When to begin feeding baby rice cereal
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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When Can You Start Feeding Your Baby Rice Cereal
Adding solid foods to your baby’s diet is a big milestone, and you may be wondering when to begin the process and what foods to start with. In the past, single grain infant cereals have been the traditional first choice when transitioning to solid foods, with rice cereal being one of the more popular ones. These days, though it is still OK to start with cereal, experts say that there is no evidence that introducing foods in a certain order provides any advantage for your baby (though babies do tend to like cereal).
Keep in mind that experts highly recommend giving rice cereal as part of a mixed diet of single ingredient choices, rather than as an exclusive food.
Find out how to safely give rice cereal to your baby, and what other infant cereals you might want to give instead.
What Is Rice Cereal?
Rice cereal for babies has been a traditional first food for infants who are being introduced to eating solids. The most common type is a dry powdered cereal, to which liquid is added to form an oatmeal-like consistency, but it can also be purchased premixed. It's one of the single grain cereals that have been recommended for infants when they start on solid foods.
Is Rice Cereal Safe for Your Baby to Eat?
It’s OK to include rice cereal in your baby’s diet as long as you’re not exclusively feeding your baby rice cereal.
The reason experts recommend rice cereal be limited is because of the naturally occurring levels of inorganic arsenic in rice (in this case inorganic refers to the arsenic’s specific chemical compound bound with carbon).
As rice is grown, the plant absorbs more inorganic arsenic from its environment compared to other crops. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that can enter the food supply through water, soil, or air.
When body weight is considered, a baby’s intake of inorganic arsenic through rice cereal could be three times more than an adult’s. Eating too much rice cereal as an infant can cause long-term health problems.
What Infant Cereals Can You Give Your Baby Instead of Rice Cereal?
Instead of rice cereal, you can offer another single grain infant cereal such as oat or barley cereal. You can find many of these infant cereals in premixed or dry versions to which you would add breast milk, formula, or water to create a consistency that your baby will like.
Look for cereals that are specifically made for babies because they will be fortified with nutrients like iron and zinc that your baby needs.
Just remember that when introducing new foods — including different types of infant cereals — do so gradually, offering one new food at a time, and then waiting a couple of days before adding another food, to watch for any possible allergic reactions. Once your baby has become accustomed to eating solids, feel free to offer a variety of single ingredient, soft foods.
How Many Times a Day Should You Feed Your Baby Infant Cereal?
When your little one is just starting on solids, spoon-feed your baby a small amount of infant cereal once or twice a day, ideally just after he’s been bottle-fed or breastfed. Start with one or two teaspoons of cereal so that your baby can get accustomed to this new food.
Eventually you can introduce other foods one at a time—and you can even make your baby’s food at home.
Are Other Rice Products Safe to Give Your Baby?
Not necessarily. You can give rice to your older baby as part of a varied and balanced diet. However, it’s best to avoid certain rice-based products like rice syrup, often used as a sweetener in processed foods, as well as rice milk, which should not be used as a substitute for cow's milk.
If your child has turned 1 and is sensitive or allergic to cow’s milk, your healthcare provider will be able to recommend milk alternatives if needed, and can also weigh in on any rice products you’re considering giving.
At What Age Should You Start Feeding Your Baby Infant Cereals?
For most babies, 6 months is a good age to start to introduce solid foods, which can include infant cereals. Breast milk or formula will continue to provide most of your baby's nutrition for the first 12 months.
Waiting until this age is important because by this point your baby would have outgrown a natural reflex that all babies are born with that causes them to push their tongue against anything inserted into their mouths. Most babies grow out of this tongue thrust reflex between 4 and 5 months.
Can You Give a Baby Younger Than 6 Months Infant Cereals?
Most babies are not ready for solid foods, including infant cereals, until they are about 6 months old, though some babies could be ready a month or two earlier. Experts recommend that babies be breastfed or bottle-fed (with expressed breast milk or formula until 6 months of age.
How Do You Prepare Dry Infant Cereal for Your Baby?
If you’re using dry cereal, mix one tablespoon of dry cereal with four tablespoons of breast milk, formula, or water; or follow the recommended directions on the container.
