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Is Your Baby Ready To Take On Solid Food? Find Out Here

Is Your Baby Ready To Take On Solid Food? Find Out Here

As your baby’s sixth month approaches, you may have breastfeeding for quite a while now, and your baby’s growth is remarkable, even from day by day. But when will you know if it is time to slowly introduce solid food? What kind of solid food can you give your child? All of these questions and more will be answered in this article.

Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Food?

As babies grow older, they require solid food to ensure adequate nutrition for growth and development. Iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients are among the important nutrients found in solid food.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies should slowly learn how to accept food other than breast milk or milk formula by the time they reach about 6 months old.

For the first six months of life, infants utilize iron stored in their bodies since they have been in the womb. Iron is also present in their main source of nutrients, such as breastmilk and/or infant formula. However, as they continuously grow, their iron stores deplete. Hence, they should begin eating solid food around the six month mark.

Moreover, babies have a tongue extrusion reflex until they are 4 to 6 months old, which means they use their tongue to push food out of their mouth. Providing them solid food too early in the development can pose a choking hazard.

What Are the Signs Your Child Is Ready for Solid Food?

There are ways to tell if your child is developmentally ready to eat food apart from milk. Your child should be able to show some or most of the following signs:

  • Sits up alone or with assistance
  • Is capable of controlling their head and neck
  • Opens mouth when food is offered
  • Tries to swallow the food rather than pushing it back out onto the chin
  • Tends to bring objects to the mouth
  • Attempts to grasp small objects like toys or food
  • Transfers food from front to back of the tongue in preparation for swallowing

What Solid Food Should You First Introduce to Your Child?

According to the AAP, it is not necessary to give solid food in a specific order.

Consider introducing simple solids with no added sugar or salt. Allow your child to experiment with one single-ingredient food at a time. This helps you to determine whether your child has any issues, such as diarrhea, rashes, or vomiting. Patiently wait for 3 to 5 days before introducing a new food. And before you know it, your child will be eating and enjoying a variety of new food.

Below are some solids that you may want to feed your baby with:

  • Iron-fortified cereals
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Fruits (either cooked or mashed)
  • Wholegrain bread, cereal, and pasta

As your baby grows, gradually shift from purees toward mashed foods with lumps and textures. You can also offer minced or chopped food, followed by finger food.

In addition to that, it is also recommended that you introduce potentially allergenic food to your baby before introducing other complementary. Foods that may be allergenic include:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Egg
  • Cow milk products
  • Wheat
  • Crustacean shellfish.
  • Fish
  • Soy

There is no evidence that postponing the introduction of allergenic food helps to prevent food allergies. In fact, early exposure to food that contains peanuts may reduce your baby’s risk of developing a peanut allergy.

When your baby reaches the age of six months, he or she is old enough to drink water. Cooled, boiled water in a sippy cup may be offered at mealtimes and in between.

If you are breastfeeding, continue doing so. This is still your child’s main source of nutrition despite the introduction of solid food.

What Food Should You Avoid Giving to Your Child?

There are some foods that are not appropriate for infants:

  • Cow’s milk as the main milk drink from 6 to 12 months
  • Reduced-fat milk or unpasteurized milk and dairy foods
  • Whole nuts, popcorn, and other hard sweets
  • Whole grapes, raw carrot, raw apples, or other hard fruit and vegetables
  • Honey
  • Cordial, soft drink, or sweet drinks
  • Tea, coffee, or energy drinks

Key Takeaways

Introducing solid food is a vital part of assisting babies to learn how to eat on their own by exposing them to new tastes and textures from a variety of foods. It helps them develop their teeth and jaws, as well as other skills that will be useful later in their language development.

The AAP recommends breastfeeding as your baby’s sole source of nutrition for the first 6 months. Continue breastfeeding your baby for at least 12 months after you introduce solid foods into his or her diet.

Learn more about Baby here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated 4 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD