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Baby's First Solid Foods: Baby’s First Feeding in Ten Steps

Baby's First Solid Foods: Baby’s First Feeding in Ten Steps

Your baby is ready for solid foods! There are just a few more things to consider in preparation for his first taste. If you aren't sure whether your baby is ready to start on solid foods, talk to your doctor and find out more here.

1. For your baby’s first food start with a single-ingredient, iron-rich food

Choosing iron-rich foods such as meat, meat alternatives or an iron-fortified infant cereal is important because, by about 6 months, iron stored in your baby’s body are starting to get low.

2. Morning is best 

When introducing new foods, it's best to choose a time when your baby is hungry and happy, usually early in the day. This way he’ll be more likely to eat and you'll have the full day to monitor for food intolerances or allergic reactions.

3. Start with 1 tablespoon

Prepare 1 tbsp. of food for your baby. This is all he needs for the first feeding.

4. The first foods should be smooth in consistency and free of lumps

This can include semi-solid textures, such as mashed, pureed, or runny foods. An apple sauce-like texture and thin, milky consistency is best.   

If you are choosing to start with infant cereal: place one tablespoon of cereal into a bowl and mix with three or four tablespoons of previously boiled, lukewarm water, breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula depending on whether you are feeding an "add water" or "add milk" baby cereal.  Follow preparation instructions on the box for exact measurements. Mix in enough water, breast milk or infant formula to make a runny mixture.

5. Aim for lukewarm or room temperature foods

Your baby probably won’t enjoy foods that are too cold and alternately, foods that are too hot are not safe.

6. Spoon it up

Dip the tip of a soft slim spoon into the food and place it up to your baby’s mouth. If he doesn’t want it, don’t force it, he’ll come around with a little patience. It’s okay if your baby only eats a little bit of the food you prepared for him. Remember to make it fun and tell him how well he did with his new food.

7. Watch your baby to see what he does with the food

Does it stay in his mouth or come back out? Take it slow. If he doesn’t want it, or isn’t hungry don’t force him. It’s more important to keep meal times fun and enjoyable. Eating solids is a new skill and it may take a few days before any food makes it into his tummy.

8. Wait for the signal for more

When you raise the spoon to his mouth again does he look excited for more? Make sure that your baby is looking for more and avoid pushing food into his mouth before he’s ready.

9. Discard the remaining food

Once you have heated or dipped baby’s spoon into the food, it is good practice to throw out any leftovers. Babies are more sensitive than adults are to bacteria that grow in food. That’s why it’s important to prepare only what you think you need, as you can always make more food if necessary.

10. Keep offering the first food for 2 days before trying a new food

This delay is important should your baby have an adverse reaction, so you’ll know what food caused the reaction. If this happens, stop feeding the food right away and talk to your baby's healthcare professional.

Remember: Always use a spoon, never a bottle when feeding solids. And don’t forget the camera: this is going to be fun and memorable!

Learn more about  what comes after the first feeding.