Starting Solid Food

Updated on May 04, 2010
J.S. asks from Brooklyn, NY
19 answers

Hi Moms-

My baby is almost 5 mo's old and I'm thinking of starting her on solid food soon. My pediatrician says that there is no need to start her on baby cereal first b/c there is no nutritional value in it and that she should simply eat what I eat (just pureed) Any thoughts on this?? He says that babies should eat everything and that they get allergies to food b/c they weren't ever exposed to it. He says bring on the berries, peanut butter, everything but honey. I've heard that it's better to start w/veggies as opposed to fruits so that baby gets used to veggies, is that true? And what is the benefit of starting w/orange veggies? Is there any real benefit to start w/solids before 6 mo's? How did you know when your babies were ready?? I want to make my own baby food w/organic produce. Any suggestions on cooking? Steam or boil? What type of equipment did you use? If I have to supplement w/ jarred food, I'd like to try "Earth's Best" anyone used this brand? Sorry so many ?'s but first time mom, new at this and wanna get it right! Thanks!!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all the amazing advice! I noticed that when I was eating DD was staring intently at me and eyeing my fork. She couldn't look away so I think she is ready now. I'm going to start DD on Organic Brown Rice Cereal & see how she likes that. I think I won't be so strict on what I give her next in terms of veg vs fruit., will try a large variety of foods but will keep the harder ones to digest for later on. I don't think I'll bother to invest in a food maker (they are expensive!) sounds like they don't work any better than steaming in a pot / cuisinart method anyway. In any case, it will be fun to see her try new things! Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

The exception that I've heard of and have followed is to wait to introduce foods where there is a family history of allergies to that food. Also, nut butters can be a choking hazard, so only spread them very thinly. Good luck.


answers from Los Angeles on

i knew my baby was ready at 5 months cause how much i was empty cause she had a bigger apatite and how she never got full of my milk( or if you bottle feed how much bottles is she drinking?) i started her on fruit for a week or 2 then on veggies (beach nut cause thats the brand i like most) i gave her apple sauce and baby cereal mixed together, but its up to you and what ever you think will work for her and you


i knew my baby was ready at 5 months cause how much i was empty cause she had a bigger apatite and how she never got full of my milk( or if you bottle feed how much bottles is she drinking?) i started her on fruit for a week or 2 then on veggies (beach nut cause thats the brand i like most) i gave her apple sauce and baby cereal mixed together, but its up to you and what ever you think will work for her and you

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Hello! My son is 5 months today and I started feeding him solids at 4 - 4 1/2 months as I did with my daughter. My daughter took to solids like a fish to water. With my son it took a few trys until he got the gist of it. Your baby needs to have good head and neck support so they do not choke. If they show great interest in other people eating and no longer have the tongue thrust outward reflex it is a good time to start.

We added rice cereal to my daughter's food but I do not for my son. He appears to be a purest and prefers the food unaltered. I use Earth's Best and did for my daughter too (I LOVE IT) and my Mother-in-Law purees steamed squash, yams, and pears for him and freezes it in ice-cube trays for him. My sister uses the Beaba Baby Cook where you can cook/steam and puree in one machine (not cheap but she LOVES it) and has used it for her two boys to make all kinds of things. She supplememnts with Earth's Best as well and we have not had any problems.

The following links are for recipes and the Beaba cook system. You will know when you and your baby are ready and that is when you should do it. As far as peanut butter and berries...I would say 4-6 months is young for peanut butter as it is hard to swallow and I would fear choking more than anything and berries can be VERY HARSH on the digestive track of babies...their poop will burn their bottom skin due to the acid content...I steared clear of both until my daughter could sit in a high chair and eat table food. I plan to do the same for my son. As far as veggies vs fruit first...I started with veggies for my daughter because I had heard the same thing and I do not feel it did anything miraculous or had any real purpose. She was still partial to the fruits and grew up to be a picky eater anyway...I am not sure there is a way to combat that? Anyway....hope this helped!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Ok, sorry this is gonna be long, and I don't have time to read everyone else's, but here goes:

I started my son at about 5 mos. He had been given the go ahead to eat solids because of showing all the signs of readiness. At that point I just waited until I could tell he was ready. This is one of those ridiculous but true statements, like "you'll just know when you are in labor versus braxton hicks". One day he was just starving, nursing didnt cut it, and after a couple of days of that, I started. He scarfed the food without spilling a drop and continued to be a wonderful eater. I had no plans to start him at any particular time, just waited til he was ready.

I did do cereal. At the time, that was what doc recommended. Now I have read you don't have to. I personally would follow whatever the doc recommends, he sounds like he is totally current on the latest science. I liked to have cereal on hand to thicken stuff, and you can also make your own for that reason or to give oatmeal, by blending whole or rolled oats (not quick cooking) to make them smaller.

As for the allergies- I read a lot about baby nutrition. No particular reason, I just read any article I see about it to be informed. The current research is what your doctor advised you. I read this when I was getting ready to start my son on solids. It made absolutely NO sense to me to say that food allergies are so rampant now because we feed them too early, when that is what they used to always do, and the allergies are pretty recent. And when you look at other countries that feed their babies spices and shellfish and peanuts at 6 mos but don't have near the problem we do with allergies, it made sense to me that the waiting to prevent allergies was a silly line of thinking. I fed my son everything that I wanted. I had a few things I avoided but those were about the ability to digest, not allergies. I didn't do milk until 12 mos because they can't digest it. But I did yogurt at 8 or 9, it is not the same as whole milk. I did peanut butter too, as well as ate it the whole time I was nursing. I did not do honey, that is about botulism poisoning, not allergies. I did berries and tomatoes and citrus, but I waited until about 10 mos or so just to give him time to work up to them because the acid can upset their tummies or cause diaper rash. Plus, making my own, it seemed to take forever to work through the produce section, I was never at a loss for what to introduce next. I swear it took me like 5 mos to cover them all. I gave mine seasonings early on, I just introduced them with the wait rule like everything else.

The veggies first versus fruit first is just a matter of opinion. Everyone tends to do what they want first, and baby usually does fine. I personally did the veggies first, starting with yellow/orange veggies, just because they seemed like they would be the easiest to digest. Green veggies are a little more difficult, as well as some fruits. I didn't follow any strict schedule and I did introduce bananas and applesauce earlier on.

A great book for helping answer all these questions and everything else you don't even know to ask yet is The Super Baby Food Book by Ruth Yaron. She gives really great info on what to feed when, how to choose produce, how to cook it. You can follow as much or as little as you want, but just the section on how to prepare the foods is invaluable. I still use it and my son is 2 1/2. She already figured out which ways to cook work best with certain foods. I did a lot of baking. I could put squash and sweet potatoes all on a cookie sheet, get it all cooked at once and then puree and freeze. My steamer didn't hold that much and it took longer. Steaming is better than boiling, but even with steaming you lose nutrients. I used my rice cooker basket that is a steamer, the oven, and a tiny Cuisinart food processor and a Magic Bullet. A couple of regular ice cube trays, some ziploc freezer bags, and lots of aluminum foil and you are pretty much good to go. Some things blended better in the magic bullet, and some in the cuisinart. Most things do not come out as perfectly pureed as storebought, but it seemed like that made for an easy transition to chunky stuff for my son. He never liked anything very thin.

I used Earth's Best but it was hard to find in my stores. I used Gerber and Beechnut too, usually organic. I so rarely used jarred food that I didn't worry about it much. I always had a few jars on hand to take to restaurants and that was it.

I think that was all your questions. Here are my favorite babyfood websites: (has a monthly newsletter that is awesome -highlights a fruit or veggie, gives recipes, giveaways, and even news about recalls which is helpful) (a babyfood blog by a mommy, has a facebook page so you can get recipes daily on your facebook newsfeed if you have one)

The top 2 websites are full of great info on just about everything you might need to know about what to feed, or how, when, etc.

Sorry that is so long. Hope it helps, and good luck!

*Edit to add*
Here is a link that talks about the most recent advice on peanuts, from March of Dimes website, which is reputable:
and if you want to read the actual study results with all it's jargon:

If you want to give peanut butter to small babies and toddlers, thinning it with milk keeps it from being so sticky and possibly filling their throat. Also, if you use more natural peanut butters, they are no where near as sticky to begin with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

If possible it's better to hold off on starting solids until your baby is AT LEAST 6 months old, because until 6 months (later for some babies) the digestive system is not developed enough to process solids yet. Starting too early can also cause digestive problems in some cases, so if your baby is not interested, don't push it.

There is a lot of debate on allergies, but what I've found through research is any food can cause an allergic reaction (even an anaphylactic reaction), so making sure you know what you are giving your baby (ie less processed is easier to figure out if there is a reaction)is a must. Unless there is a family history of allergies to a certain kind of food, there is no real benefit to holding off on something "because it's an allergen." So, if there isn't anyone in your family who's allergic to peanuts, you can introduce them with the standard "trial twice & watch for any reaction" (be careful with peanut butter and whole peanuts because they can be choking hazards).

We followed the "baby led introduction to solids" with my (soy allergic) daughter ( ). No purees, no over cooked mush, etc, she was given normal table food (sometimes cut smaller or larger to avoid possibility of choking), but other than that did not worry about any food restrictions (except, of course, soy since she's allergic to it :P) Now she loves her veggies and has no major food dislikes and love eating.



answers from Boise on

That is really strange to me to say to bring on the berries, etc. I did start with the cereal, and thought I had to get that into him first. He HATED it, and when the ped said that all the food is for practice, not nutritional value or anything, she gave me the go ahead to go onto veggies, which I did. I haven't heard of the orange veggies, but maybe because they are slightly sweeter and smoother? As for all the warning foods? What can it hurt to wait? There is a reason that most docs say to wait.

As for making your own, I steamed, just because I thought that was the better way, and then used a stick blender. The only thing I didn't do myself was carrots because baby food makers know the source and can avoid some of the nitrates (I think that is what is in them), that naturally occur in them.

Earth's Best was a great brand, as I supplemented, and also used it to test out new flavors before making a whole batch, or trying new textures. I let their "stages" tell me if I was making my son's too thick or too thin.

My goal was to go organic, but I did end up just buying cheaply (costco). Good luck to you!



