I am soon to be introducing solid foods to my baby. What is best to start with? I was thinking cereal (pablum)- and then eventually fruits and vegetables. Is there a suggested schedule that I stick to? Are some foods better to start with than others? What have you done?

asked 26 Nov '09, 15:58

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edited 26 Nov '09, 18:36

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Tammy ♦♦

Our Health Unit put out a booklet with current guidelines on introducing solid food to babies. We generally followed this guide but did start early (at 4 months versus 6 months) due to recommendations from our family physician.

Here are the basics:

Start cereal 4-6 months:

  1. Rice cereal first as it is the easiest to digest and the least likely to be associated with an allergy.
  2. Introduce one food at a time with at least three days in between (we did each type of cereal for about a week or two). The next cereal is generally barley, then oatmeal, and wheat should be the last as it is most associated with allergies.
  3. Next is fruits and vegetables... we started with vegetables, then fruit but I found there is a lack of consensus regarding which to start first and why.
  4. Then meat around 8 months.

Now contrary to what we did, the guide I linked to suggests starting with meat at 6 months instead of cereal.


answered 26 Nov '09, 18:32

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Tammy ♦♦
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+1 For vegtables first. We did the same, our pediatrician advised that vegtables would be better first, reason being the sweet tasting fruit is much nicer than the taste of vegtables for babies, and going from veg to fruits would be easier than going from something sweet to vegtables, although I guess that it really depends on each child.

(26 Nov '09, 18:46) Emi

I'd thoroughly recommend considering babyled weaning where, at or around 6 months, you introduce solids as finger food and let your baby experiment with tastes and textures.

By waiting 'til 6 months you don't have to worry about most of the foods which are considered unsuitable for younger babies - gluten for example, and so can let them have a go at whatever you're cooking for yourself.

My youngest was weaned this way and he particularly enjoyed broccoli or pasta with bolognese. Admittedly he probably didn't ingest much of anything for the first couple of months, but he enjoyed it and it was far less hassle than the puree method which I used with my older children.


answered 26 Nov '09, 22:22

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Meg Stephenson
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This is what we are doing with our son. I just want to add that in this sense 'weaning' doesn't mean that we are reducing the amount of breastmilk he receives. The introduction of solids should complement breastmilk/formula not replace it.

(27 Nov '09, 00:51) cat_g

We plan to start our daughter on veggies and skip the cereal for a while. When we do start cereal, we'll start with oatmeal rather than rice cereal since it has more nutritive value. I think we'll start her on avocado as I've heard it is easy on the tummy, and most babies like it. This is just "heresay" though - what my friends have told me :)

As far as a "schedule", our doc has mentioned that we should wait 2-3 days between each new food so we can know if she's allergic to something. And, be sure you introduce one ingredient at a time, and especially if you're buying jarred baby food, make sure it isn't a mixture of multiple ingredients or you won't know what your child reacts to, if a reaction occurs.


answered 26 Nov '09, 22:35

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I agree with skipping the cereal for now and going right to oatmeal a bit later. Dr. Jack Newman says that breastfed infants do not need rice cereal and that it was developed to supplement the diets of formula fed babies.

(27 Nov '09, 00:54) cat_g

My favorite website for baby feeding is http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ -- they suggest avocado for a first food. Lots of recipes, ideas, and age-appropriate guides.

More advice -- don't overthink it. As an analytic person, I've been overthinking everything regarding my baby and it just gets me stressed out, and then I realize it's all been OK. As long as you start gradually, it really doesn't matter what they eat first, as long as you avoid the big no-nos (milk, honey) and go very carefully with anything you are allergic to.

The jarred stuff has the advantage of being very easy and introducing the baby to some different tastes. I wouldn't necessarily avoid it; just try lots of different things.


answered 24 Dec '09, 17:28

Anne's gravatar image

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+1 for wholesomebabyfood.com and not over-thinking!

(25 Dec '09, 03:28) Fun2Dream

I would recommend starting with avocado because it's kind of "baby superfood" - packed with nutrients, good fats etc. and easy to eat and handle if it is ripe enough.