Be sure not serve the cereal from a bottle for reasons we mention in the next section. Gradually, you can add less liquid to the dry cereal to find a thickness your baby likes.
Can You Feed Your Baby Cereal in a Bottle?
Although this might be a practice you’ve heard of, don't feed your baby cereal in a bottle unless your baby’s healthcare provider says otherwise. Feeding your baby through a bottle can lead to unnecessary calories—she may consume more food than she actually needs.
Although rice cereal may have been a popular choice, experts now say there are other infant cereals and first foods that may be safer for your baby. If you’re ever unsure about which infant cereal to give, or need advice about expanding your baby's menu, reach out to your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.
As your baby transitions to solid foods, you deserve lots of rewards for all those diaper changes. Download the Pampers Club app to get rewards for all your Pampers purchases.
How we wrote this article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
how to cook rice for feeding
One of the first "adult" dishes on the baby's table is rice. This cereal has earned the trust of nutritionists, pediatricians and parents around the world. Rice is a gluten-free, low-allergenic cereal with a high content of "healthy" carbohydrates (up to 85%), which are perfectly digested in the baby's sensitive digestive tract. Rice is also traditionally used in the therapeutic diets of people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and intestinal infections.
Main useful properties
The main properties of rice porridge are its low calorie content (44 kcal per 100 g of product) and the optimal ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Rice has a low glycemic index, which contributes to a more efficient supply of glucose to the brain. Protein in rice contains a small amount, but due to its structure, it is perfectly absorbed by the human body (up to 98%). In the fat component of rice, 1/5 part (21%) belongs to fatty acids important for the child's body: oleic (37%), linoleic (41%) and linolenic. The low fat content in rice groats (0.7–1 g/100 g of groats), the optimal ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (7 g/1 g/74 g) create a long-lasting feeling of fullness when eating ready-made rice dishes. Since rice does not contain coarse dietary fiber, it can be used in the diet of people with diseases of the digestive system, accompanied by excessive motility and gas formation. The vitamin and mineral composition of rice cereal is not as rich as compared to buckwheat or oatmeal. However, rice grains contain a large amount of B vitamins, of which the most are pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and tocopherol (vitamin E).
Rice dishes occupy one of the leading positions in the world gastronomic culture. About 5000 recipes based on this cereal are known. Therefore, in baby food, rice porridge does not lose its popularity.
For breakfast in Russia, porridge is traditionally prepared for children, because the first meal should be high-calorie, satisfying and tasty. The main components of a healthy breakfast should be complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats of animal origin, which take longer to be processed by digestive enzymes. Therefore, the choice of parents in favor of porridge as the main dish in the morning is quite justified.
Rice porridge for feeding children in the first year of life
Children's rice porridge is one of the most popular products in the Baby Premium line. Small gourmets can choose from dairy-free and milky rice porridges, with fruit additives. All cereals of the Baby Premium line have a high safety profile, are enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, which increases their nutritional value.
The use of fortified baby foods is an important part of nutrition in the first year of life. During the transition of a child from exclusive breastfeeding to the stage of introduction of complementary foods, short-term deficiency states for individual microelements may occur.
Lack of proper eating habits in the family, encouragement of the child's independent choice of foods, selectivity in nutrition, restrictive diets are factors that lead to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the baby's diet.
In this regard, health professionals have developed a global strategy to reduce the risk of developing vitamin and mineral deficiencies - the mandatory fortification of daily food, especially regarding the children's menu.
Thus, it has been proven that no additional non-fortified food can provide the infant with an adequate level of zinc, the deficiency of which causes a decrease in growth rate, intestinal diseases and a decrease in immune tolerance. Accordingly, the child should receive additional zinc with enriched complementary foods.
The same risk factors include a high prevalence of iron deficiency in children of the 1st year of life due to poor control of maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, obsession with diets, premature birth and the development of digestive disorders in the infant in the first months of life. Iron deficiency can cause delayed psychomotor development and other health problems in the baby. With the right balance of trace elements in the diet of both the mother and the baby, this condition can be avoided.
Baby Premium baby cereals contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals, but the content of such elements as iron, iodine, zinc, B, A, C vitamins is especially high, which cover up to 10% of the daily requirement for these substances.
