When Can Babies Eat Baby Food

Begin Until 6 Months

Many articles report that babies can start baby solid foods between 4 and 6 months. But you need to be careful about what you read on the internet! The major advisory organizations you can trust on infant health, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, all suggest waiting until 6 months to begin baby solid foods.

Starting Baby Solid Food (6 to 12 Months)

Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, baby is still getting all of his necessary nutrition and calories from breast milk and/or formula. You introduce baby solid foods during this time not for nutrition but more for fun and trying to get baby to like the taste of healthy baby solid foods. This is why baby solid foods during this phrase are referred to as complementary. Baby solid foods complement the nutrition that baby is getting from breast milk or baby formula.

It can take up to 8 days to get a baby to prefer a taste, so don’t give up too easily or move on to the next baby solid food quickly. For example, if you start with peas, try feeding your baby only peas (as the complement to breast milk or formula) for a week. He may or may not like something on the first try, but slow and persistent exposure is key to teaching him to accept baby solid foods and the actual food itself.

Be mindful of the texture and thickness. Remember, baby is used to liquid, so whatever you feed him should be close to a liquid consistency when you start. You can gradually offer thicker textures and at some point add small, soft chunks, but for now the texture should be very thin (you can thin out fruits and veggies with formula, breast milk, or water).

Don’t ever force anything on your baby, whether it’s a particular baby solid food she doesn’t like or the food she’s lost interest in before finishing all ounces that you’ve prepared. Keep in mind that it is essential to respect your baby’s internal hunger cues. You can always take a break and try again later if baby seems fussy or disinterested in eating.

Don’t forget that growing infants learn by copying, ans research shows babies are more likely to eat baby solid foods they see their parents eating. So try to eat with baby to model behaviors you want to see from them.

What to Feed Your Baby:

A Month-by-Month Guide for 6 to 12 Months

6-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

BABY OATMEAL

(MAKES ABOUT ½ CUP)

Oats are a great grain to start with because they are naturally high in iron. You can process rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant) into a fine powder in the blender or food processor for a smooth fiber- and mineral-rich baby cereal that you can mix with fruit or vegetable puree as baby is introduced to more foods.

¼ cup rolled oats

⅔ cup water

Put the oats in a blender or food processor and process to a fine powder. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the oatmeal powder and lower the heat. Cook, stirring continually, until the water is absorbed and the cereal is thickened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (If it’s too thick, thin with a little cool water, breast milk, or formula.) Let it cool to room temperature before feeding baby.

Make ahead: Process a few cups of oats at a time and store the powder in a jar so that you can quickly cook individual portions. For toddlers and older kids, you can process the powder a little more coarsely and use this instead of quick-cooking oats, which have been processed to remove their nutritious outer hull, or instant oats, which often have lots of added sugar.

7-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

SMOOTH SWEET POTATO PUREE

(MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP)

Sweet potatoes are packed with healthy carbohydrates, as well as vitamins A, B6, and C. Their naturally sweet flavor and creamy texture make them an appealing early choice for baby. Once baby gets used to the flavor of sweet potatoes on their own, mix sweet potato puree with a little apple or pear puree.

Bake several sweet potatoes at once so that you (and the rest of the family) can enjoy them for lunch or dinner, too. (For adults and older kids, try them sliced lengthwise and topped with black beans, salsa, a spoonful of yogurt, and a squeeze of lime.) 

One 8- to 12-ounce sweet potato

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the sweet potato well with a vegetable brush under running water. Prick in several places with a sharp paring knife, then place on a baking sheet or pan. Bake until very soft when you pierce it with a knife, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise, scoop the cooked potato from the skin, and place in the bowl of a food processor.

Process until smooth; add a little water as necessary to get a smooth consistency. (Discard the skin or, since it is so nutritious, you may want to use as shells to stuff for an older kid or an adult.) When baby is ready to handle a little more texture, you can mash the sweet potato coarsely with a fork, and eventually graduate to offering her small soft pieces to feed herself. 

To store: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze individual portions for up to 3 months.

8-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

CANTALOUPE-NECTARINE PUREE

(MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS)

Summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits with plenty of vitamins A and C, like nectarines and sweet cantaloupe. Make this tangy fruit puree in the peak of the season when fresh nectarines and cantaloupe are sweet and juicy. Substitute peaches or plums for nectarines, if you have them. Sweet honeydew melon and tart kiwi fruit are another good combination; the kiwi can be peeled and pureed without steaming.

