When to feed babies pablum

When Can My Baby Start Eating Solid Foods? (for Parents)

A friend just started giving her 3-month-old applesauce and rice cereal. My son is just 2 weeks younger than hers, and I am wondering if I should be introducing solids soon too. When should I start?

Doctors recommend waiting until a baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Starting before 4 months is not recommended.

At about 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — such as iron and zinc — that solid foods provide. It’s also the right time to introduce your infant to new tastes and textures. 

Some babies may be ready for solids sooner than 6 months, but don't start until your baby is at least 4 months old.

How do you know it’s the right time to start solid foods? Here are some signs that babies are ready:

  • They have good head and neck control and sit up in a high chair.
  • They're interested in foods. For example, they may watch others eat, reach for food, and open their mouths when food approaches.
  • They don’t push food out of their mouths, which is a natural tongue reflex that disappears when they’re between 4–6 months old.
  • They weigh twice their birth weight, or close to it.

Talk to your doctor about the right time to start solid foods.

How Should I Start Solids?

When the time is right, you can start with a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk, formula, or water. Feed your baby with a small baby spoon. Don’t add cereal or other food to a baby's bottle because it can lead to too much weight gain. Let your baby practice eating from a spoon and learn to stop when full.

When your baby gets the hang of eating the first food, introduce others, such as puréed meat, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, or yogurt. Try one food at a time and wait a few days before trying something else new to make sure your baby doesn't have an allergic reaction.

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 are 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.

When starting your baby on solids, avoid:

  • 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 drinks 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

Also, do not give fruit juices to infants younger than 12 months old.

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.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Date reviewed: February 2021

The Dark Truth About Baby Cereal — Oh Baby

A few months ago I ran a poll on Oh Baby Instagram asking which topic you’d like me to write about first: the dark truth about purée pouches, or the dark truth about baby cereal. The pouches won but there was still a lot interest in baby cereal, so after much prompting I promised I’d share about that as well. The thing is, I prefer focusing on all of the amazing foods we can feed our babes with, not just the ones to avoid. I also don’t want any feel badly about any choices they’ve made. We’re all just trying to do our best for our little ones! I’ve finally decided to post this because even though baby cereal is one of the most common foods to start solids with, unfortunately it truly isn’t the best first food to nourish our babies.  

Baby cereal was first introduced in the 1930s, which was when a monumental shift occurred away from real foods towards processed convenience foods. Previously known as pablum, mothers were advised to mix it into a bottle with breast milk for babies as young as six weeks old. Then when baby was around 3 or 4 months old, the pablum was mixed into a thicker consistency to be spoon-fed.

It was marketed as an ideal first food for your baby.

Iron-fortified grain cereal is still a leading recommendation for starting solids… even by most paediatricians, and even with today’s clarity about the importance of whole foods vs refined. Sadly, processed grain products aren’t the healthiest choice for anyone, let alone as a first food to properly nourish a developing baby.

Stripped of its nutrients

Baby cereal is stripped of its nutrients and fiber and it’s highly glycemic, which causes drastic blood sugar spikes followed by inevitable fussiness and hunger. Many parents often start solids prematurely with the hopes of keeping babies “fuller for longer”, but a high glycemic food like baby cereal doesn’t contain the fat or protein necessary to satisfy a baby for very long at all. Baby cereal is also very bland tasting, which doesn’t set the stage for adventurous eating.

Even if it wasn’t refined, rice is sorely lacking all the top essential nutrients a baby really needs when starting solids, such as healthy fat, calcium, vitamin D, choline & naturally occurring iron. Baby cereal is fortified with synthetic nutrients, but our focus should undoubtedly be to ensure that our babies are eating naturally nutrient-dense foods instead of foods like baby cereal that are fortified with synthetic nutrients. Let’s skip the processed foods to help set our babies up for a lifelong relationship with healthy, whole foods.

High levels of arsenic in rice cereal

Arsenic is present in soil, so all plants can absorb some of it. Although, rice is known to be high in arsenic because it’s grown in flooded paddies and soaks up more arsenic than other food crops. As a well-recognized carcinogen, arsenic is currently regulated in drinking water. However, there are currently no regulations concerning arsenic concentrations in food, including infant rice cereal.

While other foods account for 19% of arsenic exposure in babies 4 - 24 months, rice cereal accounts for 55%.

Several studies have found that arsenic exposure in rice cereal exceeds the US Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant levels and markedly increases arsenic exposure among babies. Studies show that the toxic effects of rice are most concerning in infants.

What about whole grains for babies?