answers from Phoenix on

Frankly, I think your doctor's advice is absolutly crazy and would look for another doctor. Children do not develop allergies to foods because they haven't been exposed to them. If that was the case, then any child raised as a vegetarian would be allergic to meat if they decided to stop being a vegetarian as an adult. Also, any adult who tried a new food would be allergic to it, which we know doesn't happen. Purposely exposing a child younger than 12 months to the common allergens like peanut butter or shellfish is a very bad idea. I think your doctor is being irresponsible in this case and is going against everything the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.
The reason you start a baby on single-grain cereals first is that they are easy to digest and swallow. Cereal allows your baby a chance to learn to eat from a spoon and gives their body a chance to adjust to digesting something other than breast milk/formula. Cereal is also important because it contains iron, which all babies need. Again, your doctor has given you some very bad advice and some facts that are just plain wrong.
Many people start with orange veggies first is because they are 1) sweeter than green veggies, but not as sweet as fruits, 2) not common allergens. Some people do fruits after orange veggies or start with fruits first, but I recommend going orange, green, fruits and then meat after 6 months old. This is the order my doctor recommended, I used for my daughter and I have been recommending to my home daycare clients for over 10 years.
You don't want to just puree your dinner for your baby, because you need to carefully expose your child to individual veggies, fruits and meats so you can watch for any signs of allergic reactions. If you start with rice, oatmeal or barley single-grain cereal (just a little bit at first made super-watery with formula/breast milk), then you can try a new single-grain cereal after a week or so. When introducing solids, you want to give only one new food at a time, waiting at least 3-5 days before introducing another new food, so if your child does have some sort of reaction, you know exactly what caused it.
I made all of my daughter's baby food since she started eating solids (bought her cereal and started her at 4 months). I never used a book or recipes, just made my own versions of what the store-bought foods offered, plus some things they don't. The basics are all the same: orange veggies first, then green veggies, fruits and meats. That's the order I prefer and what I recommend to the clients of my home daycare. The foods I avoided were just a few: broccoli and cucumbers because they are gassy (save for finger foods when she's bigger), beets because fresh beets are a huge pain and I didn't want to give her the vinegar soaked ones in a jar, citrus fruits because they're too acidic. I made large batches of each individual food as I introduced it, pureed it and then froze it in ice-cube trays and store the cubes in baggies in my freezer. When my daughter was older, I made any combination I thought would taste good just by mixing cubes and I wasn't limited in the variety I was able to offer her (lamb, spinach and spaghetti squash one night, bison, sweet potatoes and apples the next). Portion sizes are easy to adjust this way also, as each cube is equal to about an ounce of food, so you can just make more as the baby gets bigger. When I wanted to add texture to her foods, I made small batches of rice and tiny pastas that I added to the purees during heating.
As for how to cook each food, baking or steaming is best to preserve nutrients, but some things have to be boiled. I baked the squashes and sweet potatoes (watch they don't get TOO carmelized), boiled apples, pears, potatoes and green beans until soft and steamed spinach and anything else I could. For the meats, I started with ground, all natural meats and just made sure I cooked them all the way through before pureeing. I used my food processor mostly, adding water only when necessary to get a smooth puree. Tough things with skin, like corn and peas, need a food mill or a very patient, strong arm to push them through a strainer.
I had a lot of fun making my baby's food and being able to offer her variety. While it may not look much better, my food definitely tasted better than the jars. Good luck and enjoy watching your baby grow!

PS. My doctor's office sent home a great feeding chart that a lot of my clients have found useful. I will gladly scan it and email it to you, if you'd like. Just message me on here with your email and I'll get it to you right away.



answers from Missoula on

I don't think there is any benefit to starting solids before 6 months, and I would wait until close to that time if I were you just to be sure your kiddo's digestive tract is ready for real food. I wouldn't worry about what food you introduce first, banana, avocado, sweet potato are all good choices and easy to do yourself. Here is a link to the American Academy of Pediatrics suggestions for starting solids:
I must say that I disagree with the mom who called your pediatrician irresponsible and suggested you find a new one. The science on allergies is changing and the latest research supports what your pediatrician told you ( and what mine told me 2 years ago). You should expose your child to a wide variety of food, including those previously thought to be off-limits because they cause allergies. Honey is still a no-go, but go ahead with whatever else you would like.
There isn't one right way to start solids, and my advice is not to stress over it. I know I worried more than I needed to about it (hindsight is always 20/20) and with my next baby will relax and have more fun with the process, but a little excess worry is part of being a first time mom.
Good luck!



