A Complete Guide to Supplementing Baby Food


Baby complementary food is a topic that mothers are very concerned about. When to start adding complementary food, what should the baby eat for the first time, and when can you start to try another kind of food... Know the relevant information about baby complementary food in advance, and do a good job Preparation can help your baby transition smoothly from breastfeeding to complementary feeding.



When can my baby start solid food?


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to when infants should be introduced to complementary foods. When your baby has doubled his birth weight (usually around four months), consider starting solid foods. In most cases, American pediatricians recommend that infants who are formula-fed at 4-6 months and breastfed infants should be given complementary foods after 6 months.


The specific supplementary food addition time should be determined according to the growth and development speed of different babies. Before adding supplementary food to the baby, the mother can observe whether the baby meets the following conditions:

  1. The baby can sit in the baby seat and has good control of his neck and head movements.
  2. When the parents are eating, the baby will keep watching, and wants to reach for the food by himself, showing great interest in the food.
  3. The mother can try to feed the baby a mouthful of rice cereal with a spoon. If the baby's tongue can swallow it naturally, you can start adding complementary food to the baby. If your baby doesn't swallow the food naturally and spit it out, it means that the baby doesn't have the ability to move it in the mouth and swallow it.

Babies have never been exposed to foods that are thicker than milk before introducing solid food, so spitting up is very normal. The first few times, Mom can make the rice paste as thin as possible, and then slowly increase the consistency.


P.S. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age, and continued breastfeeding for at least 12 months after your baby starts solid foods. If both mother and baby are willing, breastfeeding can continue after 12 months, and mothers can also contact the baby's pediatrician to ask about vitamin D and iron supplementation in the first year.


How should a mother feed her baby solid food?


When the baby first comes into contact with complementary food, the baby may wrinkle his nose, hold the complementary food in his mouth and refuse to swallow it, or even refuse to open his mouth completely. At this time, the mother can give the baby a little breast milk or formula milk first, and then change to a half spoonful of complementary food. Then continue breastfeeding or formula, and gradually introduce your baby to solid foods.

It is recommended to feed the amount of complementary food in small amounts and several times, half a spoon or less at a time. Talk to the baby while feeding the baby, such as "try this, it's delicious!", and then slowly increase the amount of complementary food. Babies need plenty of time to learn how to swallow solid foods, and it's normal to get food all over your baby's face and hands during the first few feeds.

If the baby really rejects complementary food, she will cry and turn around when she sees complementary food, and the mother should not force the baby. It is recommended to return to the full breast feeding stage first, and try again after a period of time. What moms need to know is that solid food intake for babies is a gradual process, and babies still need to get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula at the beginning of solid food.


PS reminds mothers to pay special attention, unless the baby has gastric acid reflux, the doctor recommends feeding rice cereal with a bottle, do not put rice cereal in a bottle on your own initiative, which may cause the baby to choke. , it is also easy to cause the baby to eat too much and overweight.


What should be the baby's first solid food?


There are also many different views on the order in which baby complementary food is added: the traditional view is that single-grain rice cereal should be used as the first complementary food, and mothers can choose pre-prepared individually packaged baby cereals and add breast milk or formula milk to feed them together For babies; many pediatricians recommend feeding vegetables first and then fruits; some recommend feeding meat with egg yolks first, because meat contains more easily absorbed iron and zinc, which are very important for baby's development.

In fact, for most babies, the first choice of complementary food does not matter, and there is no medical research that shows that it is more beneficial to the baby to add complementary food in a certain order. If a mother is not sure what solid food to add to her baby, she can consult a pediatrician.


When can I try new foods for my baby?


In the first few months of the baby's introduction of complementary foods, in order to balance the nutrition, the mother should give the baby a variety of foods, such as breast milk or formula milk, grains, fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and so on. When the baby learns to eat one solid food, the mother can start preparing for the baby to try another food. Every time you try a new food for your baby, pay attention to observe whether the baby has allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, vomiting, etc. If there is an allergic reaction, stop feeding immediately and contact the pediatrician immediately.

Some pediatricians recommend not to feed meat and eggs to babies before the age of 1, because they are worried about allergic reactions. However, in fact, meat and eggs are richer in nutrients than vegetables and fruits, and there is no research to prove that children before the age of 1. Babies will be allergic to nutritious foods.


When can I give my baby finger food?


When the baby can sit up on his own and can put his hands into his mouth, the mother can grab the food for the baby, but it should be noted that the finger food for the baby is best soft and cut into small pieces , such as small pieces of bananas, pancake cookies or biscuits, scrambled eggs, overcooked spaghetti, chopped overcooked chicken, cooked and chopped pumpkin, snow peas and potatoes, etc.

Be careful not to give your baby too hard, chewable, and choking foods in the early stages of adding complementary foods, such as hot dogs, meat cubes, various nuts, cheese cubes, popcorn, brown sugar, etc.


About homemade baby food


Some mothers will choose to make their own complementary food, choose fresh ingredients, and give their babies safe and secure food. However, it is important to avoid foods high in nitrates in early infancy, such as self-cooked spinach, beets, green beans, squash and carrots. Relatively speaking, commercially produced vegetables need to be tested for nitrates, which are safer than homemade ones. For mothers who want to use vegetables as complementary food for their babies, it is recommended to choose peas, corn, and sweet potatoes.

Moms who want to make homemade solid food can mash the food with a blender or food processor, or mash softer foods directly with a fork. Do not add salt or other seasonings to homemade baby food. Also, fresh food spoils faster than canned food, so check for spoilage before feeding your baby.


What changes will happen after the baby eats solid food?


A baby's digestive system is often not fully developed, and after eating complementary food, the baby's stool may change in shape, taste, and color:

  1. After increasing the intake of sugar and fat, the taste of the baby's stool will become heavier.
  2. Eating snow peas or other green vegetables may result in dark green stools.
  3. Beets may cause stool and urine to turn red.
  4. Some foods that are not completely broken may appear in the baby's stool, especially the skins of snow peas, corn husks, tomatoes or other vegetables. These are normal phenomena.
  5. If the baby's stool is very loose, watery, or full of mucus, it indicates that the baby's digestive tract may be stimulated. At this time, the amount of complementary food should be reduced, and the replacement of complementary food should be temporarily stopped. If the situation has not improved, consider visiting Doctor.


How to cultivate a good habit of eating solid food in your baby?


  1. Let the baby get used to the process of eating complementary food. First sit up, take food from the spoon, take a rest after one bite, and then eat the second bite, stop when you are full, and start training correctly when the baby eats complementary food. eating habits.
  2. Relevant research shows that eating together with the baby can stimulate the enthusiasm of the baby to eat by himself, which is also good for the physical and mental development of the baby.
  3. While preparing a variety of nutritious foods for children, pay special attention not to overfeed. Mothers should pay attention to the signal that the baby is full.
  4. If you are not sure what nutrients your baby needs to take, or you are worried that your baby is eating too much or too little, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician, who will provide corresponding advice based on your baby's specific condition.

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