Some people argue that a baby doesn’t produce enough amylase to properly digest grains. But I actually recommend being cautious with grains for an entirely different reason. Grains can be difficult to digest, even for many adults with mature digestive systems. Grains have substances called phytic acid that inhibit the absorption of minerals like iron and calcium.

When we look to ancient cultures for wisdom, babies have been fed rice or other grains as a first food in many countries around the world. They also weren’t using arsenic-containing pesticides that significantly increased the arsenic levels present in their rice. However, it’s important to note that these whole grains used by these cultures were carefully prepared using traditional methods.

If you do include grains as a part of your family’s meals, I suggest properly preparing them by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting/souring to increase nutrient absorption and digestibility. I also prefer waiting until baby is reliably consuming 3 meals per day with ample amounts of food at each meal. Babies tend to prefer ‘filling up’ on grains if given the choice, but like baby cereal, whole grains don’t contain the essential nutrients that a baby requires in high doses during this age (fat, calcium, vitamin D, choline & naturally occurring iron). This leaves less room in their tiny tummies for the other foods that are much higher in these nutrients. Lastly, grains are pretty bland, and time and time again I see that if baby was introduced to these foods in larger amounts at an early age, it’s much harder to diversify their palate later on. Early exposure to a variety of flavors is key!

If you eat low-carb yourself and don’t regularly include grains as part of your family’s meals, remember that little ones still require sources of healthy, whole carbs, such as winter squash or root vegetables. It’s also beneficial to expose your baby to gluten before the age of 12 months to help reduce their risk of developing allergies.

Nutrition for children under one year old - Healthy Russia

By the age of six months, the child gets acquainted with the first "adult" food. What and how to feed the baby at this age?

By six months, the baby is ready to start eating more than just breast milk or formula. At this age, the child gets acquainted with the first "adult" food. Tatyana Borovik, Head of the Department of Healthy and Sick Child Nutrition at the Scientific Center for Children's Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, tells about what products are used to feed children under one year old. nine0006

Is it possible "out of the jar"?

Despite the fact that baby receives his first complementary food with a spoonful of in the truest sense of the word, even such a volume of cooking can be difficult for parents. After all, it is necessary to buy high-quality and absolutely fresh products, cook them in compliance with all hygiene standards, grind them to the desired consistency, and even so that all important vitamins remain in the food.

Infant nutrition nine0006

Find out when your baby should start eating complementary foods, how to introduce them correctly and where to start.

In most cases, Prepackaged Weaning Products make life easier for parents and provide the baby with all the nutrients.


Grain complementary foods - porridge is one of the main sources of carbohydrates, vegetable proteins and fats, dietary fiber, iron, selenium, vitamins B1, B2 and PP. Grain-based complementary foods should start at gluten-free (gluten-free) cereals: rice, buckwheat, later corn. Porridges can be dairy or dairy-free, depending on what suits your baby. Dairy-free cereals are diluted with breast milk or infant formula received by the child. In the future, if the baby has no problems with digestion, you can start using gluten-containing cereals: oatmeal, barley, wheat, semolina and cereals from a mixture of cereals.

Vegetables nine0012

Vegetable puree is a source of potassium, iron, dietary fiber, including pectins, and other useful substances. Certain types of vegetables - carrots, pumpkin, spinach - are rich in carotene , which in the body turns into vitamin A, which is necessary for the normal growth and development of the child. At the beginning of the introduction of complementary foods , vegetable puree should consist of one type of vegetable with delicate fiber, such as zucchini. Further, it is advisable to use a combination of 3-4 vegetables. nine0006

Protein products

Children up to one year of age should be fed gradually cottage cheese and egg yolk — valuable sources of animal protein and fat, calcium, and vitamin B2. Meat contains complete animal protein, which in beef, lean pork, rabbit meat, chicken, chicken, turkey, horse meat contains up to 20-21 percent. The meat contains well-digestible so-called heme iron, magnesium, zinc, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. Puree from dietary meat in the diet is recommended to be introduced to children older than 6 months. nine0014 Fish is a complete source of protein and fat, it contains omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins B2, B12 and minerals. Fish is introduced into the diet of children from 8–9 months with caution, carefully observing whether the child has signs of intolerance. It is used once or twice a week instead of a meat dish.

Juices and fruit purees

Juices contain natural sugars - glucose, fructose, sucrose and organic acids - malic, citric, which have a positive effect on digestion. In addition, they are rich in potassium, which in most juices is up to 150 mg per 100 ml, and contains up to 2 mg of iron per 100 ml. Vitamin C, citric acid, individual minerals, and natural fruit flavors can be additionally added to industrial juices. The first baby should be given apple or pear juice , which are traditional for Russia and rarely cause allergic reactions.


