Babies trying food for the first time
Feeding Your 4- to 7-Month-Old (for Parents)
Most babies this age are ready to try solid foods. Experts recommend starting solid foods when a baby is about 6 months old, depending on the baby's readiness and nutritional needs.
Be sure to check with your doctor before giving any solid foods.
Is My Baby Ready to Eat Solid Foods?
How can you tell if your baby is ready for solids? Here are a few hints:
- Does your baby swallow food or push it out of their mouth? Babies have a natural tongue-thrust reflex that pushes food back out. Wait until this reflex disappears (typically when babies are 4–6 months old).
- Can your baby support their own head? To eat solid food, an infant needs good head and neck control and should be able to sit up.
- Is your baby interested in food? Babies who stare, reach and grab, and open their mouths for food are ready to try solid foods.
If your doctor gives the go-ahead but your baby seems frustrated or uninterested in solid foods, try waiting a few days before trying again. Breast milk and formula will still meet nutritional needs as your baby learns to eat solid foods. But after 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — like iron and zinc — that solid foods provide.
Do not add cereal or other food to your baby's bottle because it can lead to too much weight gain.
Watch for signs that your child is hungry or full. Respond to these cues and let your child stop when full. A child who is full may suck with less enthusiasm, stop, or turn away from the breast or the bottle. With solid foods, they may turn away, refuse to open their mouth, or spit the food out.
How Should I Start Feeding My Baby Solid Foods?
When your baby is ready and the doctor says it’s OK to try solid foods, pick a time of day when your baby is not tired or cranky. You want your baby to be a little hungry, but not so hungry that they’re upset. So you might want to give your baby a little breast milk or formula first.
Have your baby sit supported in your lap or in a high chair with a safety strap.
Most babies' first food is iron-fortified infant single-grain cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Place the spoon near your baby's lips, and let the baby smell and taste it. Don't be surprised if this first spoonful is rejected. Wait a minute and try again. Most food offered to your baby at this age will end up on the baby's chin, bib, or high-chair tray. Again, this is just an introduction.
When your little one gets the hang of eating cereal off a spoon, it may be time to try single-ingredient puréed meat, vegetables, or fruit. The order in which you give them doesn't matter, but go slow. Offer foods that are high in iron and zinc — such as meat, poultry, eggs, and beans — especially if your baby is breastfeeding. Try one food at a time and wait several days before trying something else new. This will let you identify any foods that your baby may be allergic to.
Which Foods Should I Avoid?
Foods that are more likely to cause allergies can be among the foods you introduce to your baby. These include peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, seafood, nuts, wheat, and soy. Waiting to start these foods does not prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about food allergies, especially if any close family members have allergies, food allergies, or allergy-related conditions, like eczema or asthma.
Infants with severe eczema or egg allergies are more likely to have allergies to peanuts. Talk to your doctor about how and when to introduce these foods to your child.
Possible signs of food allergy or allergic reactions include:
- bloating or an increase in gassiness
Get medical care right away if your baby has a more severe allergic reaction, like hives, drooling, wheezing, or trouble breathing.
If your child has any type of reaction to a food, don't offer that food again until you talk with your doctor.
Babies shouldn't have:
- foods with added sugars and no-calorie sweeteners
- high-sodium foods
- honey, until after the first birthday. It can cause botulism in babies.
- unpasteurized juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese
- regular cow's milk or soy beverages before 12 months instead of breast milk or formula. It’s OK to offer pasteurized yogurt and cheese.
- foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn, and nuts
Tips for Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods
With the hectic pace of family life, most parents try commercially prepared baby foods at first. They come in small, convenient containers, and manufacturers must meet strict safety and nutrition guidelines.
If you prepare your own baby foods at home, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Follow the rules for food safety, including washing your hands well and often.
- To preserve the nutrients in your baby's food, cook it in ways that keep the most vitamins and minerals. Try steaming or baking fruits and vegetables instead of boiling, which washes away the nutrients.
- Freeze portions that you aren't going to use right away.
- Whether you buy the baby food or make it yourself, texture and consistency are important. At first, babies should have finely puréed single-ingredient foods. (Just applesauce, for example, not apples and pears mixed together.)
- After your baby is eating individual foods, it's OK to offer a puréed mix of two foods. As babies get older, they will learn to eat a greater variety of tastes and textures.
- If you use prepared baby food in jars, spoon some of the food into a bowl to feed your baby. Do not feed your baby right from the jar — bacteria from the baby's mouth can contaminate the remaining food. If you refrigerate opened jars of baby food, it's best to throw away anything not eaten within a day or two.
- Around 6 months of age is a good time for your baby to try a cup. You might need to try a few cups to find one that works for your child. Use water at first to avoid messy clean-ups. Do not give juice to infants younger than 12 months.
Over the next few months, introduce a variety of foods from all the food groups. If your baby doesn't seem to like something, don’t give up. It can take 8 to 10 tries or more before babies learn to like new foods.
