Baby’s first solid foods

“I waited with the solids until my daughter was 7 months. Every time I try the food she spits it out. What do I need to do now?”

Many parents start their babies on solids at as early as four months. Some wait a bit longer, which is okay. However, according to the World Health Organizations, by six months, babies need fruit and vegetables from the point of view of nutrition. Babies learn how to eat from a spoon most easily at an average age of 5 months (your baby’s ideal moment for learning to eat with a spoon could be earlier or later). It is normal that babies spit out solid foods during the first couple of days. When you start with solids the spoon needs to be small and flat, given after the baby opens her mouth. The baby will learn most effectively how to eat with a spoon if you take the spoon out of the baby’s mouth horizontally (not raising the spoon up as you remove it in order to wipe off the spoon on the baby’s upper lip). All food needs to be at body temperature! The best is to use fresh, organic and local food. Start with sweet fruit like apple, pear, melon, a little banana, oranges, blueberries and raspberries. The best is to give it every day around the same time, because it is important to get into a predictable rhythm. If it goes well, you can offer fruit once a day and vegetables once a day (with a maximum of two tablespoons per serving of each). It is ideal if you give the vegetables in the morning right after the first nap and the fruit in the afternoon after waking up from the second nap. By giving the food just after the baby has slept, the baby will be more alert and able to learn this new skill. As a first vegetable, you can give sweet carrots. If the baby’s stool remains normal, and your baby is used to the taste, you can mix the sweet carrots with cauliflower, broccoli, peas, green beans or zucchini. (Tip: to prepare natural fruit and vegetable meals for your baby, boil or parboil fruit or vegetables and then puree.)

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