26 Tips on When can Babies Eat Baby Food

Filed in Babies by on October 11, 2021 0 Comments

When can Babies Eat Baby Food: Young children need enough nutritious food every day to grow healthy, strong and smart.

At around 6 months old, your baby is growing quickly and needs more energy and nutrients than at any other time in her life.

Your baby has a small stomach and needs to be eating small amounts of soft nutritious food frequently throughout the day.

After 6 months, breastmilk is still your baby’s main source of energy and nutrients, but solid foods should now be added.

In addition to grains and tubers, feed your baby a variety of foods – especially animal foods (dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry), fruits and vegetables – every day.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

Feeding your baby: 1–2 years

At 6 months of age, breastmilk continues to be a vital source of nutrition; but it’s not enough by itself.

You need to now introduce your baby to solid food, in addition to breastmilk, to keep up with her growing needs.

Be sure you give your baby her first foods after she has breastfed.

Or between nursing sessions, so that your baby continues to breastfeed as much as possible.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

When you start to feed your baby solid food, take extra care that she doesn’t become sick.

As she crawls about and explores, germs can spread from her hands to her mouth.

Protect your baby from getting sick by washing your and her hands with soap before preparing food and before every feeding.

What to serve when

Continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula — up to 32 ounces a day. Then:

1. Start simple.

Offer single-ingredient foods that contain no sugar or salt.

Wait three to five days between each new food to see if your baby has a reaction, such as diarrhea, a rash or vomiting.

After introducing single-ingredient foods, you can offer them in combination.

2. Know the Important nutrients.

Iron and zinc are important nutrients in the second half of your baby’s first year.

These nutrients are found in pureed meats and single-grain, iron-fortified cereal.

3. Get the Baby cereal basics.

Mix 1 tablespoon of a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal with 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) of breast milk or formula.

Don’t serve it from a bottle. Instead, help your baby sit upright.

And offer the cereal with a small spoon once or twice a day after a bottle- or breast-feeding.

Start by serving one or two teaspoons.

Once your baby gets the hang of swallowing runny cereal, mix it with less liquid and gradually increase the serving sizes.

Offer a variety of single-grain cereals such as rice, oatmeal or barley.

Avoid feeding your baby only rice cereal due to possible exposure to arsenic.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

4. Add vegetables and fruits.

Gradually introduce single-ingredient pureed vegetables and fruits that contain no sugar or salt.

Wait three to five days between each new food.

5. Offer finely chopped finger foods.

By ages 8 months to 10 months, most babies can handle small portions of finely chopped finger foods.

Such as soft fruits, vegetables, pasta, cheese, well-cooked meat, baby crackers and dry cereal.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

6. What if my baby refuses his or her first feeding?

Babies often reject their first servings of pureed foods because the taste and texture is new.

If your baby refuses the feeding, don’t force it.

Try again in a week. If the problem continues, talk to your baby’s doctor to make sure the resistance isn’t a sign of a problem.

7. What about food allergies?

It’s recommended that you give your baby potentially allergenic foods when you introduce other complementary foods.

Potentially allergenic foods include:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Egg
  • Cow milk products
  • Wheat
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Fish
  • Soy

8. When can Babies Eat Baby Food

There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of these foods can help prevent food allergies.

In fact, early introduction of foods containing peanuts might decrease the risk that your baby will develop a food allergy to peanuts.

Still, especially if any close relatives have a food allergy, give your child his or her first taste of a highly allergenic food at home — rather than at a restaurant — with an oral antihistamine available.

If there’s no reaction, the food can be introduced in gradually increasing amounts.

9. Your baby’s first foods

When your baby is 6 months old, she is just learning to chew.

Her first foods need to be soft so they’re very easy to swallow.

Such as porridge or well mashed fruits and vegetables.

Did you know that when porridge is too watery, it doesn’t have as many nutrients?

To make it more nutritious, cook it until it’s thick enough not to run off the spoon.     

10. Know when your baby is hungry

Feed your baby when you see her give signs that she’s hungry – such as putting her hands to her mouth.

After washing hands, start by giving your baby just two to three spoonfuls of soft food, twice a day.

At this age, her stomach is small so she can only eat small amounts at each meal.

The taste of a new food may surprise your baby.

Give her time to get used to these new foods and flavours.

Be patient and don’t force your baby to eat.

Watch for signs that she is full and stop feeding her then.

As your baby grows, her stomach also grows and she can eat more food with each meal.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

Certain foods aren’t appropriate for babies. Consider these guidelines:

11. Don’t offer cow’s milk or honey before age 1.

Cow’s milk doesn’t meet an infant’s nutritional needs — it isn’t a good source of iron — and can increase the risk of iron deficiency.

Honey might contain spores that can cause a serious illness known as infant botulism.

12. Don’t offer foods that can cause your baby to choke.

As your baby progresses in eating solid foods, don’t offer hot dogs, chunks of meat or cheese, grapes, raw vegetables, or fruit chunks, unless they’re cut up into small pieces.

Also, don’t offer hard foods, such as seeds, nuts, popcorn and hard candy that can’t be changed to make them safe options.