When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition
For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old. Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.
- Sits up alone or with support.
- Is able to control head and neck.
- Opens the mouth when food is offered.
- Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
- Brings objects to the mouth.
- Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
- Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.
What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.
If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U. S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.
How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?
Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.
Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.
Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.
Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.
Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.
Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.
How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?
At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.
Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.
Here are some tips for preparing foods:
- Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
- Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
- Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
- Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
- Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
- Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
- Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
- Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
- Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
- Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.
Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.
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10 videos with funny children's meals
Eating for babies is extremely interesting and exciting. There are so many things you can try for the first time! And if parents allow you to eat by yourself, then in general - expanse and pasta all over the kitchen, beauty! There are a lot of videos on the Internet with how children are funny trying to have lunch on their own or trying a new dish. After all, they have such direct faces and such sincere emotions: joy, surprise, disgust and even fear. nine0003
We have collected 10 short videos for you in which children eat and react emotionally to food. Happy viewing!
Child tastes lemon
YouTube is full of videos of children tasting lemon for the first time and their “sour faces” while doing so. But we decided to show you one of the few videos when the kid liked this fruit. He even asks for more and laughs out loud. Don't believe? See for yourself!
First life bacon
Bacon - maybe not very useful, but very tasty product. It is less popular in our country, but in the West it is often included in a traditional breakfast along with scrambled eggs and beans. Therefore, there are videos about how children first begin to absorb these fried pieces of meat. This kid liked the bacon, however, this is not surprising!
What is a steak?
Let's continue the meat theme. This toddler was offered to try a piece of steak and his reaction was recorded on video. At first, this seemed suspicious to the child, and he didn’t really want to risk himself like that, but in the end he decided. And he liked it. nine0003
Warheads are popular in America. These sweets are either terribly sour or terribly spicy, in general, something very much for everyone. Eating them very often comes across on YouTube, so it’s quite difficult to get past this topic. Here, three-year-old Briden tastes these candies with a surprise. But he was warned!
The most disliked food
But food is not always delightful, of course, much more often children recoil in horror and think: “What is this?!”. Toddlers don't like many vegetables, but broccoli is at the top of the "I won't eat that" list. Remember how Riley from Inside Out tried to feed her? And here parents treat a very small baby with this green mass. nine0003
Craving for something salty
We've already tried sour, we've tasted delicious, it's time to move on to something salty. In this video, the kid tries pickles and reacts very emotionally to this new taste. True, there is while continuing.
Child and avocado
Sometimes food can cause amazement or even horror, as in this case when a child is fed avocados. Of course, he obediently eats, but in his eyes is all the pain and suffering of this world. After all, for the first time parents deceive a child, they said that it was delicious! nine0003
This video is not about a child trying something new. More like something old. For the umpteenth time already. And he was tired. He is tired of this life and this watermelon, but he continues to eat as long as he can. If you can't put your baby to sleep, try watermelon - judging by this video, it helps!
We are ourselves!
Just a video about how children eat on their own. They're not that bad, right? After all, this is the first time that mom gave them a spoon and said: "Now by yourself." And this spoon also has two sides, how to figure out which one is? nine0003
We saved this video for last, because you must have seen it. And if not, don't be scared - it's just beets that the children decided to eat without the help of mom and dad. They obviously scared each other by this, but it’s quite difficult to keep from laughing while watching.
Interesting on the topic:
6 mistakes that parents make when feeding their children
Cakes with cartoons
what to do at home and why it happens
You can watch fire burning, water flowing and how parents try to feed their child forever. Because such battles between adults and children occur from generation to generation and last indefinitely. However, take a closer look: even in ideal “advertising” families, children express their “phi” regarding the dishes presented by their parents. And what can we say about ordinary us! nine0003
You can understand the importance of good nutrition for children by looking at pediatric guidelines. Doctors have even developed a special concept of programming nutrition in the first 1000 days (1), according to which, in the period from conception to 2 years of age, against the background of the maximum growth rate and the greatest plasticity of metabolic processes, human health is formed. Of course, in the future, rational nutrition is also necessary. Alas, this cannot be explained to children - other approaches are needed.
Why does the child eat poorly - and in general, how much is needed "according to the norm"? What are the consequences of poor appetite and how to increase it? And the classic question: do you need to eat up? In these and other important points, Komsomolskaya Pravda will help you figure it out with our expert.
How much a child should eat at different ages
With food, a person receives the necessary "building" substances for the growth, development and proper functioning of all organs and systems of the body. So how much should a child eat to be smart, strong and beautiful? nine0003
According to the recommendations of the Union of Pediatricians of Russia, babies 1-1.5 years old should eat 1000-1200 g per day. Children under 3 years old - 1200-1500 g, while at one meal the child should eat no more than 300-350 ml . Further, of course, these norms are adjusted.
But in the matter of nutrition, it is not the quantity that matters, but the quality. In other words, calorie content, the ratio of macronutrients, the saturation of food with vitamins, minerals, amino acids.