Babies often begin to show an interest in solid food around the time their first tiny teeth appear (or between 4 and 6 months of age). But if your baby is gaining weight normally, there’s no need to rush to add solid food to her diet. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breast milk be the only source of nutrition for the first 6 months of life.
Sometime around 6 months of age, you’ll know he's ready to try a little fruit or veggie puree when he:
- Sits up mostly on his own and can hold his head up for long periods of time
- Opens his mouth while you’re eating, watches you closely as you eat or tries to grab food from your plate
- Remains hungry between breast or bottle feedings
Even so, she may spit out her first taste of food. If the second and third bites cause less of a reaction, she's getting used to the taste and consistency, and could be ready for meals in addition to breast milk or formula.
Keep providing breast milk or formula, since this is where your baby will still get most of his nutrition during the first year of life, even after solid foods are introduced.
Though single-grain cereals have traditionally been introduced first, pediatricians now say it really doesn’t matter what the first solid foods are. If you’ve added cereals to your baby’s daily meals, next try a teaspoon of mashed vegetables; babies often go for squash or sweet potato.
Mashed fruits—applesauce and bananas with no added sugar—could come next, followed by strained meats, if you plan to have meat in your baby’s diet. Focus on whole foods rather than processed snacks.
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