24 answers

Baby's Age for Starting Different Foods

My granddaughter is 6 months old & has just started on veggies, her mom says doctor has not given her any info on when to start her on other foods & how often. Right now she only gets veggies at supper time, only a bottle rest of day. I think she can give her the veggies & fruits at noon & supper.
Does anyone have a guide I could give her.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I agree with another poster who said the baby needs to get most of their nutrition from mother's milk or formula at this age. I have even seen studies that watched babies who were given cereal, etc. before 6 months and the earlier and more often they were fed solids the more likely they were to have issues with diabetes, obesity, etc. later on in life. So just take it slow, even though it's fun to see babies enjoying new foods! I also agree that giving veggies before fruits is a good idea, even though most doctors say it's no big deal either way. I did veggies first with my kiddos and they all love their vegetables!

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D.,

The guideline have used is introducing cereal around 6 months and then introducing a new vegetable and then fruit every few days. The reason for doing only one new items every few days (as much as a week apart) is to watch for food allergies. By about 8-9 months you can start introducing soft table foods like noodles and chicken, etc. Keep building from there.

Hope that helps.

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Hi D.,
I nursed my kids and at 6 months we started rice cereal once a day. After a few weeks we mixed the cereal with a fruit. We started a veggie after a few weeks. Our ped. said to wait until 9 months to start on meats and juice. If we did give a juice that day it was only a few onces and we always watered it down. Remember that at 6 months your granddaughter still needs to be getting most of her nutrition from nursing or formula. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

D.,

The guideline have used is introducing cereal around 6 months and then introducing a new vegetable and then fruit every few days. The reason for doing only one new items every few days (as much as a week apart) is to watch for food allergies. By about 8-9 months you can start introducing soft table foods like noodles and chicken, etc. Keep building from there.

Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with another poster who said the baby needs to get most of their nutrition from mother's milk or formula at this age. I have even seen studies that watched babies who were given cereal, etc. before 6 months and the earlier and more often they were fed solids the more likely they were to have issues with diabetes, obesity, etc. later on in life. So just take it slow, even though it's fun to see babies enjoying new foods! I also agree that giving veggies before fruits is a good idea, even though most doctors say it's no big deal either way. I did veggies first with my kiddos and they all love their vegetables!

1 mom found this helpful

As another person mentioned, I too LOVED the 'Super Baby Foods' book. It states at what age to introduce which fruit or vegetable and also how to select, prepare, and store the food. It also gives recipes and other information. It is a little too "all natural" for me as well, but I did make a lot of my children's baby food and it was quite easy. I would purchase the book and give it to her as a gift. I think it really helped me introduce a wide variety of foods to my children and now they enjoy a variety of foods.

Usually your pediatrician guides you on this more, but you could try gerber.com and they should list what foods you can introduce at what age.

Try www.wholesomebabyfood.com I found it very helpful when introducing new foods and when. I downloaded the $4.95 book and my husband printed it off at work. The website also gives free menu ideas and suggestions.

She basically should introduce one new food for 4 days in a row before starting on a new one to make sure baby doesn't have any adverse reactions. She can add these new foods to the others she has introduced as she goes. Foods can be given at any time of the day, but I can see why she would want only evenings if she is only doing one meal a day...to keep baby fuller over night.

I started with one meal a day at first until I had a few foods that I knew she could eat without any problems. In just a couple of weeks, I fed our baby one meal 3x's a day, now that she is 9 months old, she has 3 meals and 2 snacks a day.

For a meal, I put in 1 tablespoon of cereal, 1 scoop of formula (I breastfeed and wanted to supplement the baby's iron), and 2 cubes of homemade baby food (usually a fruit and veggie combo).

Homemade baby food is SUPER easy and much CHEAPER. The three quickest fruits I do is applesauce, peaches, and pears. I buy the NATURAL 46 oz. of Motts or Musselmans applesauce (it's the same applesauce as baby applesauce for a fraction of the cost!) and freeze it into ice cube trays. After frozen, I put in a gallon sized freezer bag to store. I found Walmart (GreatValue brand) has naturally sweetened, no sugar added peaches and pears in a can (fresh is better, but these work great). I pour the pear juice that surrounds the fruit into ice trays to freeze and use for sippy cup. I puree the fruit and freeze and store in freezer bags as well. The quick veggies I've found is the frozen bags of veggies that I steam and then puree and then freeze. Fresh veggies at farmers' markets are a very economical solution in the summer.

