Solid Foods for Baby Beyond Cereal

Between four and six months, your baby will be ready to expand her solid food repertoire. Your best bet is to keep it simple by introducing single ingredients into her diet.

Since your baby's sweet taste buds are the most developed now, you may find it easiest to feed him fruits such as pureed peaches and pears. But some experts recommend taking the opposite tack: Offer the less tasty vegetables first so your child won't become so enamored of sweets that he doesn't want to bother with anything else. Neither philosophy has been scientifically supported, however, so you can choose your preferred route. What does matter is that you offer simple, single-ingredient items.

You can mash or puree cooked fruits and vegetables yourself, or use commercial baby foods if that's more convenient. If you're giving your baby cereal in the morning and evening, add small amounts of vegetables at one feeding and fruit at the other, working up to two tablespoons of each per feeding.

For baby's debut with solids, pick a time when he's hungry-but not so ravenous that he won't have the patience for a new eating experience. It's best to set him up in a baby seat or highchair rather than in your lap (which can be messy and awkward). Using a small, long-handled spoon, slip a tiny amount between your baby's lips. Place the food back on the tongue for easy swallowing. If he likes it, chances are his mouth will open more for the next bite. Don't be surprised, however, if the first few spoonfuls come sliding right back out at you-learning to swallow takes practice! (But if this continues to occur, your infant may not be ready for solids yet.)

Once your baby's got the hang of swallowing, spitting his food out could be a signal that he's had enough. Don't ever force a child to eat when he's clearly not hungry, and learn to read the signs that dinner is over-fussiness, a head turned away, a mouth that won't open, food that's spit out.

Have Fun With Baby's Development

Expressing Love
Your baby now loves to be around people-especially you. This will become obvious when your little one starts to fuss if he's left alone. But it's also delightful when he notices your approach and not only stops crying but begins to wiggle his little body in anticipation of your attention! Your baby has begun to get the idea that your going away also involves a wonderful reunion.

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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