answers from Fort Wayne on

Your pediatrician appears to following the "new" way of thinking in regards to foods, which is actually a very old way of thinking. It used to be that the theory was that kids were allergic to things because they were exposed to them too early.Now some people are coming to the conclusion that the earlier kids are exposed to allergens, the less likely they are to be allergic to that type of food. I wish I had the research at my fingertips, but sadly, I don't. If I get the time to do the search later, I'll send you the information.
That said...I exposed my oldest to peanutbutter well before she was 1. She had Nutter Butter crackers. She also had Honey Teddy Grahams. She's fine. But, allergies don't run in my family. If you have a family history food allergies, you'll want to be extra careful on what you feed your baby.
Your doctor is right in the fact that you don't NEED to give the baby cereal. Lots of people do it because it has no flavor (so it will taste like whatever you make it with like breastmilk or formula) and it's allegedly easy for babies to digest. To be honest, neither of my kids cared for the rice cereal. They like the oatmeal mixed with fruit though.
In order to keep all the good nutrients in the food, you'll want to steam it, not boil it. Boiling it can actually take away some of the vitamins. You can either buy a food steamer, or just steam it in a pan. All you do is add a little water, get it boiling and put a lid on the pot. Steam the food till it's mushy, then put it in the blender (if you're making a lot at a time), add breast milk, formula or water to get it the consistency you want it, pour it into ice cube trays. When it's frozen, put the cubes into freezer bags. Each cube should be roughly 1oz of food. You can also store "meals," one cube of veg and 1 cube of fruit. Or two cubes of get the picture.
The reason lots of people recommend starting orange vegetables is because they are sweeter. Peas and green beans are a lot more bitter. I started both my girls on fruit first (mixed in the cereal) and they both eat all vegetables just fine.
The only way to know if she's ready is to try it. If she eats it, she's ready!
I've used Earth's Best and I can't say it was any better or worse than the other kinds I tried (gerber and Beech Nut). The thing you really have to watch is how much sodium is in baby food. HOLY COW! There's a ton in some kinds, especially the meats. We never used the meats. I just wait until the kids are ready for finger foods and start meats then.
Starting solids seems so intimidating until you actually do it. If she doesn't like something, don't immediately stop giving it to her. It can take exposure up to 10 times before a kid really decides if they like something or not.
Good luck and have fun!



answers from New York on

I think you got a lot of good answers, just a few things that I didn't see mentioned.

You don't HAVE to do purees at all. Steam some veggies and cut it up into small mashable pieces and let her go at it! Avacado is a GREAT first food. Just cut it into small pieces.

Also, I never did plain rice cereal. Have you smelled it? Ick!?!? I decided early on that I wouldn't give my kid anything that grossed me out too much to eat!

As for the peanut butter issue - allergen or not, my 2 year old still gets it stuck to the roof of his mouth and I have to dig it out. I wouldn't want to do that with a child that was just learning to eat. It might freak them out a bit.

Like someone else said, you *know* when they're ready to start. When my DS started stealing food off my plate, I figured he was ready for his own plate.

Good luck!



answers from New York on

You do have lots of questions! : ) Totally normal! Let's see - I started my first on baby cereal, but I know others who didn't, so I probably won't with my second (who is only 3 months currently) because your doc is right about the limited nutritional value. I made my own baby food with the blender (puree function) - no need to buy one especially for baby. I just made a batch and froze them in ice trays, then transferred them to freezer bags; then when it was mealtime, I'd take a few cubes out of the bags and just heat it up in a little saucepan. I started with veggies and I don't know if it helped or not, but my daughter loves veggies - I rarely have trouble getting her to eat them. Of course, she loves fruit too. In fact, the things I have trouble getting her to eat are the things I rarely made for her myself (used Earth's Best and Gerbers) - mainly beef and pork, because they seemed hard to puree yourself.

Definitely use organic when you can, and definitely steam. Boiling takes too much of the nutritional value away. FYI, there are lots of things that don't need to be cooked / processed at all, like bananas and avocadoes and tofu. Never heard of starting with orange veggies. Variety is the key. And there is absolutely no benefit to starting earlier than 6 months, as far as I know. Good luck !!!!



answers from St. Louis on

Hello! I'm going to answer your questions one at a time.

