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.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks