Weaning: What foods should I start with?

Introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet can come with a lot of questions and concerns. The whole process can become a bit confusing after finding out different information from articles, books, friends and family. Therefore, we’d like to clarify a few of the myths surrounding the introduction of solids.

One of these myths is that it is necessary to introduce cereals first. Now, most people do start with single grain cereals, but there is no scientific evidence that suggests that introducing solids in a particular order is best for your baby. It is also very common to hear that if you give your little one fruit first he will refuse to eat vegetables later; but again, there is no scientific evidence supporting this. The truth is that you can start with almost any food you want! You can even start with meat puree, something that was unthinkable in the past. However, thanks to recent research, it is recommended that meat be one of the first solids your baby tries, as it provides the necessary iron intake that he requires at this stage. After around the 6-month mark, babies run short of the iron reserves which they were born with. Therefore, it is important to give them iron-rich food such as red meat and iron fortified cereals.

Likewise, it is important to introduce your baby to a wide variety of healthy food that’s rich in nutrients, provided that you give him one specific food for 3 consecutive days to rule out allergies. Keep in mind that your little one is learning to eat, and therefore the foods’ texture and flavors are brand new. Don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t want to eat something in particular, this is very normal. Just try again later! Sometimes, you need to offer your baby a food 10 to 15 different times before he accepts it. For this reason, it is important to continue offering a teaspoon at a time in a pureed and almost semi-liquid consistency. Your little one is starting to learn how to eat food, so lumps or thick solids will be difficult to swallow. As your baby gets used to solid foods, you can gradually change the consistency of the food.

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