How often introduce new foods baby

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.

Your child:

  • 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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Waiting period between introducing new foods to babies may be outdated advice, study say

A one-year-old baby eats his lunch of chicken and fruits in Vancouver, B. C., in this file photo taken September 30, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO -- Experts are questioning existing guidelines on how to best introduce new foods to infants graduating to solids, according to a new study, which suggests those recommendations may be outdated and even potentially harmful.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that parents introduce new single-ingredients foods one at a time and wait three to five days between each one before trying a new food to monitor for any kind of reaction.

But that practice is being called into question in a new study that surveyed 563 health practitioners -- the vast majority of whom were pediatricians -- who provide care to babies less than a year old. The survey, which focused on examining current practices by pediatric healthcare workers and was conducted in early 2019, found many of the respondents were not following AAP and CDC guidelines, and instead were recommending a shorter timeline based on clinical experience.

"There is now evidence that food diversity helps to decrease the development of allergic diseases in infants, and early peanut introduction is an important peanut allergy prevention strategy,” said lead author Waheeda Samady, a Chicago doctor and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, in a statement.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed recommended waiting less than three days to parents. Among that group, 27 per cent recommended introducing one new food a day, while 20 per cent suggested waiting two days. Ten percent felt that introducing multiple foods in a single day was not an issue.

About 30 per cent told parents to wait three days, while just over eight per cent recommended waiting more than three days. Researchers did not find any major associations between food introduction practices and the demographics of the health practitioners.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed -- just over 69 per cent -- said they would adjust their recommendations, however, if the baby had a greater risk of developing food allergies due to a sibling or other family member with allergies, or if the infant had moderate to severe eczema.

Despite the caution around allergy risks, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases currently recommends that infants with atopic dermatitis, or eczema, be given foods that contain peanuts between four and six months. At the same time, peanuts should only be introduced after a number of other new foods have been given first.

“If infants are required to wait three to five days between the introduction of each new food, peanut introduction may be delayed past the recommended ages,” researchers wrote in the study.

Just over 55 per cent of practitioners believed the waiting period between new foods was helpful for families, researchers found.

Even so, more than 55 per cent of those surveyed reported having seen food-related allergic reactions in less than 5 per cent of infant patients, while nearly 20 per cent reported seeing it occur in five to 10 per cent of babies.

“In practice, this recommendation may have a deleterious effect of limiting early infant food diversity, which has been reported to be associated with an increased risk of pediatric asthma and allergies,” the paper said.

“Introducing a more diverse diet in the first year of life has been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of atopic dermatitis, asthma, and food allergies up to six years of age.”

Current guidelines mean that a baby is introduced to just five to seven new food items a month, which limits their food exposure. The study noted that previous research had found that introducing certain foods later, such as potatoes, oats, rye, wheat, meat, fish, and eggs, was directly related to sensitivity to food allergens, and that earlier introductions were tied to a lower risk of allergy-related reactions like asthma and eczema.

More than half of those surveyed also felt there was a need for more training on the issue.

Close to 47 per cent of said they recommended infant cereal as the first food, but 40 per cent did not have a specific recommendation for what type of food to introduce first.

Re-evaluating current recommendations to help increase a baby’s exposure to a greater variety of foods would also support CDC’s nutritional recommendations of more food exposure in an infant’s first year to minimize “picky eater syndrome,” the paper added.

"From the perspective of food allergy detection and prevention, there is no reason why a new food can't be tried every day," said co-author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Director of the Center of Food Allergy and Asthma Research (CFAAR) and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern, in a statement.

"The guidelines need to be revisited and updated to reflect the latest research on food allergy prevention and to provide greater clarity for pediatricians and parents on safe solid food introduction to infants." 

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how to introduce, how many days after vaccination it is possible, how often to introduce new complementary foods to a baby

Published: 09/25/2020

Reading time: min.

