Introducing Baby To Solid Food
Foods are usually (but not necessarily) introduced in the order shown below, with several weeks between different types of foods. Ages of introduction are approximate and may vary with individual babies. The baby's doctor is the best source for advice on when and how often any particular food is appropriate for that baby. Cereals should be mixed with formula or breast milk.
Babies under 1 year get most of their vitamins and minerals from formula or milk. When solid foods are introduced they are to supplement, not replace, milk or formula. Only gradually should solid foods become major sources of nutrients.
Solid foods can usually be introduced between four and seven months of age. Early solids should be plain and introduced gradually one at a time, starting with iron- fortified infant cereals, progressing to pureed vegetables, fruits, and finally meats. The texture of solid foods fed to the infant will vary depending on age and individual ability. By the end of the first year, chopped table foods should be the basis of the diet. Adequate nutrients should be provided for normal growth and steady-but not excessive- weight gain. The amount should be regulated by the infant's appetite, provided that the growth rate is normal.
Source: Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council (www.cfsan.fda.gov)
Last Editorial Review: 5/9/2006