Starting your baby on solids can be exciting, fun and messy. It can also be confusing. When should you start? How much should you offer? Which foods are best to begin with? The good news is it doesn’t need to be a challenge, and by following a few simple guidelines you can ensure your baby is well fed with healthy and nutritious food that’s good to grow on.
Is My Child Ready For Solid Food?
The Canadian Paediatric Society says you should start your child on solid foods at six months of age. Developmental milestones that let you know your child is ready to begin eating solids include:
Remember that all babies are different and some may start solids just before or just after the six-month mark. However, waiting too long can put your baby at risk for iron-deficiency.
Tips for Introducing Solids
Help your baby develop a lifetime of good eating habits by getting off to the right start. Here are four tips for introducing solid foods:
What Food Should I Introduce First?
Health Canada recommends beginning with iron-rich foods, which babies need for many different aspects of their developments. This includes: cooked whole eggs, meat, poultry, and well-cooked legumes. Previously, eggs were held back until 12 months of age as a way to prevent babies from developing an allergy. New guidelines from Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada now recommend introducing whole eggs as soon as your child starts eating solids. Research shows that introducing eggs early can help to lower your baby’s chance of developing egg allergies.
Eggs are a great source of nutrition for your baby. They have six grams of the highest-quality protein and fourteen essential vitamins and nutrients. Eggs are a simple and practical way to add an iron-rich, wholesome food to your baby’s diet. They are also a natural source of choline, which plays an important role in brain development.
When your child is ready for iron-rich foods try offering any and all of the following:
What Foods Should Baby Avoid?
Portion Sizes for Babies
Here’s a sample of what to feed your baby between 6–12 months of age:
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