1. We used rice cereal and oatmeal because it was something that was cheap and easy as an introduction to solid foods. It was a good practice, and it didn't stain as much as some of the other baby foods do. Plus, in the beginning, they are just getting the idea and do not really eat all that much. They are still getting the overwhelming majority of their nutritional needs met through either formula or breast milk.
2. There is an idea about starting with veggies first because if babies taste the sweetness of fruit, they will have a harder time eating veggies. I have not found this to be true. Orange veggies are sweeter, so they are the easiest veggies to introduce. They are also really nutritious. And they stain a lot!
3. I have not seen any value to starting solids before 6 months. My sons each started at about 5 months. My oldest loved it; my youngest, not so much. We put the solids away and tried again at around 6 or 6 1/2 months. it was much better then!
4. Making your own baby food is actually very easy. There are 3 stages of baby food. Stage 1 is the smoothest, most pureed. We baked pumpkins, squash, and hard winter vegetables. We steamed carrots and other hard vegetables without shells. We also steamed or sauteed other vegetables like zucchini, summer squash, apples, etc. Then we would use our Magic Bullet to puree. If we needed more liquid, we would add a little bit of stock or 100% pure juice.
5. Yes, I've used Earth's best. It is good. One thing that you need be be aware of is that most baby food brands make baby food that is appealing to the pallette of the parents. Babies do not really have as many taste buds, and they are not as well developed. Just look at the labels. You want it to be as pronouncable as possible, with ingredients that you easily recognize and understand. Then you'll be golden.

Good luck, and have a great time introducing your little one to solid food!



answers from New York on

Hi J.,
I'd honestly be looking for a new doctor. Bring on the peanut butter? The AAP does not recommend peanut butter til age 3. Peanut allergy isn't minor, it's often fatal.
The AAP recommends solids not before six months. Check out their website for actual recommendations, not personal opinions which can vary hugely from doctor to doctor and mom to mom.
THere is no nutritional value in white rice cereal, but there are other whole grain cereals you can prepare for baby. Keep in mind that during the 6-12 month period, babies don't really get much nutrition from food anyway, your breastmilk or her formula supplies all the nutrients she needs. Foods are just a supplement, to experiment with textures and tastes, and should not replace milk feedings.
Good luck!


answers from New York on

I started my son at 4 months with Rice Cereal. And then at 5 months veggies, and at 6 months fruits. At 13 months, with the approval of our pedi, I gave him peanut butter on toast. After throwing up everytime I gave him peanut butter, we had him allergy tested. He is allergic to Peanut Butter (severely) and a whole list of other foods. Allergies do NOT run in our family, so I never thought he would have this issue.

My daughter didnt get anything other than breast milk until she was 6 months. She didnt have peanut butter until a friend accidentally gave it to her around her 3rd birthday. She doesnt have any allergies. We've had her tested.
My feeling is, Why rush it?

I used Earth's Best for both of my kids. They loved it, and I loved the simple organic ingredients.



answers from Casper on

Okay, so I know that when you start solids it is a confusing time. First of all calm down and know that we have all been there. I have always been a little wierd on starting solids with my 6 children. I have ALWAYS started with the fruits and sweet veggies with the them. My reasoning is this: if you want them to learn how to eat solid foods and start them on the things that don't taste as good, they aren't going to want to eat and therefore not eat. With that being said, I start them on the fruits (which are naturally sweet) and those veggies like sweet peas and corn and sweet potatoes. I have never made my own baby food, it was an issue of time for us ( and the fact that I don't buy/eat certain veggies myself, yet I want the kids to have that exposure to them---so we bought the jarred food. As far as the allergies go, be slow about starting a new food. Don't overload your child with a ton of new foods, because if they do have a reaction, you won't know what it is to. Start one new food and feed only that one for a week until you know how they will react. As the cereal goes I wouldn't feed that in the morning as breakfast, I usually waited until dinner time. It has more bulk to it and will fill the child up......hence they would usually sleep longer periods in between feedings. Good luck and just go with what you child seems to want. If they are having a hard time eating/swallowing the food, wait a while and then try again. There isn't a set age at where they will start the solids....they will eat them when they are ready.
J.---SAHM of 6 (7th due in July)



answers from New York on

Hi J.-

We started on cereal first, less because of its nutritional value and more for what it teaches the children to do - open and swallow. The first cereals are pretty runny and general mixed well with BM. We have used rice first then progressed to oatmeal. Follow your baby's lead on this issue. My little girl was content to slurp her foods for ever. My prince on the otherhand has been a champ as we have "dried" things out a bit to almost paste. Signs of readiness include sitting up, reaching for your food, mouthing motions, and not being fully content on BM. Follow your gut, if you are asking this question, than the baby is most likely ready (even if you aren't! LOL!) We started my daughter closer to 6 months but our son started at about 4.5/5 months. Neither one appears to have a probelm with solids. My daughter nursed till about 15 months and my son is still nursing as a champ too so I would not be too worried about that.

The best time to introduce food is lunch. They are not famished. We did "lunch" for several weeks before moving the cereal into "breakfast" postion and continued with lunch. Dinner was the last meal we added both times.

We have fed both our children things that we eat. This time however, we are taking a little bit different approach. We are "making" our own baby food. We are still following the approach laid out by the baby food companies though and started on single ingredient items without any spices. Gerber published a check list of fruits and veggies and what "color" of the eating rainbow they fall into. I used that as a guide to what we are making and he is eating.

We would use the rice or oatmeal as thickener as needed. We did primarily fruits and veggies and only recently have introduced meats. We started with bananas and then added a veggie and then applesauce then a veggie and so on. I was unable to remove pea shells and green bean pods so we buy those from gerber but the squash, carrots, etc. we make ourselves. I have found that the carrots can be too dry and crumbly so I add a bit of applesauce. I think this makes them a bit sweeter too. I have since then introduced blueberries and strawberries but they were tastes mixed in with something I knew he liked and was not allergic to like pears or applesauce.

Our prince really loves his food and grabs constantly at my plate so we may be moving on to more complex tastes soon. We have reached a stage where sometimes the meat and veggie get mixed together instead of being fed seperately. His attention span on his own dish is not always so good so mixing it is faster. The first spices appear to be onion, garlic and parsleys so that is what we might begin adding in a few more weeks.

Food is also fun. Now that we have a tooth, we have started playing (and occassionally eating) banana bits (not dehydrated stuff, just pieces from an actual banana) and cheerios. I do not like the yogurt drops as those are a milk exposure and I feel that is still too early. He likes to squish things constantly! LOL.

As far as the allergies are concerned, I am not so sure about it just being an exposure issue. It think there may be genes and environmental factors involved so I would move a bit more slowly than the doctor is recommending. I was very careful not to exposure my daughter to wheat or eggs as much as possible until closer to 9 or 12 months. We avoided cows milk until she turned 12 months. We wait on peanut butter till closer to 18 months. My recommendation would be to take it slow, especially with an infant. Introduce one new thing once every two to three days at a time so you can watch for reactions - different bowls, irritation on the neck and face, etc.

Go and get yourself a small food processor. (We tried some of those steam and mash baby food makers and it was a joke!) We like our Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus Processor (DLC-2A) since it does not take up a ton of space and seems to hold just the right amount of food for making a few days meals. Use steamed veggies, canned fruits (in juice, not syrup), fresh fruits, browned/boiled meats with broth and mix it all up till you get the consistency your child is use to. We also splurged for a few BEABA Multiportion Freezer Trays. These I LOVE! And the portions are perfect for him right now.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it and keep a positive attitude. Eating is a new adventure every day!



answers from Richmond on

My son is 4 months old but I JUST went to the pediatrician with him today so I can tell you wheat they told me. The reason they give rice cereal first is because 1-it doesn't stain, so it's perfect to practice with, and 2- it is as gentle on babies tummies as breastmilk or formula, whereas other things are more acidic. Yes, start with veggies, go through ALL of them before you start fruits. Once babies have that sweetened pallet, it's harder to get them to go to veggies. I am starting my son early (well, earlier than my daughters) on solids because he has 2 teeth and is much bigger and further advanced than my daughters were at that age, so a 6 month old diet is appropriate for him. Some of the signs babies are ready for solids: 1- if they watch your food go from your plate to your mouth (taking interest in your food), 2-they try to grab your food, 3- when you do start them off eating from a spoon, they try to actually grab the spoon, 4- they can hold their head up on their own. I love Earths Best, and I'm not one to go all-organic, I just prefer it. Feel free to shoot me a message with more questions, like I said, this is my 3rd baby and it's all fresh in my head from being at the doctor today :) Best wishes!



answers from Knoxville on

Hi J.,
Don't worry about getting it right ... your way no matter how you do it will be good!! I made my own baby food with my first and used jarred baby food as a convenience when I didn't have time to make it. I really stressed over what foods to give first, etc., etc. I have a second baby now (she is 8 months, my first is 3!) and really feel like that stuff is nothing to stress over because your kid will turn out fine, ya know? Anyway, just my two cents.

