Introducing baby's first foods
- Single fruit and vegetable baby foods are typically baby's first foods introduced.
- Wait about three days before introducing each new food to watch for any sensitivities.
- Feed to your baby’s fullness cues, not to finish the bowl.
- Offering a wide variety of foods can help establish good eating habits.
Fruit and vegetable baby food
Once your baby has mastered single-grain infant cereals
, he may be ready to add single fruit and vegetable baby foods
. Pureed veggies and fruits supply new flavors to his world. Baby foods are just the right consistency for his practicing tongue movements and for advancing his eating skills. Available in many different varieties, baby foods also come in organic versions.
When introducing your baby's first foods
, offer one fruit or veggie baby food (not a mixed variety) and wait about three days before introducing a new food. This helps you determine if your baby is sensitive to a particular food. Serve mixed fruit or vegetable baby food combos only after he has tried each of the foods individually.
Helpful tips on starting baby's first foods:
- Allergy symptoms may occur within minutes of eating a particular food or they may not appear for hours or even days. This is why it is best to allow about three days between new foods to watch for any possible allergic reactions.
- Some symptoms to watch for include: a skin rash, diarrhea, congestion or vomiting.
- If any of these symptoms occur, stop the new food and call your pediatrician.
Developing a taste for new foods
Eating solid foods is a new and unusual experience for your baby. Continuing to offer your child new flavors and textures will eventually make mealtime enjoyable for both of you. Relax and enjoy sharing all these new discoveries.
Simple tips to make it easy for baby:
- Breast- or bottle-feed first so he is not overly hungry, then offer the solid food. It is not necessary to decrease the amount of breastmilk or formula you offer beforehand.
- Pick a time of day when your baby is happy, wide-awake and you don’t feel rushed.
- Let him explore the feel and aroma of each new food in his hands. This is both fun and messy.
- Start with a few teaspoons at one or two of his feedings and let him tell you he has had enough to eat. Turning his head away from the spoon is a good signal that it’s time to stop.
- Feed your baby's first foods from a familiar, colorful bowl with a baby spoon, not from the jar, tub or pouch.
- Don’t worry if he does not want to eat very much at first. This is a time for him to explore new tastes and textures.
Simple tips to make it easy for you:
- Spread a large towel or old sheet under the high chair. Spills land on the cover, not the floor, making cleanup a breeze.
- Keep a roll of paper towels handy for spills.
- Maintain your sense of humor and enjoy watching him make some tasty discoveries.
Did you know?
Wait about three days before introducing a new fruit or vegetable baby food, and it can take up to 10 tries with a new food before your baby decides to give it a go. Always speak with your pediatrician about when to start baby foods.
Helping baby discover new tastes
- Which to serve first—fruit or vegetable baby food? No hard rule applies, so do what feels right for you and your baby. He is used to the sweet flavor of breastmilk, but that doesn’t mean you have to serve apples before peas. Either way, it can take up to 10 tries with a new food before he decides to give it a go.
- If you’re using baby food packed in a pouch, be sure to squeeze it into a colorful bowl or onto a spoon for feeding so that is it familiar to your baby, signaling it is time to eat.
- Growth spurts will determine his hunger and change as he develops. Don’t insist on him finishing the bowl, but rather, let his fullness cues be the guide.
- Offer a wide variety of foods so he can experience different tastes. This may help him to be more accepting of new foods. Just be sure to give him ample time to adjust to the food between each new food introduced.
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