Introducing Solid Foods: One Food at a Time
When you introduce solids, it is easier for your baby’s digestive system if foods are simple and separate for the first two to three months. You can start with the following order of solid foods: 1) grains, 2) vegetables, 3) protein-rich foods, and 4) fruits. This order also helps your baby develop a palate with a wide range of natural tastes by starting with the savory taste of vegetables before the sweetness of fruits.
Introduce foods one at a time, without mixing foods, until you have tried each and are sure that your baby does not have an allergic reaction. At first your baby may eat only a small amount of food, and then she will gradually increase solid food over breast milk or formula. You can introduce new foods every three to five days.
Your child may need to try each food several times to get used to the taste and texture, and she may resist certain foods and combinations. If you offer a food, and she repetitively turns it down, then maybe she does not need that food at that time. She will eat if she is hungry, so it is not necessary to force her. You can try again in a few days or weeks, and see her reaction. Regular persistence in periodically trying nutritious foods gives her the opportunity to develop a variety of tastes, provides nutritional options, and helps her maintain balance.
About 70 percent of a child’s basic food preferences are developed before the age of two.
Your baby’s tastes can change daily, affecting her food preferences. Because food tastes can vary as her physical condition changes, what she does not like today could be different in a month. About 70 percent of a child’s basic food preferences are developed before the age of two.
During the first few weeks of eating cooked foods, check your baby’s diaper for her response to new foods. As she eats more solid food, her stools naturally change. If you notice that your baby is not gaining weight or still seems hungry after eating, check with your health care provider for possible causes.
I have photos of myself feeding [my daughters] Emi and Mari with a determined look on my face while spooning puree in their mouths. I also remember moving my tongue in a motion across my lips as if to wipe or lick the food and swallow it for them. At busy times, it may be challenging to relax and listen to your baby’s needs, but the best intention is to start your child on the path toward solid foods, and then guide her to discover her own tastes, as well as her feelings of hunger and fullness.