Breastfeeding? We tell you how to prepare for feeding, how to avoid possible difficulties, and how a nursing mother should eat.

Fruit purees are similar in composition and nutritional value to fruit juices, especially those containing pulp. At the same time, they contain sugars, organic acids and dietary fiber in greater quantities than juices. nine0006

Dairy products

Despite the fact that cow's milk is an excellent product for adult nutrition, rich in valuable protein and calcium, it is not suitable for feeding children under one year old . After all, human and cow's milk are two completely different products. For example, cow's milk has 2.5 times more protein than women's milk, and a baby does not need such a large amount of protein yet. For the same reason, fermented milk products for baby food (baby kefir, yoghurts) can be introduced into the child's diet no earlier than 8 months of age. And in an amount of not more than 200 ml per day. nine0006

About water

The largest amount of water - about 85 percent - is found in breast milk and infant formula. The composition of "solid" food - bread, cereal, mashed potatoes - includes 30 percent of water. So the liquid for the baby at the stage of introducing complementary foods is quite enough. For drinking and preparing formulas and complementary foods, it is best to use the special bottled water for baby food . It is bacteriologically safe, does not contain harmful chemical and radioactive substances, does not require boiling. nine0006

Rules for the introduction of each new product

The introduction of each new product starts with a small amount, gradually increasing it. It makes sense to give a new product in the morning - in order to note a possible reaction to it. It is better to start introducing cereals, fruit and vegetable juices and purees into the baby’s menu from single-component dishes in order to know exactly how and what the body reacts to. Complementary foods are given from a spoon before breastfeeding or formula. New products are not introduced if the child does not feel well. nine0006

Memo to parents

Feeding your baby can be started with special industrial products. All types of products are introduced gradually and at the appropriate age. You should not give your baby whole cow's milk up to a year, and fermented milk products - up to 8 months.

To leave a comment - you must be an authorized user

Protein is the key to healthy growth and development

0-6 months


3/5 328 reviews

The first year of a baby's life will be the fastest growing period of his entire life! A baby's weight typically doubles by 6 months of age and triples by one year of age compared to its weight after birth! In addition, the baby will grow to almost half its original height after birth.

2 min. for reading Feb. 17, 2022

One of the main nutrients not only for the growth of the child, but also for its development, medical experts and researchers consider protein. Protein is an indispensable component of the tissues of our body: muscles, organs, enzymes and many others. That's why moms need to make sure they're giving their baby the optimal quality and amount of protein. Along with a balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats, protein ensures that your child receives all the nutrients needed for healthy development. nine0006

Protein is also important for a healthy digestive and immune system. You don't have to worry about your protein intake - breast milk provides the right mix of high quality protein in the amounts your baby needs to grow and develop.

The quality and quantity of protein in baby food plays a key role!

Your baby's protein needs are constantly changing during the first 1000 days of his life. Modern research has shown that the protein in food must first of all be of high quality, and also come in the right quantities, which allows for the rapid growth of the child properly. nine0006

The "golden" standard of baby food is breast milk, the protein of which consists mainly of the so-called whey proteins, and the amount of protein is 0.9-1.2 g per 100 ml. Breastfeeding is the best food for babies. But when breastfeeding is not possible for any reason, infant formula comes to the rescue to help ensure healthy nutrition for non-breastfed babies.

What protein should I give my child? nine0012

There are several types of protein, such as breast milk protein, cow's milk protein, vegetable protein, meat protein, and grain protein. The protein requirements of the baby during the first 6 months are covered by the only source of breast milk protein. After 1 year old, when the baby begins to eat solid foods, animal proteins such as meat, fish and eggs, and formula proteins for children after 1 year of age are gradually introduced into the diet, along with vegetable proteins from vegetables and grains. Proteins come in many forms, so it will be easy to find a protein food your baby loves. nine0006

Do protein foods contain other nutrients?

Your child will also benefit from other nutrients by eating foods rich in protein. For example, meat contains a lot of iron, sea fish contains iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. Dairy products are rich in calcium, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12, while plant foods, such as grains and vegetables, contain carbohydrates and important vitamins. Diversity in your child's diet will provide both the protein of the right quality and the other important nutrients he needs for proper growth and development! nine0006

How much protein should a child eat?

Did you know that proteins can affect your child's growth rate? The consumption of animal proteins and especially the consumption of milk proteins before the age of 12 months can lead to undesirable growth of the child in the future! Studies have shown that excessive consumption of milk protein before the age of 1 year can lead to a high body mass index (BMI) around the age of 6 years.

Learn more