- What is the first food I should give my baby?
We are past the age of plain rice cereal, it offers very little nutritional value and can cause significant constipation. Instead consider avocado or squash as a first food. The key is soft purees that they can easily swallow. I do not recommend going directly to hard solid foods such as chunks of fruit or veggies because they can lead to choking and stunt your baby’s sense of adventure when trying new foods.
- What age should I first introduce solid food?
Age is no longer the key to determining if your baby is ready for solids. Instead we focus on physical and behavioral cues. Baby should have good head and neck control, allowing them to sit well with assistance. Additionally, baby should show an interest in your food. When your baby watches you like a hawk during dinner— it’s time to think about letting them join in on the fun!
- How much food should my baby eat each day?
Food before one is just about fun. This means that if some days if your baby eats only a small amount of solid foods, don’t stress out, as long as they are getting adequate breastmilk/ formula then they are adequately nourished. However, as your baby gets closer and closer to one year of age, they should be eating 3 solid meals of baby food plus snacks each day. Food during infancy is about exposing your baby to various flavors and textures to prime their palate.
- How do I prevent allergies?
The old theory was delaying the introduction of potential allergens would decrease the development of food allergies, however this is now known to be false. In fact, earlier exposure has been demonstrated to be more effective. Meaning once baby has gotten a few basic foods down, at 6+ months, go ahead and offer pureed eggs or a small amount of peanut butter in yogurt or cereal. Just remember it can take 2-3 exposures to a new food before you see a reaction. The only exception is if your family has a history of severe food allergies, in that case speak to your pediatrician first.
- Are there any foods my baby cannot eat?
No honey until 1 year of age. Beware of foods that are choking hazards such as: solid nuts, grapes, hotdogs, and popcorn.
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Patricia Bast was born and raised in Southern California. After earning her bachelors degree at UC Irvine, she went on to graduate medical school from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Northern California. She then returned home to Southern California and became a resident in Pediatrics at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bast is now raising her children and loves working part-time at a pediatric clinic, watching her patients grow and thrive.