How to Introduce Solids
A milestone in your baby’s development comes when he’s ready to try solids. Whether you’ve
been breastfeeding or bottle feeding since the day he was born, there’s going to come a time
when he’s ready to try some new stuff.
If you’re new to the parenting game, you may not be sure when or how to introduce these to
your little one. At Organic Baby Formula.com, we’re all about helping you get through the
various stages of your baby’s development. We have some tips on the what, when, and how to
introduce solids to make it easier for everyone.
Let’s get started.
When to Introduce Solids
While babies are going to get introduced to solids at different points in their little lives, by ages 4
to 6 months, most are ready to begin having some solid foods to go along with their
breastfeeding or formula feeding.
It’s during this time that babies can start to use their tongues to push food out of their mouths.
They also start to become coordinated to move solid food from the front of their mouth to the
back so that they can swallow.
Signs Your Baby is Ready for Solids
There are also little signs that your baby may be giving you that can signal that he’s ready to
start solids. Here’s a mini checklist:
● Your baby can hold his head in a steady, upright position
● Your baby can sit without being supported
● Your baby starts to mouth his hands or toys
● Your baby starts to lean forward and open his mouth
If you start noticing these little signs, your baby could be telling you he’s ready to try new things.
What to Introduce a Solid Food
He’s at the typical age and he’s given you the little signs, so what type of food should you
introduce to your little one? While you’re not going to be serving up a steak dinner, there are
foods you’ll want to include on your baby’s plate.
Many parents start off with baby cereal. You can mix 1 tablespoon of a single-grain baby cereal
with an iron-fortified cereal with 4 tablespoons of breast milk or formula. Help your baby sit
upright and give the cereal in a small spoon. You can offer a variety of cereals like rice, barley,
Fruits and Vegetables
Gradually introduce single-ingredient vegetables and fruits that are pureed. Make sure they
don’t have any sugar or salt. Here’s a quick list of fruits and veggies to try:
● Sweet potato
● Green beans
● Butternut squash
Make sure all of these foods are cut up finely or pureed. Remember, babies don’t have a lot of
teeth if any yet! They can’t chew foods like older kids or adults.
What about food allergies?
Many parents worry about food that can cause allergies. It’s generally recommended to start
these foods when you introduce other complementary foods. These foods can include:
- Peanuts and tree nuts
- Cow milk products
Talk to your pediatrician about when is the best time to introduce these new foods.
Foods with Iron and Zinc
It’s also important to introduce foods with iron and zinc. These nutrients can be found in pureed
meats and single-grain cereal that is iron-fortified.
Babies love to eat with their fingers so offering them finely chopped finger foods like soft fruits,
cheese, and vegetables is also a good idea.
How to Introduce Solids
Once you have the list of foods you want to try with your baby, you’ll want to start simple. Offer
only single-ingredient foods. Here are some other tips:
● Wait 3-5 days before introducing each new food. You don’t want to bombard their little
bellies with too much stuff. Plus, if your baby is allergic to anything, you’ll be able to tell
what it is if there is only one new food introduced at a time.
● Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with formula, breast milk, or water so that it’s
easier for your baby to swallow.
● Cook hard fruits and veggies so that they can be mashed or pureed easily.
● Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry or meat before cooking it for your baby.
● Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
● Cut small foods like grapes and berries into small pieces so they don’t pose a choking
What if My Baby Doesn’t Like His New Solid Foods?
If your baby isn’t loving his new solid foods at first, don’t stress. Many babies are often not big
fans of their new food because of its taste and texture. Don’t force your baby to eat all of these
new foods at once. Try a week later and see what happens. If they’re still refusing to eat it, talk
to your pediatrician to make sure there are no underlying problems at play.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to starting your baby on solids, wait until they are about 4-6 months old. This is
the general time when babies start showing signs that they’re ready. When they’re ready,
remember to keep it simple. Stick to single-ingredient foods and make sure they are cut up or
pureed so that they are easy to eat. Also, wait 3-5 days before introducing a new food. This will
make it easier to detect allergies.
Choose fruits, veggies, cereal, and lean meats that are good for your baby. Getting them to a
healthy start will pave the way for good eating habits as they get older. Remember to be patient
and soon enough your little one will be eating like a pro!