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Introducing Solids

Vanessa T.
VANESSA T.
Pediatric Dietitian
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Are you wondering when is the right time to introduce solids to your baby? Or which foods are best to start with? Or maybe you are wondering if your child is getting the right nutrition? Registered Dietitian, Vanessa, can help you decide on the right foods for your baby.

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VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
More solids?
MEGHA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 13 MONTH OLD

Hi there, my son is 8 months and has 4 bottles a day about 28 oz total, and 3 meals a day about 6oz total. How do I know when to increase solids and cut back milk volume?
Also, I’m starting with some finger foods now. Penne noodles chopped up, Couscous, toast, steamed carrots — any other suggestions??
Thank you!

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Megha,

Let your son tell you when he is ready to increase solids and decrease bottles. Usually as babies get better at eating, they will naturally eat more and drink less formula. At 8 months, it is probably a bit early for him to be able to eat enough to start replacing bottles, but around 10 months you will likely notice a change in how much he wants and what he craves.

Finger foods are a fun way to increase variety! Any soft veggie or fruit works well. Avocado and banana pieces are a good place to start.

Have fun!

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Rice cereal
JENNY

Is rice cereal still the best 1st food?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Jenny,

Great question! Rice cereal has long been the most common food to introduce first for babies. That's because it is easy to digest, is iron fortified and poses low risk for choking and allergic reaction. More recently, however, studies have found higher levels of arsenic in rice than other grains.

Many food companies are now beginning to test and limit the amount of aresnic in rice cereals, and it is still considered safe to give your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends introducing a variety of grains so that rice is not the only source of food for your infant. Other options like infant multigrain and oat cereals have less arsenic and are good choices for your infant to try.

Fruits and vegetables are also appropriate first foods! You should introduce new foods slowly, incorporating just one new option at a time for your baby. Don't worry too much about the very first food you offer your baby as the goal should be to offer several new foods from all different food groups in the first few weeks of introducing solid foods. The only foods you should avoid are those with high potential for allergy (peanuts, eggs, etc), honey, cow's milk and foods that could cause a choking risk. Anything else is fair game!

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Giving the same food for days
CINDY

I was reading that it’s best to start a baby on one food and give it to them for 2 days before switching to another food. Is that because of potential allergies?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Cindy,

Yes, I recommend spacing out new foods so that if your child does have an allergic reaction, you will know exactly what food caused it. I would recommend trying a new food for 2-3 days before introducing another new food. Start with a very small portion and keep offering at meals throughout the day in larger portions if your baby likes the food. If there are no signs of allergy (rash, hives, vomiting, wheezing, etc.), then it is safe to try another new food.

Thanks!
Vanessa