When do I start giving my baby solid foods?
Lots of parents are excited to start their babies on solid foods. Others are nervous. Starting to eat solid foods (like baby cereal and baby foods, e.g. meats, fruits, veggies, eggs, fish & foul, etc.) is an important part of your baby’s development.
Did you know that babies who start eating solid food too early are more likely to be overweight or obese in childhood and adulthood? This is one more important reason to wait until your baby is really ready before giving him solid foods.
Starting around age 5-6 months, watch for signs that your baby is ready for solid foods.
Pay attention to signs that your 5 to 6 month-old is ready for solid foods. These signs include:
Feed your baby food made for babies.
Simple baby foods, like homemade pureed vegetables, meats, infant cereals, and jarred baby foods, provide the right nutrition for your baby.
Prepared “grown-up” meals and fast foods can cause an allergic reaction and don’t give your growing baby the right nutrition. Also, they often have many more calories than your baby needs.
Remember: Babies don’t need desserts or sweet treats. Skip the baby desserts.
- If you make your own baby food, be aware that spinach, beets, green beans, squash, and carrots contain large amounts of nitrates and are not good choices during early infancy.
Have fun with finger foods!
Let your baby try feeding him/herself as soon as he/she’s ready — usually around 8 or 9 months old. Start giving him/ her foods that baby can easily feed self.
Try very small soft pieces (smaller than a dime) of things like:
You can still feed your baby pureed, mashed, and jarred food, too.
Want more information?
Check out these other tips about starting solid foods: