When to Start Solid Food/ Liquids for the Baby?

Updated on February 16, 2011
V.K. asks from Maywood, NJ
17 answers

My baby will b 4 mths old now. When should i start juices/ mashed fruits or veggies for him? What is the pattern to start the same. Is it 1 fruit a day? What should i feed him first? Fruit or veggies? My doc says no juices, it should b mashed fruits....Any suggestions??

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answers from Fayetteville on

EVERYTHING I ever read said to start rice cereal at 4 mos-I started mine at 4 mos with my 1st and 3 mos, with my 2nd. Do not wait until 6 mos. it takes them longer to learn to eat food. Mix the cereal with breast milk or formula, it will need to be pretty runny at first. Rice is easiest on the tummy so I started there, but they really preferred oatmeal a little later. You can also mix it with fruit, applesauce or bananas or pears- but only one new fruit each week. My dr said I could give her 1/2 water 1/2 juice at 6 mos, but juice is really not neccessary, but does help if they get constipated.

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answers from Gainesville on

I second wholesomebabyfood.com! Great, great site!

No juice-not something baby needs, most people try a bit of rice cereal first then start with green veggies. That way they have a taste for the less sweet first. Hard to start with fruit (sweet) then go to veggies (non-sweet).

And baby has what is called an open gut until around 6 months of age. That means what goes into baby's tummy goes into baby's blood stream. Best to wait until the 6 month mark to introduce solids.

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answers from Denver on

You will get lots of answers to this question. Here is what I know for sure:
1. Most pediatricians say no solid food at all until at least 6 months.
2. Naturopaths say no solids until baby has teeth. When the teeth come in the saliva changes to better digest solids. Teeth are natures way of saying you can have something other than liquid.
3. Juice is a bad idea period. It's just sugar and has very little nutritional content. You do not want baby to fill up on juice, but rather on things that are nutritionally balanced.
4. I would start with mashed veggies, not fruit. That way baby has a better chance of eating veggies as he gets older.
5. If baby pushes the food out of his mouth with his tongue then he isn't ready. That is a reflex that goes away when babies body can handle solids.
6. Most babies get constipated when given cereal. This is because the enzyme that digests starches (amylase) does not start to be produced by the body until around 1 year of age.
7. Breast milk and formula are all a baby needs nutritionally for the first year. All solids are practice before then. A baby's stomach is small and so their food needs to be nutritionally packed so they get all the building blocks they need to grow. Always give them formula or breast milk first, then the solids. A bit of sweet potato will not give them them all the nutrients they need like formula or breast milk, so you do not want them to get full on that.
8. When deciding what to feed baby think about what you could do naturally. You could smash up an avocado or a banana easily, so that is something that a baby could eat even if there were not modern day processing. Fresh is better than jarred.

Good luck!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Your child is too young to start solid foods. You will be filling their tummy with food instead of nutritious formula or breastmilk. For the first year that is the main source of their nutrition. Nothing else is needed.

Most of us just can't wait for our little ones to eat food though. Feeding food while they are still on formula or breastmilk is only for teaching them to chew and swallow, not for nutrition. Baby food has minimal nutrition in it compared to the formula or breastmilk that is full of everything they need.

So, please wait 2 months or take it very very slow. Dry cereal with formula or breastmilk mixed in should be runny. It's only purpose is to teach chewing and swallowing the food and they can choke if it's not thick. It should be pretty runny.

If you have heard of WIC, they start at 6 months giving the babies cry cereal, like Rice. Then you can add things over the next few months. They don't start the babies on Juice until a few months later.

By 1 year of age the baby should be used to stage 3 baby food or table food. They may not be able to do the chunks yet but they should be doing very well eating at that point.

After J was a year old and on table food 90% of the time I got a food chopper from Pampered Chef that you pump the knob on top and blades go down and chop the food into tiny pieces. I started out pumping it about 15 times on food for J, like spaghetti hamburger helper. The chunks in it would be very small at that point and I felt confident he could eat that size food. After he did well with that I would pump about 10 times and the chunks would be bigger.

