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Introducing Solids 101

Janel F.
JANEL F.
Registered Dietitian
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Trying to get your little one started on solids? We're here to support you, start to finish. Get expert advice on what snacks to stock up on and much, much more! Led by Pediatric Nutritionist, Janel Funk.

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Message Janel
JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
8.5 mo old doesn’t really like solids
LAUREN, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Janel,

My 8.5 month old daughter is having a hard time taking to solids. We've tried a wide variety of foods since she turned 6 months (fruits, veggies, dairy, protein, etc.) and the only food she'll consistently eat right now are hard, crunchy foods like Cheerios or yogurt/fruit melts. I thought that maybe she just didn't like the texture of purées when we started so I have given her more regular table food (always cooked so it’s softer and safer for her to eat), but she's still not a huge fan. She’ll feed herself and get the food in her mouth and chew it but most times ends up spitting it back out. Even with the crunchier items she tends to like more, she never eats much. So I'm not sure if it's a taste or a texture issue or something else. Any suggestions on how to encourage her to eat more? She’s still nursing 6x a day and I’d like to wean her by a year so I’d love for her to start taking more solids so I can slowly cut down on nursing sessions over the next few months instead of stopping cold turkey when the time comes. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

Thanks,
Lauren

Janel
JANEL

Hi Lauren,

I'm sure this is frustrating for you! Some babies do just take a little longer to accept solids, so what you're doing is fantastic by providing her a variety of tastes and textures. And, it's great she's feeding herself, chewing, smelling, touching, and tasting as all of that exposure is important. I want you to remember the phrase, "Under 1, just for fun!" This means that under the age of 1, solids are more for exposure and getting your child used to solids and milk is still the primary source of calories and nutrition. After their first birthday, they start to cut back slightly on milk intake, and solids become the primary source of nutrition/calories. So even though you've been doing a couple months of solids and she's not progressing as you'd like, right now it's less about getting entire meals into her tummy as it is about exposure. That being said, it's possible she has some sensory issues going on that are preventing her from fully enjoying and eating solids. It might be worth checking in with Early Intervention to get an eval, but more likely than not she's just taking a little longer to adapt to new foods and textures. I love this resource for more information on feeding/sensory issues: https://yourkidstable.com/baby-wont-eat-solids/

When she's eating and spitting out food, is she doing it and laughing? Looking to you for a reaction? Are you reacting?

Regarding weaning, remember what I said about milk intake not decreasing before they turn 1. So if you're planning on offering less breast milk, you do need to make sure it's being replaced by equal amounts of formula, or cow's milk after her 1st birthday. I look forward to hearing from you to see if I can help tackle this some more.

MARISA

I used to mix my babies food with breast milk to get him to accept it in tbr beg - you can always try that

JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Berries :)
MEGHA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 12 MONTH OLD

Hi there, my 6 month old seems to be really happy with solids so far - hasn’t really tried something he didn’t love.
I was just wondering when it was safe to give puréed mango, strawberries, kiwi, or melon?

So far he’s had: Sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, avocado, banana, potato, broccoli, peas, apples, and blueberries.

Today for the first time he had turkey and sweet potato purée and seem to like that as well. :)

Solids are so fun!

Janel
JANEL

I'm so glad solids are going well for you and your baby! Generally, fruits like mango, melon, and kiwi are held off until after your baby has accepted a variety of other foods (as he has!) because these more acidic fruits can sometimes cause stomach upset or diaper rash due to baby's developing digestive tract. But since your baby has already enjoyed a variety of foods, I see no reason to hold off any longer! You may notice seeds from berries or kiwi in your baby's stool, but there is no cause for alarm. Strawberries can be allergenic for some babies, but the recommendations for introducing potentially allergenic foods into your baby's diet have been updated to state there is no strong reason to delay introducing these foods into your baby's diet. If you have a family history of any known food allergies, or you're concerned, it's always best to check with your pediatrician to be sure.

MEGHA

Thank you! I am so excited! I have read so many things that say “8-10” months for tropical fruits but I didn’t believe that too much.

I think he is going to love love love these fruits!

Thanks again!

JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Mom of a 6 month old ..
KIMBERLY , PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

How often should I introduce a new food? And how many times a day should he be on baby food? We just started purées, he’s exclusively breast fed.

Janel
JANEL

At 6 months and just starting solids, I recommend introducing a new food every 2-4 days. Not only does this increase exposure to the new food, but it also allows you to detect any potential allergic reactions to the new food before adding another food into the mix. For the first month or so of starting solids, most people are doing just 1 time/day, and advance that to twice a day around 7-8 months, and increase to 3 meals and 1-2 snacks/day by their first birthday. But, it's most important you watch your baby's cues. I remember eating a banana in front of my 7 month old twins and they were squealing they wanted it so badly, I knew it was time to introduce a second meal to the day! Keep in mind you do not want to cut back on how much you're nursing your baby, as milk is still the primary source of calories/nutrients under the age of 1.

KIMBERLY

Thanks so much !