How to Introduce Your Baby to Real Food

I realize the food you’ve been feeding your baby isn’t exactly fake, but it’s certainly not the same as the food the rest of your family is eating. The goal is to get your baby eating the same foods as the rest of the family. Right now, we’re focusing on simply introducing these foods.

Up to this point, you’ve been feeding your baby breast milk or formula, cereal, and pureed foods. We added cereal and pureed foods slowly to identify any potential allergies. We’ll do the same thing with solid foods. If you’ve determined that your baby has a food allergy, avoid that food during this process.

Good Starter Foods
These foods are relatively easy to mush up with or without teeth. They’re also less likely to cause choking than other foods.
* Toast
* Crackers
* Bananas
* Spaghetti
* Canned Fruits in Juice – The idea here is to remove the peel. If you feel like doing it yourself, go for it.
* Cooked Carrots
* Cooked Peas – Mush them up slightly with your fork.

Foods to Avoid
These foods are choking hazards. Wait to introduce these foods until your baby has more teeth and is comfortable with chewing before swallowing.
* Grapes
* Hot Dogs
* Nuts
* Popcorn

Honey – No honey for the first year. It can carry trace amounts of C. botulinum spores that won’t harm you and me, but may harm your baby.

Milk – Avoid whole milk for the first year. Then replace breast milk or formula with whole milk. After your baby turns two, you can go down to low fat or even skim milk.

Real Foods They’re Already Eating
Chances are your baby is already eating some “real” foods. If they’re not eating them now, start introducing them now.
* Yogurt
* Mashed Potatoes
* Mashed Sweet Potatoes
* Pudding
* Jello
* Ice Cream/Sorbet/Sherbet

Remember that babies need a decent amount of fat in their diet. Don’t stress about the amount of fat in their diet. Babies also have a pretty good sense of when they’ve had enough. I know it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the “I’m done eating” look and the “that’s gross” look. Be patient and trust your instincts on this one.

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