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answers from Johnstown on

Rice cereal with breast milk/formula are the first to be introduced...usually between 3-4 months. Don't do fruits until your LO is atleast 6 months. Then when you introduce, you do apples or pears first, and only give one ever 5-7 days incase an allergy develops. Don't overload their system--it's still very premature and not ready for all the excessive digesting it will be put through. Juice is loaded with sugar--it's best to avoid them until atleast a year.

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answers from New York on

At the doctors recomendation, I started with oatmeal cereal, a small amount, just a tablespoon or two, at four months.....when it was time to add fruits/veggies I started with veggies for a few months first. I had read, and it makes sense, that if you start them on fruits which are of course sweeter, they may not like the veggies later. I did a few months of just veggies and then added fruits later and both my kids always loved their veggies.

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answers from Columbus on

The association of pediatricians recommends waiting until 6 months of age to start solids if the baby is healthy & has no problems.

Generally, it's 1 new food per every 3 days, or longer (like 1 new food every 7 days) if you have a history of allergies (particularly food allergies). A food = 1 ingredient. So, apples = 1 food, an apple/pear combo baby food jar would equal 2 foods, and you should not feed it until after your baby has successfully eat the apples and the pears separately. (If he already ate apples and was fine, then you could feed the apple/pear combo & see if he reacted---that way, if he did react allergicaly, you'd know it was the pears. I hope that makes sense).

Juice shouldn't really be given for a while (we didn't give any until the baby was 1 year old, and then only sparingly/occasionally, and very watered down). Juice is basically flavored sugar water (that is how your body treats it), so it doesn't have much nutritional value and because babies like it so much it's easy for them to fill up on empty calories and that hurts their growth.

Most parents start with an infant cereal, with only 1 ingredient (like rice cereal), and mix it with formula or breastmilk. Our pediatrician actually recommended _not_ mixing it with breatmilk or formula, so that the baby would understand that drinks are for drinking (ie formula/breastmilk) and foods are for eating, and not get confused.

We opted to feed veggies first (we started with sweet potatoes & squash) and then did cereal then fruits. But I really don't think it matters much.

Keep in mind that for the first year of life, the baby should be getting all or most of it's nutrition from formula or breastmilk. The solid food is just an additional, small source of nutrition and you should not be relying on it to provide balanced nutrition until closer to 1 year old.

Definitely ask your pediatrician. They will probably have super easy handouts/guidelines to follow that will help guide you.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Talk to your pediatritian on when you should start. Generally its at 6 months but not all ask you to wait that long- depends on your baby I guess. I was asked to start around 4-5 months but I waited until 6 months.He is my first so I just wanted to do everything right :) If I have my second baby , I will start earlier than 6 months.My baby was ready by the time I started.I have heard some babies are not ready at all and they reject solids - if yours isn't then wait few more weeks and try again.
I started mine on rice cereal mixed with breastmilk.Then we did oatmeal.And then pureed veggies and fruits after a month or so.Its better to start with veggies because once the baby gets used to the sweet taste of the fruits , he might not take any vegetable purees.I never made my own baby food.Making fresh pureed food at home in such small amounts isn't easy.A lot of people make it in a big batch and then freeze it(wholesomebabyfood.com has good recipes for that).I just use the organic baby food jars - earth's best is all organic.gerber has organic ones too.
Babies don't need to drink juice - some moms get babies to drink water by giving then very diluted fruit juice.Baby will get all the water they need from breastmilk. Avoid it.

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answers from Miami on

Every baby is different. My first born took to solids around 4 months...my second not until almost 6 months...and I can't recall when my 3rd took solids. My ped recommended starting with cereal. Baby cereal, that is...rice or oatmeal. You can mix it with a little juice, water, formula, or breastmilk. I usually gave them cereal once a day, morning or night, your choice. I always preferred night. Once I knew they were okay with cereal (no reactions/allergies) then I slowly added other foods. My ped recommended veggies over fruits because you want your baby to acquire a taste for veggies first since they will inevitably love fruits (because they are sweet). One veggie at a time for several days...to make sure there are no reactions. IF you get any reaction, stop using that food, wait until the reaction clears and go to a different food. Do not use any foods that cause a reaction for a few months. Once you've made your way around the veggies and you know what causes a reaction and what is liked/disliked, then you can start the fruits. I preferred cereal at night (before bed time), veggies for dinner, fruits for lunch. I would also hold off on juices until he is at least 12 months of age and I always diluted it with water. Juice is very sweet and a little water helps cut down on the sweetness. You can introduce water at around 6 months...but there is no rush. If you are formula feeding or breastfeeding, all your baby needs for thirst is satisfied with whatever you are already giving. Don't rush into solids...take your time. There's no hurry.

