Introducing Other Foods for your Newborn Baby

By Ashley | December 29, 2009
Starting Solid Food For Babies

Newborn babies require only breast milk or baby formula for their nutritional needs. However, after 4 to 6 months, they become ready for other foods as well, as they begin to develop the skills for the consumption of solid foods. When a baby is ready to start eating solid foods he/she will begin to show interest in the foods others are eating. The baby will also be able to sit upright without support and will also develop head control.

Once the baby’s doctor gives you the go ahead for starting your baby on solid foods, you can begin by giving him some baby cereal. Take a teaspoon of single grain cereal and add 4 teaspoons of formula or breast milk. You can also use rice cereal. Have the baby sit up and feed him the cereal with a spoon. This may be done twice a day, and when the baby gets accustomed to swallowing the cereal, you can add a smaller quantity of liquid. Some babies develop a taste for cereal right from the beginning, while others may take a while to get used to it. Once your baby is accustomed to eating cereal, you can slowly introduce new foods such as pureed vegetables, fruits and meat. Start with foods made with a single ingredient and leave a gap of one week before introducing a new food. This way if the baby develops reactions to certain foods, you will be able to known which food is the cause. At 8-10 months babies will be able to eat small servings of finger food such as ground meat, fruit and soft pasta. As the baby nears his first birthday, you can start serving him chopped or mashed servings of the same foods that the entire family is eating. Breast milk and formula feedings between meals is still advisable.

Once the baby reaches nine months of age, you can also offer him pure fruits juices. Serve just about 4 ounces a day. Avoid feeding the baby cow’s milk or citrus fruits until the age one year. Cow’s milk does not fulfill an infant’s iron requirements. Refrain from offering slippery foods such as candy or grapes. Dry foods such as nuts, sticky foods such as peanut butter and clumpy foods such as raisins must also be avoided as they may cause choking. Babies often play with their food and this must be encouraged as it gets them accustomed to new foods.

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