Introducing Solid Foods to Baby

Food Dos and Don'ts

Whether you plan to server your baby commercially prepared baby foods or ones you make at home, there are some general guidelines you should follow:

Prepared baby foods

  • Do not feed your baby directly from the jar unless you know she'll finish the whole thing. Bacteria from your baby's mouth can contaminate the remaining food.
  • Throw away jars of baby food within a day or two of opening them.

Homemade baby foods

  • Consider steaming, baking, broiling, or microwaving foods for your baby rather than frying or boiling -- these cooking methods retain more of a food's natural nutrients.
  • Avoid preparing beets, turnips, carrots, collard greens, and spinach. In some parts of the country, these vegetables may contain large amounts of nitrates and can lead to anemia in babies.
  • Don't feed your baby egg whites, cow's milk, or honey until she is at least 1 year old.
  • Avoid citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemons. These fruits are very acidic and can result in painful diaper rash.

If you are uncertain about any food, check with your doctor before giving it to your baby.

Sources: American Medical Association; Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Bantam)

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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