Number of reads: 19143

Author of the article: Ponomareva Yuliya Vladimirovna

Pediatrician, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Allergist-Immunologist

The first four months of a baby's life is the time of breastfeeding, when mother's milk provides everything necessary for normal development. During this period, the baby grows rapidly, and by the fifth month, most babies double their weight from birth, begin to take an active interest in the world around them, and also pay attention to the food of adults. These are signals for parents to start introducing complementary foods into the diet. Interest in food other than breast milk is not only a manifestation of a child's natural curiosity, but also a natural need for additional nutrients for further development. nine0003

Content: Hide

  1. Transition period
  2. General Rules
  3. Possible difficulties
  4. sequence of diet
  5. Zhelaki
  6. Fruit-berry products
  7. Moloen

    The introduction of complementary foods is a very responsible and difficult stage in the life of a family. The baby's body needs to adapt to new foods. There is a stimulation of the production of gastric juice and digestive enzymes for the full digestion and assimilation of food. The baby gets used to the unusual taste of food. The formation of these processes does not occur in a short time, the child needs several weeks, and sometimes months, to adapt to the changed nutritional conditions. And for parents, babies are an even more difficult task. In a relatively short period of time, a large amount of complementary foods is introduced into the baby's diet. A variety of diets is not only necessary from the point of view of nutritional rationality, but also allows you to provide a wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, to introduce the child to a rich palette of food tastes. During this period, another important task is solved - the formation of tolerance to these products, that is, ensuring good tolerance of these substances throughout a person's life. nine0003

    Decision support

    During this crucial period, parents have many practical questions about when and how much to introduce complementary foods, what foods to start with and what sequence to choose for further menu expansion. It is equally important to know how to assess food tolerance and how often to introduce complementary foods with a new food. Below we will try to highlight the main points. Currently, there are general rules for the introduction of any new product, as well as recommendations on the sequence of acquaintance of the baby with certain types of food within the same group. Parents need to adhere to these recommendations, which can affect the success of the introduction of complementary foods, the positive perception of the baby's taste of new food and, in general, will favorably affect his health. nine0003

    General rules

    Always introduce a new product when the child is healthy and well. Avoid during this period any significant changes in his regimen or habitual routine. Wait a few days before and after vaccination, and also when the baby is actively teething. Against the background of these events, as a rule, children become more vulnerable to the action of environmental factors, which may manifest as the development of an undesirable reaction. Each new product is initially offered in a small amount - in the amount of 0.5-1 teaspoon before the usual feeding in the morning. Any product begins to be introduced into the diet as a monocomponent, that is, from one type of vegetable, fruit or cereal and without the addition of salt, sugar, etc. Complementary foods are always offered from a spoon, do not use a bottle even with a liquid consistency of the dish. The next day, repeat the same product in the same volume. Closely monitor the condition of the baby, most intolerance reactions appear in the first two days. If well tolerated, gradually increase the serving and bring it to the recommended amount for this product in about 7-10 days. Follow the principle of gradualness, gradually increasing the number of servings and combining first with one, and then with several products of this group that have already been introduced into the diet earlier. How long does it take to try a new product? If the baby did not have negative reactions, you can start the introduction of the next one in 5-7 days. nine0003

    Possible Difficulties

    Quite often the baby initially does not like the new taste, he spits out the food and rejects the offered spoonful of food. Is this a sign of intolerance? No, it's not. The child is not yet accustomed to the unusual taste, and in contrast to the situation with signs of intolerance, on the contrary, this product should be repeatedly offered again to develop taste perception. Sometimes it takes at least 10-15 approaches before the baby begins to eat a new dish, because he needs to taste and get used to this taste. Perhaps in the future this dish may become one of your favorites. Try to always speak kindly in moments of refusal to eat, never scold or force feed. In hot weather, too, many babies are reluctant to try new flavors. Try to increase the interval between the introduction of products, because even in adults, appetite decreases during this period. If a child has an adverse reaction to an administered food in the form of a skin rash, stool problems or behavioral changes, this product should not be continued. The question of the possibility of its repeated use is decided on an individual basis together with the pediatrician. nine0003

    Diet expansion sequence

    Is there a specific order in which the individual foods in each group are introduced, or should it be based on personal preference of the parents? This question is very important and often arises from mom. Indeed, traditions play a role in the individual characteristics of family nutrition, including in the diet of the youngest. However, the introduction of products should not harm the child, so a certain order of expansion of the diet should be followed, taking into account the preferences of the parents. Such severity is associated with the immaturity of the digestive and immune systems of the baby's body, therefore, the safest and most easily digestible products are initially introduced. Let's look at the order of introduction of individual dishes in each of the major food groups. nine0003

    Read also: Pedagogical complementary foods: a scheme, how to introduce, where to start