I think they suggest starting with veggies before fruits because fruits are sweeter. I don't think it matters much though. And I think they suggest orange before green for veggies because green have a stronger flavor. I gave my second fruit first (bananas and apples) followed by sweet potatoes, peas, and green beans. She loves all the veggies and doesn't care so much for the fruit. So the order didn't make a difference.

I think it is fine for your baby to eat what you are eating but pureed, but only after having been introduced to the different foods. What I mean is introduce one thing, say bananas, and then only eat that for 2 to 3 days. Then introduce something else and only eat that for 2 to 3 days. That way if you baby is allergic you can figure out what is causing the problem.

I don't know about the whole allergy thing and bring on all the foods. Our pediatrician recommended no eggs until 1 1/2 to 2 years. No peanut butter until 3. No honey until some age also. I think there are lots of different opinions about this so you just have to decide what course you think is best for your baby.

I don't know if there is a benefit to starting before 6 months. I wouldn't think it makes a difference. I tried to start both my kids on solids right around the 6 month mark. Both just kept pushing the food back out with their tongues and not swallowing. So I would wait a week and try again. They figured it out around 7 months.

Steaming the food will retain more of the nutrients. I use one of those magic bullets to puree the food (add a little bit of water if it is too dry or thick and gets stuck when you try to puree it) and it works great.

I have used Earth's best, gerber, beech nut ... they all seem good to me!!

Best of luck! Just remember no matter what you do, you are doing great!


P.S. Forgot to mention - there are some foods you should not make for your baby (e.g., carrots and spinach) - something to do with the nitrates that can be stored in them.



answers from Lexington on

i have an almost-7 month old, and she's my second. i tend to be a little more cautious than your ped with food. first off, are you breastfeeding? b/c there is no extra iron in breastmilk, and the natural stores of iron are depleted by about 6 months, i think it's important to start with an iron-fortified cereal. rice tends to be gentlest, but neither of my girls really liked it, so we did about a week on it, once a day, then moved to oatmeal. now we do a new food every 4 days. i haven't made much baby food this time around, but there are some great cookbooks out there for blender baby food. the cooking technique will depend on what you're making, and most cookbooks can guide you through that. however, we do use earth's best, and i *love* it for the sheer variety and lack of additives. she gets the same new food every day for 4 days at breakfast along with a little baby oatmeal, and then whatever else for dinner. they used to say starting veggies was better to promote more veggies later, but it doesn't seem to make much difference, and i think experts are starting to say that, too. the benefit to orange veggies is that babies tend to like them more. i would start with either an orange veggie (milder flavor than green ones) or a fruit... we've been through pears, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, avacado (fresh), bananas (fresh), and pumpkin... next up for us is spinach! although we didn't go in that order. your ped is right in a sense about allergies coming from not being exposed to a food and then suddenly being exposed to it, but i think a little more caution when the possible side effect is (at least) misery for your child or (at worst) an anaphylactic reaction. also, cow's milk/ dairy products like yogurt and cheese should be later, closer to 9 or 10 months, even a year. in fact, i think really only yogurt and cottage cheese or other soft cheeses are suggested before a year old. i would definitely not do peanut butter until at least 18 months, purely b/c it's thick and sticky and hard for those little tongues to manipulate enough to swallow... plus the reaction to peanut butter tends to be a bad one. we started solids at 5 months b/c our little one was bursting into tears out of frustration watching us eat, kept trying to grab our food, etc. my first one didn't do that, so we waited until she was a good 6 months old. i think that hits most of your questions, good luck!

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