Dr. Linda, my son has been taking pureed lamb well for the last 5 days. What now?
Now that your baby has been on their first baby food for a few days with no problems, it is time to advance your baby’s diet:
What to Change
There are four main things that you can change as you Advance Baby Food (Solids):
The number of times a day you fed your baby.
The amount of food you give your baby.
The types of foods you give him.
The consistency (lumpiness) of the food you are giving.
The more variety in taste and texture you give your baby now, the more adventurous he will be in trying new foods later, and the healthier his diet will be.
Dr. Linda’s FIRST RULE to START BABY FOOD is…there are no hard and fast rules!
Every baby is unique. My babies wanted to eat every time I ate, so they were taking 3 small solid meals from the time they were 7 months old.
How often should I feed my baby solids?
Try this: When your baby is 4-6 months old start by adding one meal of solid food a day. As your baby gets older advance to 2 and then 3 meals of solids a day as he tolerates it. Most babies should be getting 3 meals a day when they are between 8-10 months old. Your baby will love to eat every time you do!
How much baby food should I give my baby at each feed?
Try this: Start with one tablespoon of baby food per meal at 4-6 months. You can give more if he wants it.
Start the meal with the solid food, then finish it off with breastmilk or formula. It will be a few months until your baby can get all his needed calories from a meal of solid food alone.
My son had a formula intolerance and did not like the formula he was on but he loved baby food! The first time I gave him cereal, I started out with a tablespoon, but he kept asking for more and ended up taking a whole bowl full!
How will I know when my baby is full?
When your baby is full, she’ll close her mouth, and not open it when you offer more food, or will turn away from the food when you offer it.
Young babies and children will only eat when they are hungry, and will stop when they are full. They have not yet picked up any bad eating habits, like eating because they are bored or sad.
Trying to feed a full baby doesn’t work, and both of you will end up frustrated.
What types of foods should I offer my baby?
For reference, you can find a full list of what your baby should eat here
Eat the Rainbow
Ideally, for optimal health, every one of us should “eat a rainbow every day.” And by that, I mean we should eat as many colors and types of foods as we can in order to take in optimal nutrition.
This is true for your baby, too: the more colors and types of foods you offer your baby, the healthier her eating habits will be when she is older.
Try this: Start with foods made from just one ingredient. This makes the tastes and textures less complex for your baby to start with. It also makes things easier for you if your baby has a sensitivity: you can know exactly which food cause the reaction.
For starting out, foods that are high in iron, such as pureed meats or iron-fortified cereals are great. At 6 months, your breastfed baby needs more iron and zinc than breastmilk normally provides.
There is no ‘right ‘or ‘wrong’ order to introduce new foods. Every family is unique. The way I did it with my own children and then with the families in my practice was to start with a meat or iron fortified cereal, followed by the orange vegetables, green vegetables and then fruits. What is important is that you give your baby a large variety of different foods and not necessarily the order in which you introduce them.
Try this: when you start baby food, start only one new food every 3-5 days, and watch for any reactions…it can take up to five days for a food-reaction to occur, so wait the full 5 days before trying the next food. If, after that 5 days, if there is no reaction, add another single-ingredient food.
All babies are born with a preference for the sweet flavor so do not be surprised if your baby makes a funny face when you introduce a new food.
Up until now your baby has been drinking all of his calories. He needs a little time to master all the skills he needs to learn in order to be able to handle solid foods safely and not choke on them.
Use a clean spoon to put the food you are going to feed your baby into a small bowl.
Use a small bowl to feed your baby from rather than the original container. It may be a while till your baby can eat the whole jar. Why? If you put the spoon from your baby’s mouth into the original baby food container, you are taking the bacteria from his mouth and introducing it into the jar. The bacteria will grow in any leftover food and can cause an upset tummy, vomiting and diarrhea which we want to avoid!
I am afraid my baby will have an allergic reaction to foods because I do. What can I do?
Managing the introduction of foods that are known to cause allergies:
Don’t be afraid to introduce foods that can trigger allergic reactions one by one, in very small amounts, so that you can spot any reaction they may have. Introduce them the way you would any other foods unless you have a life-threatening reaction to them yourself. In that case, consult your doctor and the pediatrician first
Here is a guide to how what these foods are and how to best introduce them once your baby is 6 months old.
Cows’ milk . First introduce it cooked in foods or as yogurt
Make sure they are well-cooked
Nuts and peanuts. These are also a choking hazard so they should be should be crushed or ground
Seeds should also be crushed or ground
Shellfish should be well cooked and not raw or undercooked.
Foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
Once you have given a very small amount with no reaction from your baby you can gradually increase the amounts you give over a few days to a week. If he continues to have no reaction make sure you continue to give this food as a part of his normal diet.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: