When Can Baby's Eat Baby Food?

When Can Baby's Eat Baby Food?

When Can Baby's Eat Baby Food?

If you think your little one is ready to embark on their next great adventure and begin eating solid foods, we're here to answer all your questions about baby food.

Let's tackle when your baby is ready for baby food, what they can eat, and what foods you should avoid.

Is your baby ready for baby food?

Baby's and newborns only need breast milk or formula to stay healthy and grow.

The CDC recommends introducing solid foods to your baby when they are six months old. Six months is the ideal time to start food introduction!

There are a few common indicators that show your baby is ready to start eating solid foods. The indicators and signs show if they are developmentally ready.

Your baby:

  • can bring items to their mouth

  • controls their head and neck

  • tries to reach and grab small things like toys or food

  • can sit up by themself or with support

  • swallow their food, and not just push food back onto the chin

  • can move food from the back of the tongue to swallow

feeding little girl baby food

    How to introduce baby food: the basics

    When you are ready to start the new food adventure, you can introduce single-ingredient foods (with no pepper or salt).

    Introducing single ingredients will show you if your babe has food allergies or any other problems with a food. Wait three to five days before introducing the next new food. During the three to five days, check for any reactions, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or rashes.

    Many parents choose to start with a single grain, iron-fortified baby cereal. It's an accessible item to grab at the store to start the journey. Rice cereal is another introductory food many parents choose.

    When your little guy or gal gets the hang of eating their first solid food, you can start introducing others. Some great items are pureed vegetables, fruit, meat, yogurt, lentils, or beans. Always introduce a single ingredient at a time.

    Babies eat baby food! What does this mean? Never give them solid chunks or large pieces of food.

    Which foods to introduce

    Always, always give them completely pureed foods. Make sure it has a smooth consistency with no chunks! This ensures there is no choking hazard, and they can eat and swallow the food independently.

    Foods safe to introduce:

    • Applesauce

    • Avocados

    • Bananas

    • Butternut squash

    • Carrots

    • Grains (rice, barley, or oat)

    • Meats like chicken or turkey, pureed well

    • Peaches

    • Peas

    • Pears

    • Pumpkin

    • Sweet potatoes

    Foods to avoid:

    Always avoid chunks or pieces of food that may cause choking.

    • Chips

    • Hot dogs

    • Juice

    • Nuts

    • Popcorn

    • Pretzels

    • Raisins

    • Raw fruits or vegetables

    • Seeds

    • Sticky foods (for example, marshmallows)

    Food preparation tips:

    • Puree or mash fruits, vegetables, and other foods until they are smooth

    • Grind (finely) and then cook whole grain kernels of rice, wheat, grain, and barley

    • Cook food until you can easily mash it with a fork

    • Cook hard fruits and vegetables until you can easily mash them

    • Mix cereals (and other mashed cooked grains) with water, breast milk, or formula to make it smooth enough for your baby to swallow

    • Cut all food into thin, thin slices

    • Remove everything from meat and fish before cooking (fat, bones, and skin)

    baby food

      How much solid food should your baby eat?

      While you're introducing solid foods to your baby, you want it to be a fun learning process for them. You want your babe to eat solid foods and enjoy the new foods!

      So how much should your baby eat every day? Start small, with 1 to 2 tablespoons one time every day. Once you've introduced a new solid food, give them their standard breast milk or formula, so they are happy and satisfied.

      When you feel things are going well, and your baby is enjoying the food, you can increase the feedings to 2 to 3 times per day.

      You'll want to work up to feeding them a small jar (about 4 ounces or 1 cup) of strained baby food with every meal. During this process, your baby will start drinking less. This is natural and shows they are transitioning to eating more solid food.

      Don't stop offering breast milk or formula feeding, though, and they will continue to benefit from both as they consume more solid foods.

       

      When can my baby have finger foods?

      The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing finger foods when your baby can sit up on their own and bring items and hands to their mouth. While they learn how to feed themself, only feed them baby foods that are soft, easy to swallow, and always cut food into small pieces. A few examples of safe, soft foods are small pieces of banana, and well-cooked, finely chopped chicken, potatoes, or peas. Introduce solid foods slowly

      Avoid giving them any food that requires chewing. For example, never feed your little one hot dogs, chunky pieces of meat or cheese, raw vegetables, chunks of fruit, or popcorn.

      What about food allergies?

      After introducing the "safe" or "standard" baby foods that aren't linked to allergies, it's time to introduce possible allergens.

      What are some common food allergies? Cow's milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, sesame, and soy.

      The CDC does not recommend introducing cow's milk or fortified soy beverages until babies reach 12 months old.

      If you're ready to introduce your baby to foods that may cause allergies, you should read How to Introduce Peanut Butter to Your Baby.

      Duchess and Fox

      At Duchess and Fox, we love to help you, and your little one enjoy new experiences. If your munchkin has explored all types of new foods and is preparing to eat solid food, we have a parent helper that can keep them occupied, fed, and happy.

      The Silicone Food & Fruit Feeder Teether is a safe teething tool. But it's not just for babies who are teething! The teether can hold small, soft pieces of food that healthy little mouths can pull out. It's perfect for any fussy babies who are always hungry or just little ones who love a snack in-between feeding times.

      We love supporting little ones on their growing journey. If stylish shoes are more your thing, view the adorable collection of baby mocassins. We are just as obsessed as everyone else.

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