The first complementary foods with rice porridge for children
Each parent can offer children's rice porridge for breakfast. For healthy babies, complementary foods at 4-6 months can be started with safe, low-allergenic Baby Premium rice porridge and gradually move to milk-based rice porridge, which has a high nutritional value due to the ideal combination of animal proteins and cereals, as well as the additional introduction of vitamins and minerals . In terms of calories, milk porridges are comparable to breast milk (90 kcal and 70 kcal, respectively), in this regard, they perfectly maintain a long-term feeling of satiety and give a stable supply of energy to the little hero.
If it is necessary to make a more varied diet and introduce the child to new tastes in the Baby Premium line, you can choose milk rice porridge with fruits. Fruit additives in cereals are additional sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and also develop the taste buds of a little gourmet.
If a child has health problems in the form of food allergies, malabsorption syndrome, celiac disease, then he can be recommended for a long time low-allergenic rice porridge, which is also a full-fledged dairy-free cereal dish. The ratio of the main nutrients, the content of vitamins and minerals in it correspond to all physiological norms of consumption in early childhood. Dairy-free rice porridge is enriched with prebiotics in the form of inulin, which will favorably affect the formation of a healthy microbiota in the intestines.
The use of Baby Premium cereals in the daily diet of young children allows parents to be confident in the high level of technological, microbiological and chemical safety of the product, its usefulness and ease of preparation in a variety of conditions.
1. Start introducing a new food into the diet with a tiny amount. For the first acquaintance with rice, a quarter of a teaspoon of porridge will be enough for a crumb. Every day, you can increase the serving, gradually trying to reach the amount of one serving recommended by the pediatrician.
2. It is best to offer this high-carbohydrate product to babies in the morning.
3. Postpone rice foods for a while if your baby has bloating, intestinal colic, or problems with bowel movements (constipation).
4. Having decided how to cook rice porridge for feeding, over time you can enrich the taste of the main dish by adding mashed apple, pear or squash puree to it.
5. In the Bebi Premium line, along with classic rice porridge, there are options with fruit, vegetable, and cream components. They will introduce the baby to new facets of the taste of a product already known to him a few months after the introduction of the first complementary foods.
6. Take the time to teach your child about food etiquette from an early age. Wash your hands before and after eating. If the baby is already more than 10 months old, let him try to feed himself. To do this, put a beautiful bowl in front of him and offer a spoon that will be comfortable for him to hold.
How to cook rice porridge for babies
You can go in two ways - buy a package of regular rice or choose a special ready-made baby porridge from this cereal. Let's consider both options in more detail.
Several varieties of the product can be found on store shelves. These are parboiled, long-grain, round-grain and medium-grain rice. For the first feeding, the last option is best. Such a product absorbs a large amount of moisture during cooking and boils well. Before you cook rice porridge for the first feeding, you need to carefully prepare the grain.
- Sort by hand to remove possible pebbles and other debris.
- Rinse under water until the liquid is clear.
- Soak rice in warm water, then rinse with cold water.
It is important to consider the following information:
- it is not recommended to cook cereals for children under one year old with cow's milk;
- proportions: for 20 g of rice - 50 ml of water and 100 breast milk or formula;
- for babies, do not season porridge with salt, sugar.
At the first feeding, the consistency of the food should be light and as homogeneous as possible. The presence of even small lumps in the baby can provoke regurgitation and rejection of food. Therefore, for the smallest, it is permissible to begin acquaintance with rice in the form of a ready-made powder for making porridge.
In this case, it is better to take the dairy-free version as the very first product. He leaves the mother the opportunity to prepare a dish with the addition of breast milk or a mixture - products with which the baby's body is already familiar. As a rule, a cooking recipe with exact proportions is indicated on the packaging of porridge.
When choosing ready-made baby porridge, pay attention to the ingredients. The presence of dyes, soy products and some other components can cause allergies and other undesirable reactions on the part of the child's body. Bebi Premium rice porridges for the first complementary foods are distinguished by a balanced composition and are additionally enriched with a complex of prebiotics, which contribute to the formation of the correct microflora of the baby's intestines.