I hope this is helpful. Also, I think there have been others who have asked this question before, so you may want to read their answers in the archive section...if you get time after getting a ton of responses! :)

I started both of my children on cereal by 3 months. At 6-months, they both got veggies and fruit for lunch and dinner and some meat, after I doctored it. I also gave them some milk from a glass at that age and it was whole milk right out of the refrigerator. They only received one bottle a day and that was when they went to bed at night and both gave it up by 10 months. They are both very healthy adults and there is not too much they won't eat. I did the same for my youngest grand-daughter when we would have her. She will take a sippy cup, but believe me, she would rather have me tip a glass for her. She is now 20 months and doing great.

My doctor gave us a sheet about starting solids plus I am now working on feeding solids to my second child. The sheet says to start with rice ceral, oatmeal ceral and barley ceral. I never have given etihter of my children barley ceral becasue most kids seem not to like it. Then you can give veggies and the sheet suggest to start with orange veggies such as squash, sweet potatoes and carrots. Then add fruits and the fruit I always start with is applesauce. It suggests giving a new food every 2 to 3 days so you can make sure there are no allergic reactions. It also says that within 2 or 3 months of starting solid food your baby's diet should include the following foods given over three meals: Breast milk or formula, ceral, vegetables, meats and fruits.

Finger foods are good once your baby can sit up. It helps them to learn to feed themselves. To avoid choking make sure you give your baby soft, easy to swallow, and cut into small pieces such as well cooked squash, peas, potatoes, and small pieces of wafer-type cookies or crackers.

My daughter is seven months and I feed her some finger food at breakfast and dinner so she can practice eating along with her rice ceral or oatmeal made with formula and I mix in either the fruit or the veggie of the meal because she hates the plain ceral. I also offer her a bottle which is usually the 4or 5 ozs. left over formula from making the ceral.

Hope this helps!

I also heard the following:

4-6 mon: start with something bland (i.e. baby cereals)
Next: try "orange" baby foods (i.e. carrots, sweet potatos) but test just one at a time for up to a week to test for allergies.
Next: green veggies but again, stick with just one at a time to test for allergies.
Next: meats (unless vegetarian) and fruits (the less sweet the better) and potatoes/rice. Still doing the one-at-a-time thing.

Avoid strawberries, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, fish, soft cheeses and meats (i.e. deli meat and hot dogs) until 2 yrs.

Here is the info from our pediatrician at South Lake Peds. I really like the brochures which are feeding recommendations rather than exact meal plans. Hope this helps!

http://southlakepediatrics.com/healthinfo/HealthyLifestyl...

Hi D.,

I don't think there are any real "right" or "wrong" answers here. I am just starting cereal and fruits with my 5 month old. She has caught on really quickly and if I haven't fed her and we sit down for dinner she gets really mad! Usually she is on my lap and she doesn't like to watch us eat when she is wanting food herself, lol.

I am not one to read much of the stuff they give you in the Dr's office. Too much paperwork and since she is my 2nd I kinda feel like I know what I am doing.... But I did go thru some of it the other day and noticed a few things. On that guide the recommended starting fruits and cereal at 5 months and then introducing veggies and cereal at 6 months. Finger foods and others as baby wants after that as long as things are small for their little hands and mouths. Right now my daughter is eating about 1/2 a container of fruit in the morning (usually mid to late morning before her nap) and the rest of it at night (closer to bedtime). This is mixed with the cereal. She is otherwise a 100% breasfed baby.

For those that are using fruit and want a great deal, I found a whole box of fruits at Sam's club really cheap! I would love to make my baby's food but unfortunately haven't found the time as of yet with 2 of them.

Hope this helps :)
L.

There are so many opinions these days and even Drs. vary tremendously in their ideas. Noone knows if there is a right or wrong way. I would not suggest getting too opinionated in this department as you may be seen as meddling. But as far as books I found The Contented Baby Book helpful in terms of introducing solids. It lays out a possible schedule and gives plenty of off the beaten track vegetable ideas (I didn't use jarred baby food as it was way too limiting in its options).

