12 month: Chopped, Ground, or Mashed Foods
As soon as your fast-growing munchkin is ready to transition from purees, it is time to incorporate more finger foods with interesting textures like yogurt, cottage cheese, mashed bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes. Baby can now use additional iron; for this, you can try pureed meat like beef, chicken, and turkey.
- Stay with your baby all the time while they are eating for safety.
- Baby has tiny tummies, so be careful not to overfill baby.
- Some signs that your little tyke is full:
- Leaning back in their chair
- Turning head away from food
- Pushes away food
- Uses hand motions or sounds letting you know they are full
- Starting to fall asleep
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following items:
- Not giving fruit juice to infants under one year old. Only pasteurized, 100% fruit juices (without added sugar) may be given to older babies and children but should be limited to 4 ounces a day. It would also be a great idea to dilute the juice with water and offer it in a cup with a meal.
- Healthy babies usually require little or no extra water, except in very hot weather.
- Don’t warm baby’s food or bottles in the microwave; it can burn baby’s throat or mouth.
- Cow’s milk shouldn’t be added to the diet until your baby is age 1. (Talk to your baby’s doctor about starting milk.)
- Don’t give your child honey in any form during your child’s first year. It can cause infant botulism (a condition caused by a toxin).
What Food To Start Babies On? As parents, you will be searching and making a lot of important decisions about the best foods for your little one. Every parent wants the most nutritious, healthiest, and best baby food, whether natural or organic, in a jar or pouch.
Babies are pretty good at knowing when they’re hungry or when they are full, and they will let you know. Just watch their cues.
I have given you the basics of What Foods To Start Babies On; I hope this is of help to you.
Starting your baby with solid food is an exciting milestone for parents, but an even more incredible milestone is when they can completely feed themselves, some call that milestone 8.
Be sure to take a lot of pictures; you won’t be sorry; I still look back at my son’s photos and get so much joy from them. Your little one will never be that size or age again.
Please feel free to share your feedback; I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.
Thank You, and the best of everything to you and your family.