    Vegetable complementary foods are a popular start in choosing first foods. Most of them are easily digested, and vegetables are also rich in minerals and dietary fiber necessary for normal growth and development. Especially vegetables are preferred as the first complementary foods in children with large weight gain and functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. If you choose among a wide variety of vegetables, zucchini is the most successful as the first product. This is a low allergenic product. In addition, it does not cause increased gas formation, which is very important for babies in the first half of life, when colic and bloating are often disturbed. Broccoli and cauliflower can also be introduced at 4–5 months. Unlike white cabbage, these cultures do not contain coarse fibers that can injure the delicate mucous membrane of the baby's digestive tract. Then vegetable complementary foods can be expanded with carrots and potatoes. From 5 months, up to 3 ml of vegetable oil can be added to a dish of vegetables. The next in line are pumpkin, beets and other types of cabbage. If you have consistently introduced 4-5 vegetable crops into the diet and the child tolerates them well, you can mix two, and then several species from this group. Legumes can cause digestive problems, so it is not recommended to introduce them before 7 months. Green peas are the preferred starter among this group of vegetables. Tomatoes are a common cause of allergic reactions, and they can also irritate the mucous membranes, so they should be introduced no earlier than 8 months of life. nine0003


    Cereals are an alternative (and often preferred) choice for first foods. Unlike vegetables, this is a highly nutritious food that contains almost all the main nutrients. With what porridge to start complementary foods, and what cereals to introduce later? Buckwheat is an excellent choice among cereal products for the first introduction to babies over 4 months old. It rarely causes allergic reactions, is a storehouse of nutrients and does not contain gluten. Rice is also safe in the first six months of life, is a highly nutritious and dietary product, but be aware that it can lead to constipation. Corn grits are introduced from the age of 5 months and are somewhat inferior to the previous cereals in terms of nutrient content, but are low allergenic and promote comfortable digestion. Only in the second half of life, the diet can be expanded with gluten-containing grains. So, from 6 months you can introduce wheat and oatmeal, and then expand the diet with multi-cereal dishes, which may include rye, barley and millet cereals. Multi-component cereals allow you to combine and supplement the valuable properties of each of the cereals, providing maximum benefits and rich taste. nine0003


    Meat complementary foods are recommended to start from 6 months with the introduction of beef or veal. The high content of essential amino acids, as well as easily digestible iron, phosphorus and zinc, determines the importance of early use of these products. Then the diet is successively expanded with chicken, rabbit and turkey meat. Pork, horse meat and lamb can diversify the menu of babies over 8 months old. A child with a cow's milk protein allergy also starts meat complementary foods at 6 months, but rabbit or turkey meat is the preferred first choice. These are dietary and low-allergenic products, and they try to include chicken and beef individually in the menu no earlier than 9months.

    Fruit and berry complementary foods

    Fruits and berries are a tasty and beloved food group. According to the recommendations, they can be included in the diet from 4-5 months. However, due to its low nutritional value, as well as a high risk of allergic reactions and a significant burden on the pancreas and intestinal mucosa, it is preferable to introduce this type of complementary foods to more mature children over the age of 6-7 months. The first products in this group are apples and pears. With good taste and low allergenicity, they are usually well tolerated by babies. Then puree and juices from plums, cherries, peaches and apricots are introduced in succession, it is also already possible to offer multi-component dishes. At the next stage, the diet is expanded with blueberries, cranberries and currants, as well as a banana. Melon, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries and exotic fruits are preferably introduced no earlier than 10–12 months due to the risk of allergic reactions. nine0003

    Dairy products

    Whole animal milk is not recommended for infants of the first year of life due to the high risk of allergic reactions, possible damage to the kidneys and intestines. But fermented milk products are safer and are actively used in the nutrition of babies older than 6 months. Cottage cheese is introduced as the first product (as a source of complete protein and easily digestible calcium). Its amount is strictly normalized and does not exceed 40 grams per day at this age. Then, at 8 months, the menu expands with specialized fermented milk drinks for baby food. Start the introduction of this group correctly - products with low sugar content and no additives. In the nutrition of babies, give preference to drinks with probiotic microorganisms, which enrich and increase the vital activity of their own intestinal microflora. From the same age, butter can be added to various complementary foods. nine0003

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    Waiting rule 4-7 days - Encyclopedia Baby food

    Levchuk Victoria ©

    On my website "Encyclopedia Baby food" slips such a phrase "waiting period 5-7 days", "waiting rule 4-7 days", or "waiting 4-7 days”, I think you noticed. It is no accident that I write a different number of days, the most important rule of complementary foods can be read here, point 3. nine0003 This is how a child with the consequences of a food allergy might look like

    But it is difficult for pediatricians to agree on how many days it is necessary to wait for the product to be assimilated and the body to adapt. All children are different, someone is prone to allergies, someone is not, someone has problems with the tummy, but someone does not, etc.

