Starting Solid Foods

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Breast milk is all your baby will need until at

least 4 months of age. There does come a time,

when breast milk will no longer supply all of your

baby’s nutrition needs. Full term babies will

start to require iron from other sources by 6 – 9

months of age.

Some babies that aren’t started on solid foods by

the age of 9 – 12 months may have a great level of

difficulty accepting solid foods. It’s actually

a developmental milestone when your child starts

solid foods – as he is now growing up.

When to start

The ideal time to begin solid foods is when the

baby shows interest in starting. Some babies

will show interest in solid food when it’s on

their parents’ plates, as early as 4 months of

age. By 5 – 6 months, most babies will reach out

and try to grab the food. When the baby starts to

reach for food, it’s normally the time to go

ahead and give him some.

Sometimes, it may be a better idea to start food

earlier. When a baby seems to get hungry or once

weight gain isn’t continuing at the desired rate,

it may be good to start solid foods as early as

3 months. It may be possible however, to continue

breast feeding alone and have the baby less

hungry or growing more rapidly.

Breast fed babies will digest solid foods better

and earlier than artificially fed babies because

the breast milk will contain enzymes which help

to digest fats, proteins, and starch. Breast

fed babies will also have had a variety of

different tastes in their life, since the flavors

of many foods the mother eats will pass into her

milk.

Introducing solid foods

When the baby begins to take solid foods at the

age of 5 – 6 months, there is very little difference

what he starts will or what order it is introduced.

You should however, avoid spicy foods or highly

allergenic foods at first, although if your

baby reaches for the potato on your plate, you

should let him have it if it isn’t too hot.

Offer your baby the foods that he seems to be

interested in. Allow your baby to enjoy the food

and don’t worry too much about how much he takes

at first, as much of it may end up on the floor

or in his hair anyhow.

The easiest way to get iron for your baby at 5 –

6 months of age is by giving him meat. Cereal for

infants has iron, although it is poorly absorbed

and may cause your baby to get constipated.

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