Other high-risk foods include peanut butter and marshmallows.

To introduce nuts and prevent choking, spread peanut butter in a thin layer or puree peanut butter or peanuts with fruits or vegetables.

13. Preparing baby food at home

Another reason to avoid giving your baby solid food before age 4 months is the risk associated with certain home-prepared foods. A baby younger than age 4 months shouldn’t be given home-prepared spinach, beets, carrots, green beans or squash. These foods might contain enough nitrates to cause the blood disorder methemoglobinemia.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

14. Feeding your baby: 6–8 months old

From 6–8 months old, feed your baby half a cup of soft food two to three times a day.

Your baby can eat anything except honey, which she shouldn’t eat until she is a year old.

You can start to add a healthy snack, like mashed fruit, between meals.

As your baby gets increasing amounts of solid foods, she should continue to get the same amount of breastmilk.

15. Feeding your baby: 9–11 months old

From 9–11 months old, your baby can take half a cup of food three to four times a day, plus a healthy snack.

Now you can start to chop up soft food into small pieces instead of mashing it.

Your baby may even start to eat food herself with her fingers. Continue to breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry.

Each meal needs to be both easy for your baby to eat and packed with nutrition. Make every bite count.

Foods need to be rich in energy and nutrients.

In addition to grains and potatoes, be sure your baby has vegetables and fruits, legumes and seeds, a little energy-rich oil or fat, and – especially – animal foods (dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry) every day.

Eating a variety of foods every day gives your baby the best chance of getting all the nutrients he needs.

If your baby refuses a new food or spits it out, don’t force it. Try again a few days later.

You can also try mixing it with another food that your baby likes or squeezing a little breastmilk on top.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

16. Feeding non-breastfed babies

If you’re not breastfeeding your baby, she’ll need to eat more often. She’ll also need to rely on other foods, including milk products, to get all the nutrition her body needs.

  • Start to give your baby solid foods at 6 months of age, just as a breastfed baby would need. Begin with two to three spoonfuls of soft and mashed food four times a day, which will give her the nutrients she needs without breastmilk.
  • From 6–8 months old, she’ll need half a cup of soft food four times a day, plus a healthy snack.
  • From 9–11 months old, she’ll need half a cup of food four to five times a day, plus two healthy snacks.

17. Know what’s off-limits

Certain foods aren’t appropriate for babies. Consider these guidelines:

  • Don’t offer cow’s milk or honey before age 1. Cow’s milk doesn’t meet an infant’s nutritional needs — it isn’t a good source of iron — and can increase the risk of iron deficiency. Honey might contain spores that can cause a serious illness known as infant botulism.
  • Don’t offer foods that can cause your baby to choke. As your baby progresses in eating solid foods, don’t offer hot dogs, chunks of meat or cheese, grapes, raw vegetables, or fruit chunks, unless they’re cut up into small pieces. Also, don’t offer hard foods, such as seeds, nuts, popcorn and hard candy that can’t be changed to make them safe options. Other high-risk foods include peanut butter and marshmallows. To introduce nuts and prevent choking, spread peanut butter in a thin layer or puree peanut butter or peanuts with fruits or vegetables.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

18. Preparing baby food at home

Another reason to avoid giving your baby solid food before age 4 months is the risk associated with certain home-prepared foods.

A baby younger than age 4 months shouldn’t be given home-prepared spinach, beets, carrots, green beans or squash.

These foods might contain enough nitrates to cause the blood disorder methemoglobinemia.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

During feedings, talk to your baby and help him or her through the process. To make mealtime enjoyable:

19. Stay seated.

As soon as your baby can sit easily without support, use a highchair with a broad, stable base. Buckle the safety straps.

20. Encourage exploration.

Your baby is likely to play with his or her food. Make sure that finger foods are soft, easy to swallow and broken down into small pieces.

21. Introduce utensils.

Offer your baby a spoon to hold while you feed him or her with another spoon.

As your baby’s dexterity improves, encourage your baby to use a spoon.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

22. Offer a cup.

Feeding your baby breast milk or formula from a cup at mealtimes can help pave the way for weaning from a bottle. Around age 9 months, your baby might be able to drink from a cup on his or her own.

23. Dish individual servings.

If you feed your baby directly from a jar or container, saliva on the spoon can quickly spoil leftovers.

Instead, place servings in a dish. Opened jars of baby food can be safely refrigerated for two to three days.

24. Avoid power struggles.

If your baby turns away from a new food, don’t push. Simply try again another time.

Repeated exposure can create variety in your baby’s diet.

25. Know when to call it quits.

When your baby has had enough to eat, he or she might cry or turn away.

Don’t force extra bites. As long as your baby’s growth is on target, he or she is likely getting enough to eat.

Also, don’t try to get your baby to eat as much as possible at bedtime to get him or her to sleep through the night. There’s no evidence that this works.

Enjoy your baby’s sloppy tray, gooey hands and sticky face.

You’re building the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.

When can Babies Eat Baby Food

26. Get the tips for preparing foods:

  • Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
  • Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
  • Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
  • Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
  • Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
  • Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
  • Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
  • Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.


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