    It is clear that every mother should adjust this rule for herself and her child. But what do our pediatricians do, they have reduced the waiting period, the period of adaptation of the child to a new product to three days. More than one mom complains that she was advised to introduce a new product every three days. Ideal if the child feels good with such an introduction of products, and if not. What to do? I offer my view on this issue. nine0003


    The 4-7 day waiting rule must be observed when introducing new complementary foods. However, the very first complementary foods must be introduced from 1-2 weeks, for better adaptation. Moreover, on the eighth day, vegetable oil is added, since it slightly weakens the child's stool, so it also takes about 7 days to get used to it. In total, the baby will eat his first vegetable for 2 weeks or 14 days, but the vegetable will be with the addition of vegetable oil. Most mothers introduce vegetable oil on the 3rd-4th day of introducing a new product, if the baby has not previously had problems with the tummy, there are no allergies in your family, the first two or three days of complementary foods went well without a strong change in stool, colic, disorders, etc. then it is up to the mother to decide when to introduce a new product. And this applies to any product. nine0003

    If the timing of complementary foods is perfect and the baby is adjusting well, the waiting time between new foods can be reduced to 4-5 days. If everything is perfect. If the first porridge is introduced, then you can feed the child with it for 7 days, and the next week porridge with the addition of butter, but some pediatricians advise this oil to be administered at 7 months, so the first porridge can be administered for 7 days.

    However, a normal pediatrician will tell you that you should not hurry with the first 10 products. They are introduced for 5-7 days at least for each product, the next ten products can go faster and easier, so you can reduce to 4 days for the introduction of a new product. nine0003

    Why do we need a 4-7 day waiting rule?

    To identify the negative reaction of the child's body to the product. If a large number of products are introduced in a short period of time, it will be difficult to understand in the event of a rash, to which complementary foods the reaction occurred. Then the doctor is obliged to cancel everything that you entered in the near future, prescribe medication for the child, and then advise you to introduce these products gradually and monitor the reaction. You will simply lose time. By introducing one type of complementary food at a time, in case of a rash, you simply postpone the product for a couple of months in order to try to introduce it again later. nine0003

    By the way, let's not forget about various cases, of which there are a great many in our lives. Either the child himself ate a new product without your knowledge, or they did not have time to snatch it from his tenacious hands, or one of the relatives fed him without your permission. And in this situation, it's easier to eliminate a couple of products than a dozen, isn't it?

    In principle, most doctors in the world are inclined to agree that the child's body reacts to the allergen at the maximum on the third day, at least on the first and second days, so a new product is always given in the first half of the day in order to track the reaction during the day. nine0003

    Accumulative effect

    However, it is worth recalling the cumulative effect (although many do not believe in this) of allergenic products, when a child can vomit after 2 weeks of continuous use. Therefore, after the introduction of several products, they must be alternated and the weekly dosages that I write in the articles on this site must be observed, for example, carrots can be consumed 2 times a week, and if every day, then no more than 30 grams.

    Therefore, most mothers keep a food diary for the first year of complementary feeding, which helps them track the reaction of the child's body to a particular product. It is also necessary to focus on the list of allergenic and non-allergenic products. nine0003

    Quantitative effect

    It is also worth remembering about the rash on the amount of complementary foods, for example, the first complementary foods start with ½ teaspoon, the baby's body digests it, everything is fine. Then we increase the amount of complementary foods every day, and here an allergic reaction of the body can await us. For example, the body is ready to digest 70 grams of complementary foods, there are enough enzymes, gastric juice, etc., but 100 grams is a lot, so the child spills out. The product has to be removed from the child's diet and introduced later, about a month later. That's why the first 10 foods should not be rushed, study your child how he reacts to new foods, after about 2 months it will be clear which strategy to follow. nine0003

    Therefore, what we get, subject to the waiting rule of 4-7 days, the first type of complementary foods is introduced for 7 days, the next 5-7 days, we look at the reaction of the baby, if there are no strong changes, then we can reduce the waiting period to 5 days, we introduce the next 8 products, separately, each for 5 days.

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