When Can Babies Eat Baby Food?

When Can Babies Eat Baby Food?

When can babies eat baby food?

As much as the parents love their babies and hope their little ones grow up healthy and happy, a common question most parents ask is, when is the best time to start their babies on solid foods following their nutrition and growth needs? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), one of the academies advises that the typically recommended time of introducing baby food is when babies are at the age of 6 months. But there are several factors at play here, and the introduction of baby solid foods can often depend on the babies' rate of development and whether they're willing to accept the solid food. And note that You can only introduce baby food until your baby is over 4-month-old.

How do you know if your little one is ready for the first baby food? Don't worry! Read through this passage to answer all the questions which make you daunted. This passage is about when babies can eat solid food, what to prepare as baby food, food allergies to keep in mind, and how much should baby eat.

When can babies eat solid food?

Except for the suggested best months to eat solid food and based on the growth of each baby, there are the signs followed you can check if the baby is ready:

  1. The weight. It would be better if the baby's weight is twice as much as it did at birth, at least 6kg.
  2. Breast milk or formula is not enough to eat. On the condition that the baby often cries in the middle of the night because of hunger and the feeding times or amount of breastfeeding increases obviously, it's time to add solid food.
  3. Babies' development. Observing the growth of your little one, you may find that the baby can hold the head upright and sit up straight alone. These are essential indications that your baby can have solid foods.
  4. Babies' behavior. When eating next to the baby, the baby would be interested in grabbing the spoon or chopsticks. If your baby puts his hands into his mouth at this time, it shows that he is eager to eat.
  5. Swallen the food rather than spit it out. When putting food into the baby's mouth, the baby opens his mouth and swallows with a smile showing that the baby is interested in eating solid food. However, if the baby spits out the solid food and refuses to eat, it's not a proper time to feed the baby solid food.

What solid foods to prepare for the baby to eat first?

The AAP suggests the introduction order of solid food is flexible. But it's worth mentioning that course, meat, poultry, legumes, and iron-fortified grains can be foods of choice because they provide vital nutrients. In addition, be careful to introduce only one ingredient at a time.

When first introducing solid foods, it is vital to offer a variety of fortified infant cereals, such as oats, barley, and a variety of grains, rather than just rice cereal. At the age of 6-month, your baby's first solid food must be pureed or mashed. It is not necessary to provide juice to babies until they are one year old to prevent the high sugar content of fruit juice from adversely affecting the baby's growth. 

Here are some examples of what you can introduce as solid food for your baby:

  1. Rice or oat grains fortified with iron. Make sure this kind of rice grain, adding various nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and zinc, is specially made for babies, which is beneficial for the growth of babies. 
  2. Fruits and vegetable puree: Like mashed bananas and sweet potatoes, which are soft and tasty, most babies will love to eat them.
  3. Stewed apples or pears: Soft fruit is better for babies to swallow, and babies won't choke when they eat the stewed fruit. In addition, during the steaming process, it can reduce the sugar in fruit and prevent the baby from intaking too much sugar.

Food allergies: What to avoid?

When feeding solid food to the baby, health and safety are always first. Bear the following rules in mind:

  1. No salt until your baby reaches 1-year-old. The amount of sodium in solid food is more than enough to meet your baby's growth needs.
  2. Don't add soy sauce to babies before their birthdays. There is little difference between children's soy sauce and ordinary soy sauce, which has a high sodium content.
  3. No seasoning. The taste of the food itself is enough for the baby. And the baby's tasty is not fixed, so if your little one refuses to eat sometimes, don't force and try a few times, and finally, your baby will accept it.
  4. Sugar is also best left out. The latest dietary guidelines for Americans recommend adding it after age 2.
  5. Do not add vinegar before 12 months. That's because vinegar stimulates the stomach and causes stomach acid.
  6. Honey. Do not give the baby before the age of 1-year-old since it's easy to lead to botulism.
  7. Pure milk is not suitable for babies because of its weak gastrointestinal function.
  8. Fruit juice contains too high of sugar, so it's not the right time for babies to drink.
  9. Never give alcohol to babies, preferably not a drop.
  10. All kinds of herbal tea, coffee, cola, and other drinks are unsuitable for children.
  11. Milk drinks. The most common lactic acid bacteria drinks on the market contain no fresh milk, but milk powder with a lot of water and additives, and most of them lack nutrition and have high sugar.
  12. When eating grapes, cherries, and cherry-sized tomatoes, do not give the baby complete food to prevent suffocation. According to the baby's situation, the fruit can be chopped or cut into two halves, four halves, etc.
  13. Process hard food like peanuts, walnuts, and melon seeds into mud or powder for babies to eat. Don't give the whole hard food to a 3-year-old.
  14. It's best not to eat jelly because there is no nutrition in it, and there are safety risks.

How to introduce baby food?

Baby dining utensils:

  1. Eat chair: It must be stable to secure the baby's safety.
  2. Bib: It should be soft, not hurt the baby's skin, waterproof and oil-proof, and easy to clean.
  3. Food bowl: It would be better to choose stainless steel material, water insulation, and a bowl bottom with a suction cup.
  4. Food spoon: It is best to feel temperature discoloration. Avoid an iron spoon so as not to burn the baby.

What time to feed:

  1. The baby is in a good mood and eager to eat solid food.
  2. Choose a time between two meals in the morning. Or when the family takes lunch, it's convenient to observe the baby's post-meal situation.
  3. Don't suddenly feed solid food when the baby is focused and excited to play a game, which will destroy the baby's concentration and make the baby resistant to eating.

Eating habits:

  1. When eating solid food, the baby should sit on the dining chair instead of moving around to avoid the risk of bruising or scalding.
  2. Washing hands before having food to reduce the risk.
  3. Bottles are more likely to be contaminated than cups, so try to learn to drink water or milk from a cup as early as possible.
  4. When your baby is eating solid food, have an adult around to avoid accidents.
  5. When the baby is crying or laughing, do not give the baby to eat, and do not make the baby laugh when eating, it is easy to choke, which is very dangerous. 
  6. Heimlich first aid. All parents should learn how to operate if there is anything emergency.

How much should the baby eat?

Babies can make their own decisions about what and how much to eat. The main points are as follows:

  1. Parents should pay attention to observing the baby's hungry or full signals.
  2. For the solid food provided by parents, the baby can choose what he likes and doesn't like to eat. Encourage the baby to eat solid food if he doesn't like it, but don't force the baby to eat.
  3. Don't be afraid of dirty chaos, such as letting the baby himself grab to eat. If the baby wants to play with a spoon or bowl, try not to stop because the baby will gradually get interested in eating solid food.
  4. Food can't be used as punishment or reward, which is not conducive to the formation of a good dining environment and eating style;
  5. Parents are the baby's role models. The dining habits of parents are easy for babies to follow.
  6. At the beginning of adding solid food, parents should pay attention to creating a good dining environment. 


According to the development rate of each baby, it's better to introduce solid food when the baby is at the age of four to six months. Pay attention to the preparation of nutritious and suitable for the baby to eat food. Besides, avoid solid food that is stimulating and not conducive to the baby's growth. In the feeding process, pay attention to the baby's eating habits, and do not force the baby to eat but encourage and develop an interest in eating solid food.

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