Introducing Solid Foods

Introducing Solid Food

Most physicians recommend introducing solid foods at about four to six months after birth.

“Infants are geared to suck and swallow. At about 6 months of age, the configuration of the face evolves to allow efficient eating and chewing. There is no nutritional advantage to giving solids early. Breast milk provides 100% of the essential nutrients a baby needs, including iron in a particularly digestible form. The same can be said for fortified formulas,” explains Steven J. Sainsbury, M.D.

In addition, certain skills are essential for eating solids: Your babies must sit well when supported, have good head control and be able to take food into the backs of their mouths and swallow.

Rice cereal is a good first solid. After you give the regular feeding of breast milk or formula, place your babies in a sitting position and offer them the cereal with a spoon. The texture will seem strange to them at first. After they master a few tablespoons once a day, add a second cereal feeding. When you are feeding about a half cup of cereal daily, you can begin to add other solid foods.

Strained solid foods should be introduced one at a time. This will allow you to judge any reactions to a specific food. Fruits and vegetables are easiest to digest. When your babies become more proficient at chewing, add foods with more texture.

To encourage good eating habits, offer a variety of foods. If you get a less than enthusiastic reaction to a particular food, try offering it again at a later time. Use glass dishes when you heat foods, so chemicals can’t leech from plastic into food.

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Kristen Fescoe
Kristen Fescoe is an adjunct professor of Psychology at Rowan College, a writer and lead editor at Twins Magazine. She's the mother of three, twins daughters aged 12 and a son aged 7. Kristen earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Forensic Psychology. She began her career working in two prisons in Philadelphia as an inmate counselor and part of a research team at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing her research, Kristen founded a company specializing in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, applying clinical psychological practices in the business world. Since venturing out of clinical practice, she has used her knowledge and experience in psychological principles working with businesses to help them apply these concepts to business practices. She joined the Resility Health team as the Clinical Manager in 2016.

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