Starting Solids

In This Article:

Page 2

Serve up small portions. Initially, your baby won't recognize solid foods as nourishment, so don't expect him to polish off a bowl of baby food during the first few weeks of eating solid foods. More than likely, your child will take just a small amount of food at each meal, at least to begin with. As infants become increasingly familiar with eating solids, they readily open their mouths to take larger bites.

One at a time. Introduce single ingredient foods, such as rice cereal, instead of a blend of baby cereal grains and do it one at a time. Feed just one new food to your child for five days or so before adding others. Why wait? It's your chance to see whether your baby has trouble tolerating a particular food. When you add too many foods at once, it's harder to pinpoint food allergies or other sensitivities should they occur. For example, once your baby has tried the different types of cereal grains without incident, then you may use a mixed grain infant cereal with confidence. Look for baby foods marketed as "First Foods" as they tend to contain just one ingredient. Even so, it may be difficult to tell which foods contain single ingredients, so read the ingredient label carefully. As your child matures, he can move on to mixtures such as tropical fruit blends, but he should avoid toddler foods until about a year. Toddler foods may contain chunks of food that could result in choking.

Come back to it. My kids would give me a "What's this?" face each time I put the spoon in their mouth at a meal, even when they had eaten the food before. Don't be daunted. It doesn't mean your child isn't hungry or that she won't eat. Babies often spit out the first bit of food you give them at each meal, as if they are getting adjusted to eating from a spoon all over again. This reaction gradually disappears as eating utensils become a regular part of their meals. Your baby may reject a food the first time you offer it, but accept it days, weeks, or months later. That could mean he's trying to adjust to a new taste or texture. Try serving a new food with an old favorite to increase acceptance, and don't give up!

Food Allergy Red Flags
Will your child be allergic to food? You won't know until you try feeding him. Food allergy symptoms can make themselves known within minutes or up to a few hours after eating a food for the second time. Always alert your pediatrician if any of the following signs of food allergy appears:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry or raspy cough
  • Excessive crankiness
  • Excessive gas
  • Hives
  • Itching and/or
    tightness in the throat
  • Itchy eyes
  • Nausea
  • Rash (eczema)
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Next: Page 3 >>

Copyright © 2002 by Elizabeth M. Ward. Excerpted from Healthy Foods, Healthy Kids with permission of its publisher, Adams Media Corporation.

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