1 ripe nectarine, halved and pitted

1 cup cubed cantaloupe

Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a pan fitted with a steamer. Place the nectarine in the steamer, cover, and steam until the fruit is soft when you pierce it with a knife and the skins are loose, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. Remove the skin with a sharp paring knife.

Place the nectarine and cantaloupe in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth before feeding baby.

To store: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze individual portions for up to 3 months

9-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

PEACHES AND CREAM YOGURT

(MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP)

As baby branches out into new flavors, give ripe peaches a try, mixed with healthy fat–rich whole-milk yogurt for added calcium, protein, and vitamin B12. Mixing your own yogurt and fruit is a good way to offer baby a chance to get used to the flavor of fruit yogurt without all the added sugar of commercial types. This recipe makes more than enough for you and baby to share, or store for a second meal.

1 ripe peach, halved and peeled

½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt

A few drops alcohol-free vanilla extract (optional)

Bring an inch or so of water to a boil in a pan fitted with a steamer. Place the peach in the steamer, cover, and steam until the fruit is soft when you pierce it with a knife and the skins

are loose, 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the peach skins. Mash the peach with a fork to the consistency that’s right for your baby. Spoon the yogurt into a bowl and stir in the vanilla (if using). Top with the peach.

To store: Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze individual portions of mashed peach for up to3 months.

10-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

APPLE-BEET SAUCE WITH GINGER

(MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS)

Beets may have a bad rap with some adults, but cooked baby beets are earthy and sweet. Plus they’re a good source of folate, which continues to be important for brain development. Mixing beets with apple into a vibrant pink puree is a good way to introduce baby to their flavor. Also, the combination of beets and apples gives baby a healthy dose of vitamin C.

4 baby beets

2 apples

¼ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the green tops and trim the stem ends from the beets.Scrub the beets well.

Place the beets in a small baking pan and fill the pan with about ½ inch of water, then cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the beets are very soft when you pierce them with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool and then use a paring knife to peel the beets. Cut them into halves or quarters. Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice the apples. Bring an inch or so of water to a boil in a pan fitted with a steamer. Place the apples in the steamer, cover, and steam until soft, about 5 minutes. Combine the beets, apples, and ginger in a food processor. Puree until smooth, adding water a tablespoon at a time as necessary for the right consistency, before feeding baby.

To store: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze individual portions for up to 3 months.

11-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

EDAMAME-AVOCADO PUREE

(MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP)

This mildly flavored, vitamin B12 power puree introduces baby to the flavor of edamame, which will be a favorite finger food later. Steam the edamame until very tender to get a smooth puree.

1 cup frozen, shelled, unsalted edamame

½ ripe avocado

Bring an inch or so of water to a boil in a pan fitted with a steamer. Place the edamame in the steamer, cover, and steam until the beans are soft when you pierce them with a knife and the skins are loose, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the edamame to a food processor. Process, adding a few tablespoons of water at a time as needed to get a smooth consistency. Add the avocado and process until smooth before feeding baby.

To store: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

12-month-baby Solid Foods Sample Menu

CURRIED CAULIFLOWER-POTATO MASH(MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP)

Don’t overlook cauliflower! This humble vegetable may be pale but it’s a surprising source of vitamins C and K, and it gives this smooth potato puree extra nutrients and flavor. Be sure to steam the cauliflower and potatoes until very tender so they are easily mashed. This delicious dish also gives baby a healthy dose of zinc from the potato.

¾ pound cauliflower florets, cut into ½-inch chunks

¼ pound Yukon gold or other thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch

chunks

¼ teaspoon mild curry powder

Bring several inches of water to a boil in a pan fitted with a steamer. Place the cauliflower and potatoes in the steamer, cover, and steam until both vegetables are tender when you pierce them with a knife, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and add the curry powder; mash until smooth—or transfer to a food processor and pulse, adding water, a few tablespoons at a time, as necessary to get the consistency you want—before feeding baby.

To store: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze individual portions for up to 3 months.

 

 *Source:"What To Feed Your Baby & Toddler"  by NICOLE M. AVENA, PhD (Author)


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Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip
Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip

Mombella 3-in-one Clownfish Soothing & Pop Fidget Sensory Teether Toy For 3M+ Babies With A Free Clip

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