Important! Whichever of the options for how to cook rice porridge for the first complementary foods you choose, only a freshly prepared dish should be offered to the baby. Do not refrigerate leftovers and do not use for subsequent feedings.
#First feeding #Food for children up to a year
How to enter, with which the first feeding of the child, the correct complementary food sequence for months
- How to introduce porridge
- What porridge what porridge better to introduce for the first complementary foods
- When is it better to introduce cereals and in what order
- Basic rules for introducing cereals into the baby's menu
- How to cook cereals for baby food
How to introduce porridge into complementary foods
According to the recommendations of the Union of Pediatricians of Russia, it is recommended to introduce complementary foods in the range of 4-6 months. At this time, the growing body needs more and more vitamins and minerals every week. But the later introduction of complementary foods can cause a pronounced deficiency of essential micronutrients. In addition, the enzymatic system of the gastrointestinal tract of the baby by this age is already ready to accept new food, and he himself begins to show interest in food.
Expansion of the children's menu helps to provide an actively growing body with many useful substances, the need for which can no longer be covered by mother's milk or an adapted formula. Also, complementary foods contribute to the formation of taste, mastering the skill of chewing and simply satisfies the curiosity of the crumbs, who are already actively interested in what their parents eat. Almost all experts agree that one of the ideal options for the first adult food for a child is cereal. Various cereals can have a beneficial effect on the baby's digestive system and serve as a valuable additional source of vitamins, minerals and energy necessary for the harmonious development of the baby's organs and body systems.
What porridge is better to introduce for the first feeding
IMPORTANT! Porridge in general is an easily digestible product that is a valuable source of carbohydrates, rich in vitamins and minerals, vegetable protein and fiber. From about 5-6 months of age, when the baby stops eating his usual food (breast milk or formula), complementary foods from cereals help to provide his body with an increased need for nutrients and energy.
At the same time, each porridge has its own properties.
Buckwheat. It is with her that they advise to start the very first feeding with cereals. It may be easier for a baby’s body, in which digestive enzymes have not yet formed enough, to absorb it. Buckwheat is rich in protein, magnesium, B vitamins. It has a lot of iron, so this dish is sometimes recommended for anemia. Also, the product has the ability to stimulate the digestive tract.
Rice. Good for premature babies and those who are slowly gaining weight. Groats are rich in dietary fiber and have a pleasant taste that most kids like. There are relatively few vegetable proteins in rice, so it is well absorbed. Porridge from such cereals can help children with unstable stools. However, in the presence of frequent constipation, it is better to introduce buckwheat into complementary foods first.
Corn. This cereal has no less value than other cereals. Such a porridge is a real storehouse of vegetable protein, minerals and fiber. Experts believe that it is right to introduce it into complementary foods after the child has become acquainted with buckwheat and rice.
Read also: Corn porridge for complementary foods
When is it better to introduce cereals and in what order
It is recommended to include cereal dishes in the child’s diet 3–4 weeks after he has already become acquainted with the first complementary foods, vegetables, and is completely used to to them. But sometimes porridge can precede them. For example, a pediatrician may prescribe this product if the baby is not gaining enough weight, has problems with stools (with a tendency to liquefy). In any case, it is better to adhere to a certain sequence of introducing cereals into the children's menu, which the pediatrician will tell about.
Video: Where to start complementary foods
Author: pediatrician, Ph.D. Komarovsky E.O.
6-7 months. Which porridge should be introduced first? To begin with, you can introduce the baby to gluten-free porridge: buckwheat, rice, corn. Gluten is a vegetable protein gluten that can cause children in the first six months of life (and even a little longer) to have difficulty digesting food. This is due to insufficient production in the gastrointestinal tract of the crumbs of the peptidase enzyme, which is necessary for the normal processing of gluten. The consequences of this can be bloating and pain in the tummy, increased gas formation. In very rare cases, celiac disease occurs. This is a hereditary disease, which is expressed in intolerance to gluten throughout life. The first cereals for children must certainly be dairy-free and monocomponent, consisting of one type of cereal. They should not contain any additional components (salt, sugar, honey, fruit, berry, cream fillers).