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answers from Tampa on

I'd wait till about 8 months to introduce anything... the earlier you start solids (especially if formula feeding) the higher chances are for your child to have childhood diabetes and obesity.

*** http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=14289444 ***

Solids are NOT NECESSARY for the first year of life - breastmilk is. If not breastfeeding or giving donor milk, then formula is the 3rd best form of nutrition for the first year.



answers from Rochester on


Hi just posted somewhere else for you.

A minimum of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by AMA, A year by WHO. A minimum of 1 year by AMA overall, and 2 year minimum by WHO. Disparity? yes.

La Leche League will tell you - cereals are not worth the money you pay for them. Any vitamins are introduced by the comapnies. Not nature!

Fruits and veggies pureed are best first off - after the 6 month mark. But I would truly, if you HAVE to, test 3 days for each veggie, starting with vegetables. Give each veggie a 3 day test before moving on to the next.

Which one first? toss a coin. But I would start veggies first, as fruits are unnecessary sugar for him at this point. IMO!

So much to know, and so much to type, and my baby is starting to wake!
Good luck,


answers from Chicago on

No juice, no juice ever if you can avoid it really cow/soy/rice/almond milks and water after they are off of formula will suffice honestly. And do not start solid foods until after 6 months ... I knew my son was ready right around 6 months because he was in his sling (hip) and I was standing to eat a burger and I go to take a bite and so does he! He just mouthed it and licked his lips I think he got some mustard or pickle juice but a week later I started him on solids. His first was avacado (used breast milk to make his foods), then banana, peas, carrots, then around 8 months I made roast beef and pureed it up and after that the sky was the limit. I made most of the baby food for the week on sunday and I had a few back up jars of organic in the event I did not make enough that week (growth spurts happen). I would start planning now, esp if you plan to make your own baby food but not start eating solids until 6mo or later depending on baby's interest in what you are eating. There are pleanty of websites that will give you solid food readiness checklists and guidlines.



answers from Houston on

does your baby need this??? I started mine on cereal at 5 and 8 weeks but no fruit or veggies till 6 months. if you give it to them to early your running risk of allergies supposedly. I also never started juices till wic put them on them. I believe in giving solids early but only cereal never fruits and veggies till 6 months


answers from Chicago on

Around 6 mos, start with cereals, then veggies, then fruits, then meats (if your family is not vegetarian), then transition to table foods around 9-11 mos depending on how well your baby is handling little chunks/pieces. If you think there is any chance of reactions/allergies, wait 3 days to introduce each new thing and watch for skin reactions, eczema, etc. I wouldn't do juices until your baby is on table foods and then limited to like 4 oz a day -- they are acidic and can cause bad diaper rash or diarrhea in excess.



answers from Cleveland on

Gerber makes a banana flavored oatmeal that I started with my daughter when she was 4 months old. Once she was used to the taste I started mixing in other fruits and givng her veggies at lunchtime. Her bottles were still her main source of nutrition though and food was just used to get her used to it. Around 6 months I added those Gerber puffs to adjust her to eating on her own with her fingers and moved to the 2nd stage foods. She is nine months now and eating everything in sight! I give her juice with dinner but I dilute it with water so its just added flavor.



answers from San Antonio on

We started fruits and veggies at 4 months. We would mix a little with rice cereal, gradually increasing it. Try one type for 3 days, and then add another and so on (to be sure of allergies).
We were told to use veggies first, then fruits, because otherwise they get too used to sweet things. Our daughter is 15 months and we still haven't given her juice yet, just water and milk.
It is so fun to see them change with the different flavors and textures! Good luck and have fun!



answers from Chattanooga on

www.wholesomebabyfood.com is a wonderful resource for all food questions. :)

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