Introducing Solid Foods

                For a long while, I did not like the idea of making a chart for introducing solid foods to infants. I just wanted to start with a general guideline for introducing solids, because I believe every baby is different and every family has their own different preferences. Rigid rules for feeding is not my thing! Family can be creative as long as you following the general rules.

                In general, babies can start eating solids from 4-6 months of age, but some babies start early if they develop normal, advanced or baby shows interest. The most common first solid food is cereal, rice oatmeal, or barley; which ever the family prefers. Most families add cereal into their infant's bottle 2-3 times per day, or mix a small amount of formula into pasty mixture for spoon feeding 2x per day. 

                Once the baby is swallowing well, family can start with vegetables, stage I vegetables: carrots, peas, green beans, squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. With every new item, family should give three to four days to make sure their infant does not have any allergies, intolerance, symptoms, etc. (rash, gassy, vomit, loose stool, or simply refusing to eat).

                I personally like to start fruits after vegetables. First stage fruits are apples, bananas, peaches, and pears. General rules to rule out allergies apply here as well.

                Grounded meat like chicken, turkey, or beef starts after 6 months of age depending on the readiness of the baby and how well the baby is doing with vegetables and fruits. Usually, just add a few teaspoons of grounded meat into vegetables to make a mixture for feeding.

                Most babies advance to stage II or increase coarseness of the texture around 8-9 months, some babies can even handle table foods, of course with caution and direct supervision by an adult. Finger foods are welcome for this age as well, since the feeding activities are great fine muscle exercise for the age.

                Which food items to avoid is always an interesting topic. Every culture can be quite different. Medically, egg, nuts, seafood, and honey should be avoided during the first year. If your family likes to start fish, I recommend tilapia and/or salmon to start. However, you will want to limit the amount of fish since mercury is present in seafood.