Introducing Babies to Solid Foods

By Kevann Jordan, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

When a baby is born its mother is able to provide for all of his or her nutritional needs through breast milk until about 6 months old. According to the La Leche League International, “The composition of human milk varies according to the time of day and the age of the baby, so that each mother provides the milk that meets her own baby’s unique needs.” But what comes after breast or bottle feeding? This can be an overwhelming question for many.

Once you begin to see the signs that your baby is ready to begin solid foods there are a few things you could start with, and the choice is all yours. You can either start with a rice cereal or with pureed fruits or vegetables. When first starting to introduce the solid food of choice to your baby, it is best to give a teaspoon or two after the first few feedings and gradually build up to more. You will want to use a soft-tipped spoon so that you don’t hurt their gums.

If you decide to go with rice cereal dilute it with breast milk or formula to a more mushy form so that they can transition to solids more easily. If you want to make home made baby food with fruits or vegetables, you will need to puree them. Start by cooking the vegetables and then simply put them into the food processor. You may also want to add breast milk or formula to make it a more liquid consistency. You can then either put the puree into containers and place them in the fridge for up to three days or you can freeze them for up to three months! Ice cube trays are a great way to freeze baby food into smaller portions!

 

Here is a great recipe for making your own baby food!

 

Apple and Pear sauce

 

Classic applesauce is a sweet and simple way to start your baby out on solid food. It’s also extremely versatile, once you get into flavor combos. Start with just two apples, try an apple and a pear, or mix it with other flavors, like blueberries or kale.

 

This recipe is intended for babies 6 months and up.

 

Ingredients

 

1 apple

1 ripe pear

 

Preparation

 

Peel, quarter, and core the apple and pear. Cut the apple and pear into bite-sized chunks. In a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, place the apple chunks. Pour in about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water. Place the pan over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil.

 

Steam the apple for 2 minutes, then add the pear chunks. Continue to steam, stirring occasionally to help cook evenly, until the fruit is very tender, about 10 minutes longer.

 

Remove the pan from the heat and remove the steamer basket. Transfer the steamed fruit to a blender or food processor and let cool. Process the fruit to a very smooth or chunky puree, depending on your baby’s age and chewing ability. If needed, add a little water, breast milk, or formula to thin the puree.

 

Makes about 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml)

Recipe via Baby Center

 

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