Home > Nutrition - Baby & Toddler > Weaning and First Foods

Weaning and First Foods

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 18 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Weaning First Foods Baby Food Food

In the beginning, all of your baby's nutritional needs are best met from the consumption of breast milk or baby formula. At about 6 months, however, most babies are ready to begin adding solid food to their diets. The goal is to keep adding foods so that by the time the baby becomes a toddler, they will be able to join in on regular family meals.

How to Begin

Most pediatricians recommend an exclusive diet of breast milk or baby formula for the first six months. At that time, you can begin to carefully add in a few simple foods. Most parents find that iron enriched cereal is a good first choice, usually beginning with a specially formulated baby rice cereal that you mix with a bit of breast milk or formula. Don't be surprised if your baby rejects your first few efforts at feeding solid foods. Many babies take a while to grow accustomed to eating solids.

Starting Purees

Once your baby is tolerating single grain cereal, you can begin to introduce vegetable and fruit purees. This is best done by choosing one new food at a time and watching carefully to see that your baby shows no signs of allergy before moving on to the next selection. Be sure to vary your baby's diet to include both green and orange veggies, as well as a variety of fruits.

Although there is no single "right" way to select baby foods, some parents find that once their baby has tried fruit, they may object to eating vegetables. After all, vegetables are not nearly as sweet. Others swear that their babies do well by alternating fruits and vegetables. Experiment to see what works best for you, but remember, it is important that your baby learns to enjoy a wide selection of foods. Once you have determined that your baby has no food allergies, you can be a bit sneaky in getting them to eat vegetables, if need be. Simply mix a fruit and vegetable together and watch as your previously "choosy" baby gobbles up those veggies!

Homemade or Commercially Prepared?

Some parents choose to make their own baby food, while others opt for commercially prepared varieties. Either way is fine, but if you make homemade baby food, be sure not to add sugar, salt, or other seasonings. A baby's digestive system does not tolerate seasonings well, and in any case, it is best to get the baby used to having their wholesome foods served as simply as possible.

Weaning to Cow's Milk

Your GP or health visitor can be a great source of advice when it comes to making the transition from breast milk or formula to cows' milk. Breast milk is beneficial to children to the end of the second year and beyond, but in no instance should a child under 12 months be given cows' milk since it does not contain the proper balance of nutrients to promote healthy growth and development in babies.

Giving children a sound, nutritional start is a great way to encourage a lifelong habit of choosing healthy foods. Parents should make every effort to select wholesome foods for their children -- from that very first bite.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Bigboy jill
    Re: Gymnastics for Kids and Teens
    I am a teenager and would like to start gymnastics but don't know where to go or i there is even any classes for beginners in…
    8 February 2019
  • Amy
    Re: Gymnastics for Kids and Teens
    I am 15 years old and I would love to start gymnastics as it is my first ever time going to be doing it
    3 February 2019
  • Hutchie
    Re: Scholarships and Grants for Education
    My daughter is 5 and in year one in COE school. Says she hates school so am thinking of moving her to Steiner school…
    7 January 2019
  • lulu
    Re: Pilates for Teens
    it will be myfrst time in a log time.
    27 December 2018
  • Ms Nina
    Re: Hiring an Au Pair
    I am looking for an au pair starting the 7th January 2019. I have 2 boys age 9 and 6 years old. She will be responsible to get take then to…
    20 December 2018
  • Sophie
    Re: Gymnastics for Kids and Teens
    Hi im a 12 year old female and would love to get started! How much are these classes?
    12 September 2018
  • Kathzplayzgamez
    Re: At What Age Can Kids Get a Job?
    I am an 11 year old female, however my teachers say I'm mentally older than that and I am determined to get a job to support…
    3 September 2018
  • Jess
    Re: Scholarships and Grants for Education
    I would like to send my child to the Meadows Montessori school in ipswich Larchcroft road and my daughter is 5 years…
    19 July 2018
  • goody
    Re: Gymnastics for Kids and Teens
    I'm 16 a male i'm Nigerian,I need a scholarship i'm gymnastics cos I love it especially vault and floor exercise, please help me…
    12 July 2018
  • Help
    Re: How Much Should Teens Eat?
    I am 15 ( soon 16) years old girl. I dont know how much should I eat (how many calories?) per day. I have depression and i may have…
    8 June 2018