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Feeding Your Baby Solid Food 101


Deciding what to feed your baby for the first 4 months of life is relatively simple because you have 2 choices.  Breast milk or formula.  You can either feed from a bottle or breastfeed.  Not too complicated right?  After that is when feeding your baby gets a little more complicated.  Should you start with rice cereal, or fruits and veggies?  What about whole grains?  Protein foods?  There are lots of decisions to be made.

Feeding Your Baby Solid Food 101. Here's everything you need to know about the solid foods transition!

I am going to share with you the current information from sound sources regarding introducing solids to your baby.


When to Introduce Solids

When to Introduce Solids

What Foods to Start With

How to Prepare the Food

4-6 monthsSingle-grain cereals Fortified cereals give your baby iron. A baby is born with a natural reserve of iron that begins to deplete around 6 months of age.Mix with baby formula or breast milk, or water on occasion.
6-8 monthsPureed or strained fruits and vegetables. Bananas, pears, apples, apricots, prunes, avocados, carrots, peas, potatoes, squash Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables, then bake, boil, or steam until soft. You can puree in either a blender or a food processor, or use a small hand food mill; add a little liquid like breast milk, baby formula, or water at first. Make it watery at first, then use less liquid as your baby gets used to solid foods.
6-8 monthsProtein Foods: Pea-sized pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, or other meats, or boneless fish; beans such as lentils, black, red, or pinto beans.Cut meat or fish into very small pieces; cook and mash.  Cook and cut up or mash beans.
8-10 monthsMashed fruits and vegetablesNo need to puree; just cook foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes until soft, or mash up soft foods like bananas and avocados.
8-10 monthsFinger foods like small o-shaped cereals, teething crackers, or small pieces of cooked pasta Cut up food to make sure the pieces are small enough for your baby to swallow without choking.
8-10 monthsDairy: small amounts of yogurt, cottage cheese, or any pasteurized cheese Cut cheese into small pieces.
8-10 months EggsScramble, or hard-boil and cut into small pieces.
10-12 monthsBaby can try eating most of the foods you eat now, if they are cut up or mashed properly so that he can safely chew and swallow.

Unless you have a strong family history of allergies, the American Academy of Pediatrics now says there is no need to avoid peanut products, eggs, wheat, or fish until after one year, although many pediatricians are still cautious about peanuts and shellfish due to the strong allergic reactions sometimes associated with them.

Avoid whole cow’s milk and honey until at least one year. Honey can cause a dangerous illness called infant botulism.
As your baby gets more teeth and learns to chew more effectively, he will begin to be able to eat larger pieces of food. Continue to monitor his chewing carefully, and when in doubt, cut pieces smaller than you think necessary. Be especially careful with round, firm foods like grapes and hot dogs, which pose a particular choking hazard to babies. Chop these into very small pieces.


More Tips on Feeding Baby

 How to Know When your Baby is Ready to Start Solids:

  • Your baby should be able to sit up with support
  • Your baby should be able to turn his head away, and make chewing motions.
  • Your baby should also be past the reflex that makes him spit out anything but liquid

Keep Going With Breast Milk or Formula

Babies usually don’t eat a lot of solid foods right away. So think of solids as something you’re adding to your baby’s diet for development,  not as a replacement for breast milk or formula.

Do I Have to Start With Rice Cereal?

No.  There is not a rule about the exact food you should start with your baby.  With a single-grain, iron-fortified infant cereal — such as rice cereal — it may be easier to notice any food allergies than with a cereal made from several grains. You may want to mix it with formula or breast milk to get a runny consistency at first, until your baby gets used to the new texture.

Start Fruits and Vegetables One at a Time

Fruits, vegetables, grains, and even pureed meats can all be given to your baby. You may want to introduce them one at a time to see how your baby reacts. If your baby won’t eat them at first, try again later. Tell your pediatrician if you think your baby might have any food allergies.

How Much Should I Feed My Baby?

Your baby will let you know when they are done eating. Your baby might swat at the spoon, turn his head away, zip his lips tightly, spit out whatever you put in his mouth, or cry. Don’t make him eat more than he wants. Kids will eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. Honoring those instincts may help them avoid overeating now and when they get older



Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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I really learned a lot reading this post. One question, so when feed an infant and they are not eating much and are fussy, we shouldn’t worry to much and just stop for a little while?

Yes. Babies and children are really good at regulating their intake. When they are full they will stop eating. From my experience, when they seem fussy and are not interested in more food, then definitely stop feeding them.

Really awesome one..it define how to care baby feeding with time.they are most need at their baby feeds.thanx for such a nice post share with us.

This is the first time I have ever been disappointed by one of your posts. Almost every medical and health organization in the world says to not introduce baby to solids prior to 6 months of age. Additionally, there is tons of newer research to support skipping rice cereal and other grains because of baby’s developing gut (and the lack of nutritional value in rice cereal, especially). Babies cannot properly process grains this early in life. I love and adore this website and the wealth of information you provide for raising healthy children. This post really misses the mark.

Sorry you were disappointed with this post. All of the information we have says between 4 and 6 months. Here are a few resources for your review:


From this research article: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/aap-clinical-report-diagnosis-and-prevention-of-iron-2010.pdf The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for a minimum of 4 months but preferably for 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding for more than 6 months has been associated with increased risk of IDA at 9 months of age.

Another article: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-food-nutrition-9/starting-solid-food

We would love to see some of the research you have though!

My wife began feeding my 5-month-old solid food. Her doctor told me she should eat every four hours, but she refuses to eat until six or eight hours after the last bottle. Even then she’ll only eat very little. How many hours can a baby go without food?

How should my wife arrange her meals?

What should my wife be feeding her?

Hi Steve, thanks for reaching out. First, I want to urge you to take your questions and concerns to your baby’s pediatrician directly. But I will also give you my perspective as well:

Typically, babies do not need to begin experimenting with solid foods until they are at least six months old. I would feel no rush to start solids at this stage. Even after six months, some babies are slow to take to solid foods, only picking up speed at 7, 8, or 9 months old.

No matter when exactly you start solids, babies should still get the majority of their calories from breast milk or infant formula up until around their first birthday. You can offer small amounts of solid food once or twice a day after your baby’s breast- or bottle-feeding. And then it’s just about listening to baby’s cues and increasing the amount when she’s ready. I hope this helps! And don’t be afraid to talk about these ideas with your doctor.

Cloe you are damn right about these books. I’ve just finished reading about introducing solid foods and finally some good info in one place with month by month schedule!