Childr Health Information

Steeping up to solid foods

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Topic: Infant Health Care

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about starting solid foods. The following information gives some of the whens, whats and hows to keep in mind while feeding your new baby during his or her first year.

STEP 1: BREAST OR BOTTLE FEEDING
When?
• 0 – 12 months
• The baby may turn his or her head toward cheek that is stroked and suckle. Feed on baby’s demand unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
What?
• Breast milk or infant formula that is recommended by your infant’s doctor.
• Plain sterilized water. Boil water to sterilize.
How?
• Offer breast milk or infant formula eight to 12 times a day in the first six weeks. Your baby should take two to five ounces each time.
• Offer breast milk or infant formula five to six times a day after the first six weeks. Your baby should take four to seven ounces each time.
• Water is not necessary for your baby. Babies get enough water from breast milk or formula. If you do offer water, use plain sterilized water and do not add sugar or honey to water as sugar may cause tooth decay and honey may cause botulism (food poisoning).
Remember:
• Fluoride drops may need to be given if your baby is not drinking fluoridated water.
• Your baby is finished eating when he or she stops sucking or turns away from the breast or bottle. Do not force your baby to eat.

STEP 2: CEREALS
When?
• Four to six months
• Begins sitting
• Follows food with eyes
• Opens mouth for spoon
• Lips close over spoon
• Leans forward toward food
What?
• Dry infant cereal that is iron fortified.
How?
• Mix one teaspoon infant cereal with two to three tablespoons breast milk, formula, water or juice. Gradually increase this to five to six tablespoons cereal mixed with two to three tablespoons liquid.
• Start with rice cereal. Wait four days until a new cereal is started. After rice, try oatmeal, barley, then wheat, preferably in that order.
• Feed the cereal from a spoon, not the bottle. You can overfeed or choke an infant if cereal is put in the bottle.
Remember:
• Babies may spit out the cereal on the first few tries, because chewing and swallowing are learned skills.
• Babies may be more willing to try new foods if you hold them on your lap.
• Beginning solids too early may cause an increased risk for digestive problems and food allergies.

STEP 3: VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
When?
• Four to six months
• Moves tongue side to side
• Controls position of food in mouth
• Controls swallowing
• Chews up and down
• Moves hands to mouth
What?
• Plain strained vegetables
• Fruit juice
• Plain strained fruits
How?
• Introduce new fruits or vegetables one at a time. Allow enough time to see allergic reactions (diarrhea or skin rash) before starting a new food, usually three to five days.
• Dilute two ounces of juice with two ounces of water.
• Give juice in a cup rather than a bottle. This helps the child get used to a cup.
Remember:
• Babies will turn their heads away or play with food when they are full. Pay attention to these cues.
• Do not allow a child to carry around a bottle or sleep with a bottle that contains formula or fruit juice. The sugar in them can cause tooth decay.

STEP 4: MEATS
When?
• Eight to nine months
• Moves food from side to side in mouth
• Curves lips around cup
• Chews in circular motion
What?
• Plain strained junior meats
• Home prepared pureed meats
• Cooked egg yolks
• Dry cooked pureed beans
How?
• Introduce one meat at a time
• Try chicken and veal first because the bland taste may be more acceptable. Then try liver and beef.
• Mash the egg yolk with a fork and moisten with some breast milk or infant formula.
Remember:
• Do not add salt or sugar to your child’s foods.
• Milk should not be used instead of breast milk or infant formula unless your doctor tells you to do so. Usually milk is not used until the child is one year old.
• Do not use vegetable dinners because they have very little meat in them. Instead mix strained vegetables and strained meats together.
• Do not use egg white until the child is one year old.

STEP 5: TABLE FOODS
When?
• 10 to 12 months
• Increased interest in solids
• Improved cup drinking
• Coordinates fingers and thumb
What?
• Easy to eat finger foods, such as:
Cooked vegetables: string beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash
Fruits: ripe banana, canned pears, canned peaches
Meats: junior meat sticks, cooked ground meats
Breads: hard dry toast, crackers
How?
• Offer bite-size pieces
Remember:
• Expect the child to make a mess with these foods.
• Avoid giving small hard pieces of food that the child can choke on such as:
Nuts Cooked corn
Raw carrots Celery
Peas Berries
Popcorn Hard or small candy
Smooth and crunchy peanut butter Raisins
Grapes
• Avoid greasy, spicy, salty and/or sugary foods
• Avoid coin-shaped pieces of hot dogs. Cut in long narrow strips to avoid choking.

PDF: Child Health Information - STEPPING UP TO SOLID FOODS

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 2000

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 2000

 

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