SHe can eat 3 times a day like we do. Any fruit or vegetable she has tried she can have at any time. They say to introduce new foods about every 3 to 4 days. So she can have green beans today and 3 days from now she can have peas, etc. The wait is to see if the baby has a reaction from foods. Don't forget the baby can have ceareal during this too. The fruits and veggies can actually be mixed with cereal she has had. Good luck

Yes, she is old enough to start foods,however she should start one food at a time and use that food exclusively for one week. Then if there is any reaction to the food-she knows what food it is. Mixing cereal with the food helps get the volume up, too.Some say to start with vegetables since the fruits taste better and kids may not want to try anything else after they taste fruit. I'm not sure that is valid-but it certainly can't hurt to try vegetables then fruits or alternate. Labels that say 'dinner' or 'dessert' are not high on the nutritional value list. They do not have enough of any one nutrient to count for anything. Also, just because a child spits out the first few bites doesn't mean they don't like it.It is often just a reaction to texture or the way it feels in their mouth. Good luck!!

Hi D.,
We started giving my son cereal and fruit at breakfast and cereal, fruit and veggies and lunch and dinner with bottles in-between. Our doctor advised between 1 1/2 to 2 of the 2nd foods jars at each meal, but you will need to work up to it. She won't eat that much right away. She had said that the bigger babies will eat 3 meals a day, otherwise if your granddaughter is smaller you may just want to start her with breakfast and dinner. You should only give one new food for about 4 days and then move on to a new one. We would mix the new fruit or veggie with her cereal for breakfast and dinner. It will seem a little boring at first and a little wierd to give her veggies for breakfast, but eventually there will be variety. Meats we were allowed to start around 7 1/2 months and those you follow the same pattern. My son just finished his meat rotation and now we are working on fruit mixtures. This was the order I did them in: carrots, peas, squash, green beans, sweet potatoes and then moved on to fruit: applesauce, pears, peaches, bananas, prunes.

Good Luck, it's a lot of fun letting them try new flavors.

first of all, i do not want to make you think i know what granddaughter's mom is thinking, or what her choices may be.

this link just came to me in my email today!
http://askdrsears.com/html/3/T030500.asp?utm_source=newsl...

i want you to know that this is the most difficult thing for a mom; making clear what you want with your new child, or the ways you will raise her, especially when you are so afraid of people telling you to do things differently.

heres the deal: babies DO NOT need ANY other sort of foods except formula or breastmilk until after one year of age. there is no nutritional need for any other foods. some kids dont even have one single bit of solid foods until after a year, and they are usually more healthy and allergy free than other kids who started sooner. yes, there are kids who start eating solids early and they turn out fine. but the risks are there, and poor babies who dont suffer with allergies might suffer from other problems such as intestinal or digestive problems.
its no one's fault per say, its just that parents usually did and do what the medical community tells them is best. so nothing you may or may not have done is wrong, you did what you felt was best.

however, granddaughter's mom is doing what she things is best. shes taking it slowly, shes trying to just give a little at a time. as long as mom and baby's doctor isnt worried about weight gain or anything like that, baby will be healthy and grow naturally with or without solids.

www.askdrsears.com is an awesome website with many resources available. i trust dr william sears with anything, i dont know him personally, but i have many of his books and i really was glad that i did. without him, i may have been a very unhappy mommy! he gave me permission to follow my instincts with the decisions i made with my son, right down to breastfeeding until my son weaned himself last month at 19 3/4 months old, co-sleeping (and he still sleeps in his crib in our room) and other forms of natural parenting. yes my son gets vaccinations, but i also trust dr sears and his son robert sears, who has written a book all about vaccines... with everything you could ever need to know about them.

anyway, point is that in order to make mom comfortable, you should do EVERYTHING in your power to help her to know that you support her in ANY decision she makes. its hard to tell family members what you really want to, and i really relate to the mom in wanting to follow her instincts with her child. no one, not even you, knows her daughter as completely and instinctivly as her mommy and daddy. you need to let mom and dad do the parenting and just enjoy a stress free, worry free relationship with your granddaughter!

the less stress mom has about the choices she is making the more your relationship will grow! trust me on this, personal experience talking. i think the relationship between my mother in law and myself will never be completely healed after the pushing she did after my son was born. she wouldnt leave us alone! i know thats FAR from what you are doing, and KUDOS to you for asking for advice, but just remember me when you are dealing with this new mom. my son is almost 21 months old and i still cant get over those first few weeks... along with many others along the way, where she seemed to throw her temper because i didnt raise my son along the lines that she wanted me to. :( its really painful and really hard. she once didnt talk to me for a month because i woulnt let her take my son to a pancake breakfast (after he had just had breakfast at home, and he was teething and cranky and having a bad day, and the pancakes are always really raw at those things... raw batter in the middle of the pancakes? ewe!) so.
anyway, i hope i didnt offend you, and i hope you understand that i am saying all this in order to help you protect the relationship that i wont ever have again with my mother in law. :(

good luck
and enjoy that granddaughter!!

