Introducing a baby to solid foods is an exciting time for any parent and a big step for their baby. In Wednesday's Healthier Me, an expert fills parents in on what to do and what to expect.
How Old Is Old Enough?
Solids are usually introduced when babies are between four to six months old: before four months, you run the risk of getting allergies, and foods can be a choking hazard; if you wait much longer than seven or eight months, babies may have a harder time adjusting to thicker textures.
How Should I Introduce New Foods?
Doctors used to recommend a very rigid order for the introduction of foods, but that's no longer the case. Instead, they usually suggest that parents offer their baby cereal, fruits, vegetables, or meats in whichever order they choose.
Experts do still caution parents to wait a few days between the introduction of each new food, in case the child has a bad reaction to what he or she eats, and for this reason it can be helpful to start a new food in the morning, so parents can watch their child for reactions throughout the day. Reactions such as skin rashes, hives, vomiting, or diarrhea may develop if the new food does not sit well with the child.