Tips for Transitioning Your Child to a Healthy Solid Food Diet
Transitioning your little one to solid foods is a big step for both you and your child. It’s important to know when your baby is ready to make the change and what steps you can take to make the switch as smooth and painless as possible.
Most babies are prepared to eat solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula between the ages of four and six months. By this point in their development, they have the necessary strength and coordination to move food to the back of the mouth and swallow without issue. There are also several other signs you can look for that are good indicators that your child is ready for solid foods, including:
- Pushing food out of his mouth with his tongue
- The ability to steadily hold up his head on his own
- Showing interest in what you’re eating
- Opening his mouth when he is being fed
- The ability to sit with support
- Is mouthing his toys or hands
- Has doubled in weight or is over 13 pounds
Starting your baby on solid foods is also the start to a healthy, nutritious diet. The most important thing to remember is to start out with single-ingredient foods that do not have salt or sugar in them. Try not to introduce too many foods at once – a good rule of thumb is to wait three to five days between. This way if there are any allergic reactions it will be easy to determine which food caused the specific reaction.
Pureed vegetables and fruits are great options to start off with. It’s also important to make sure that you’re including foods with iron and zinc, which are both important for your baby’s development in the first year. Pureed meats and fortified cereals are great options for ensuring your little one is getting enough of these nutrients.
Once your child has been enjoying solid foods for a few months, make sure that his diet includes a wide variety of foods. The list of foods for babies should include:
- Breast milk or baby formula
- Baby cereal
If you’re having trouble transitioning your baby, notice any negative reactions to certain foods, or want personalized recommendations for your baby food, speak with your doctor today.