7-8 months. Add oatmeal to your baby's diet as a new staple. If the child’s body tolerates familiar cereals well, combine different types of cereals with each other. It is still not recommended to cook the dish with cow's milk. At this age, you can try adding toppings, such as applesauce, to the porridge.
9-10 months. At this age, you can offer the baby wheat, barley porridge. Cereals can also be used as a side dish, mixed with vegetable, meat complementary foods, and also as one of the components of a light children's soup.
From 12 months. From the year, but not earlier, it is recommended to introduce milk porridges cooked in whole cow's milk. Provided that the crumbs are not allergic to this product. Also at this age, you can already offer your baby to try semolina porridge.
Basic rules for introducing cereals into the baby's menu
1. To make it easier for the child to get used to the new product and the consistency of the dish, prepare a fairly liquid porridge at first. For this, 5 g of cereals are required for 100 g of water.
2. If the product is tolerated normally and the baby likes to eat it, after 7-10 days you can make a thicker concentration - add 10 g of cereal per 100 g of water.
3. The baby should be offered porridge from a spoon. In a number of situations, according to the testimony of a doctor, for example, if the baby is sick or weakened, a bottle with a special nipple is used.
4. The best time to get acquainted with cereals is breakfast. Thanks to this, during the day you can observe the state of health of the baby. It will also be easier to identify an allergic reaction and take the necessary measures immediately. In the morning, the gastrointestinal tract works most actively and enzymes are released that promote the digestion of food and the absorption of substances from it.
5. After feeding with porridge, while its amount has not yet reached the normative serving value, supplement the baby with breast or adapted milk formula.
6. Keep a food diary, recording types of complementary foods, portion sizes, and reactions of the child's body to new foods, if any (colic, indigestion, weight gain, etc.).
7. About 3 weeks should pass between the acquaintance with two new porridges. This will allow the baby to properly adapt to the product, and you can control how the child's body reacts to it.
8. The volume of a single serving of porridge should gradually increase as the baby grows older. Indicative figures are: 160-170 ml at 7-8 months, 170-180 ml at 8-9 months. Starting from 9 months, it is already possible to switch to a complete replacement of one feeding with complementary foods in the amount of 200 ml.
It is clear how to introduce porridge into complementary foods by day is shown in the table:0005
The number of finished porridge
5 g (1 teaspoon)
29000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000
How to cook cereals for baby foods
Cereal foods can be introduced in the form of home-cooked cereals, instant instant powders, as well as in canned form. Let's consider all the options in more detail.
Baby food flours made from the appropriate cereal can be used to make baby porridge. But such a product is not always found in a regular supermarket. A more affordable option is fresh, good quality cereal. Before cooking, it must be cleaned of possible litter and rinsed thoroughly. The following options are available:
• Method 1. Grind the grains in a coffee grinder to a powder. Throw the product into cold or boiling water and cook until tender over low heat.
• Method 2. Cook porridge from whole grains. Cool to a temperature of 37 degrees and grind with a blender. In the cooled porridge, you can add a little breast milk or mixture (literally 20-30 ml). This will improve its taste and make it even more nutritious.
These are specialized products for baby food that help mothers save time on cooking cereals in the traditional way, but at the same time take care of a high-quality, nutritious and varied baby's diet.
IMPORTANT! The Bebi Premium line includes the entire range of cereals recommended for the first feeding. These are dairy-free and milk porridges, monocomponent and multi-cereal, with fruit, berry, vegetable, creamy components. They are:
• made from certified raw materials;
• have a balanced composition;
• additionally enriched with prebiotics.
Freshly boiled water is used to make porridge. The optimal proportions of liquid and powder for the appropriate age of the child are usually indicated on the product box.
Porridges in jars
When the baby is already well acquainted with porridge and other types of complementary foods, you can give him canned foods in jars as a second complementary food. Such products contain cereals with fruit or vegetable puree, with the addition of milk. Contains no salt and sugar. This is a convenient way to provide the baby with the necessary nutrition during trips and travels.
The main thing that all experts from the Russian Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the World Health Organization (WHO) agree on is that complementary foods should not be forced! If you see: the child categorically does not eat what is offered, leave this idea for at least a week.