I LOVE the book "Super Baby Foods"! It's a great reference for knowing what to feed when and how much to feed when! It also gives recipe ideas. It was my "bible" when it came to making my own baby food (which by the way is super easy and WAY less expensive). The author is a bit "all natural" and uses some foods I have never heard of but I just skimmed those chapters and then ignored them :)

Hi D.,

My advice is ages old, but it is the plan that I was given and I could see the rational in it.

We started with rice cereal - once a day to begin with - at about 3-4 months. Then upped it to 2 times a day, especially at bedtime. Then, we could try a different cereal for one week. If all went well, we could try a different one until we had exhausted the cereal choices. One week on each to make sure that there were no adverse reactions. The rice cereal could continue as the one to use at night.
From there, we went to fruits. And pears were the first one I used. And I mixed that with the morning cereal first, then tried it alone at noon. One week. Applesauce next. One week. Each time, you could continue to use one of the ones you had used in the past because you already knew that would not give any adverse reactions. But the new one started mixed with the cereal that your child seems to like the best.
After fruits, we added vegetables to the daily routine. Common ones first. And again, one week on the new one - never trying two or more at the same time.

My kids had many more problems with formula or breast milk than with the solid foods, however, they still needed that too, so I had to find THE ONE that worked for them.

I hope this helps. It worked for me. I also know that there are so many more choices today than there were back then. It worked for my grandkids, but each of them have had reactions to at least one food, so it was a good plan.
S. (also a grandmother)

I have been giving my 5 month old son cereal mixed with a fruit for breakfast, veggies at afternoon sometime, and cereal mixed with fruit for supper and then bottles in the middle since he turned 4 months! I think feeding her more is perfectly fine! My son is happy eating his baby food.

Well you say that your Daughter's pediatrician has not given her any info? Has she tried asking? Pediatrician's are not mind readers and he (or she) may just assume that your daughter is already aware of when and how to introduce new foods. Your daughter should be comfortable enough with her pediactrician to ask these types of ?'s. If she is not then she may want to consider finding someone different.
As far as the food thing goes...
Introduce them on at a time for a week, give or take, to make sure her baby has no food allergies to that certain food.
For the future, I took away the bottle at 10 months and started my son on the sippy cup, as per my pediactricians advice, because if she waits too long then she will have a fight on her hands with giving up the bottle. It's difficult to give a sippy cup but as long as she is consistent things will be ok!
Good Luck and there are differences in opinions out there, there is no right or wrong way to do things, your daughter just has to do research and find out what works best for her and your granddaughter!

Gerber's website (gerber.com) has a great guide - lays out when you can start different foods and how to tell when baby is ready for the next step (plus you can sign up to get coupons from them). I've relied on the Gerber website for both of my kids.

http://www.gerber.com/fpmenu?phase=21&menuid=menu1#
and
http://www.gerber.com/fpmenu?menuid=menu2&phase=21

These are menus you could start with. You can email the pages to your granddaughter's mom. Best of luck.

My daughter is nearly 4 months old and I am feeding her 1-2 times a day. She gets rice cereal with my breastmilk. I try to mix in a veggie with the cereal and banana's or apple sauce as the fruit. I kinda base it off of how hungry she is. She is a very hungry baby and eats every hour or so. Even after I feed her real food she is hungry an hour later. I also give her about an oz of my milk with a little water added. It is good for them to drink with the food to help prevent constipation and I believe children get thirsty while eating food...I do at least. NO MORE then 2oz of water a day. It can harm the baby. The baby food goes in stages. If she is just starting with foods start with stage 1. Test out all veggies and fruits...never know what she might like.

They have to go through all of the veggies before starting any fruits. I would only give her veggies once a day. Until she has gone through them all and she has to give the same veggie for 3-4 days in a row to make sure she is not allergic to anything. If you mix you will never know which food she maybe alergic to. Then you can go to the fruit and you have to do the same thing is chose one and have them eat that for 3-4 days before switching to a different fruit.
My doctor stated to me with all of my kids is that the food is just for fun and all they need there first year is formula or nursing, unless they are not feeling statisfied with just milk. I didn't start my kids until they were over 6 months old with any food. HOpe this helps.

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