From http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/avocadobabyfoodrecipes.html:

"Avocado makes a great first food for baby due to its texture and creaminess as well as its high nutrient content.

Avocados are often called one of nature's perfect foods because they are said to contain everything a person needs to survive.

A wonderful "good fat" food for baby's brain and physical development, try an avocado as baby's first food instead of refined cereals.

"Sodium- and cholesterol- free, avocados contain valuable nutrients including 8% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for folate; 4% DV for fiber and potassium, 4% DV for vitamin E; and 2% DV for iron. A serving of avocado also contains 81 micrograms of the carotenoid lutein and 19 micrograms of beta-carotene. Per serving, avocados have 3.5 grams of unsaturated fats, which are known to be important for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain."***

Here in Northern Europe, where I live, there are no specific "baby cereals" on the market at all and cereal is not given for babies. WHO recommends globally 6-months exclusive breastfeeding and that solids are started gradually at that age, while breastmilk still remaining the main source of nutrition until 1-year-old-age.


answered 06 Jan '10, 12:10

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Scott - the previous answer was deleted accidentally, sorry. I already re-posted it here, it can be deleted in order to avoid duplicates.

(06 Jan '10, 12:13) HW

Great, and thanks for the answer. :)

(06 Jan '10, 17:01) Scott ♦♦

In my experience, there are a lot of 'plans' out there and suggestions on how to do this but the most important thing to remember is that they are guidelines. Some kids have food aversions and will never like certain things. In our case my daughter has always, always refused to eat cereal and most guides place heavy emphasis on the need for cereal. Our dietician and pediatrician said that it was not the end of the world - just keep trying - thats all you can do. As long as you are offering variety of foods you will be fine.


answered 27 Nov '09, 11:37

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accept rate: 8%

The reason that cereal is recommended as a start is because it is fortified with iron, something that babies need in their diet at 4 months to start developing their adult hemoglobin (if they are breastfed, formula is also fortified with iron, so it is less necessary)

This being said, I've always mixed my rice with some veg or fruit that is high in Vitamin C to help with the absorption of iron. Avocados are my son's favorites. But, other favorites of his are just plain chick pea flour with water (also called chana flour) It's high in iron naturally, and easy because you don't have to worry about pureeing and removing the husk form the lentil.


answered 29 Nov '09, 05:44

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edited 29 Nov '09, 16:11

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Tammy ♦♦

Hi DarwinsMom, I added a link to back up your statement that infants need additional iron in their diet after 4 months. Remember to back up your statements with either personal experience or a reference, check out http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up

(29 Nov '09, 16:12) Tammy ♦♦

According to the World Health Organisation, optimum nutrition for infants up to six months is provided by exclusive breastfeeding http://www.who.int/features/qa/21/en/index.html

(03 Dec '09, 07:58) Meg Stephenson

My daughter didn't care for cereals or oatmeal until very recently (about 9 months old), but she has always been absolutely voracious for fruits and veggies. We waited until she was 6 months old, and then let her start trying whatever fruit we had on hand: organic applesauce, smashed pears, peaches, sweet potato, avocado, banana. Around 8 months, we let her start working on finger foods like puffed brown rice cereal and chopped up veggies (she LOVES steamed green beans and carrots).

One thing I will say from my experience: don't waste your time with "baby food". Real food is not only "good enough", but better then the jarred stuff for many reasons. And if you do wait long enough to introduce solids, you don't even have to spend any time pureeing... just a little mash with a fork and you're good to go!

It's recommended, no matter when you start solid foods, that your baby's main source of nutrition is breastmilk or formula until 12 months of age! :)


answered 24 Dec '09, 03:24

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Melanie 1
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edited 30 Dec '09, 04:38

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Tammy ♦♦

+1 for skipping jarred baby food and mashing your own.

(24 Dec '09, 05:07) cat_g

Melanie I added a reference to your post to back up your a statement in your second paragraph. Please take a look at our back-it-up principal http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up

(30 Dec '09, 04:40) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 26 Nov '09, 15:58

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Last updated: 06 Jan '10, 12:10