Starting Solid Foods - BabyMatters™
3 min read • By: Gerber Medical Hub
Introduce solid foods around 6 months, looking for signs of readiness and choosing a good time when the baby is alert and mildly hungry. Baby spoon feeding uses purees to help adapt to different textures, while baby-led feeding promotes self-feeding. Key nutrients come from iron-fortified cereals and varied baby foods, aiding growth and immunity. Responsive feeding focuses on hunger and fullness cues, encouraging self-regulation. Be patient with new foods as it might take several tries for the baby to accept them.
Table of contents
Readiness cues & timing
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend introducing solid foods at or around the age of 6 months.
- Good head control
- Sits with help or support
- Brings objects to mouth
- Seems interested in food
Pick a good time when baby is:
- In good spirits
- Wide awake
- Mildly hungry
Pay attention to recognize & respond to hunger cues
How to begin
Baby spoon feeding is the introduction of solid foods in pureed form, such as infant cereal or purees, on an infant spoon.
Familiar taste of breastmilk or formula helps Baby accept the new taste of cereal
Spoon feeding is a way to introduce solid foods. Parents can pre-load spoon for Baby to self-feed
Baby-led feeding is a way to introduce foods which focus on self-feeding
Key nutrients & textures
Feeding baby foods can provide key nutrients, and at the right consistency, like purees, can support the development of a wide variety of jaw movements and increase the ability to adapt to different types of oral sensory information and textures.
Iron-fortified baby cereals help provide iron that supports healthy growth & brain development
Getting enough vitamin A, E, C & zinc from foods like fortified baby cereal, baby fruits and veggies, helps support a healthy immune system
Experiment with different textures. Start with thin and smooth and add more texture, like chunky or thick, as baby develops
How much is enough?
Responsive feeding is a feeding style focusing on responding to a child’s hunger and fullness cues, helping young children learn how to self-regulate their intake.
- Stops or slows down the pace
- Turns head away
- Relaxed and may fall asleep
- Gets distracted and starts looking around
Pay attention to recognize & respond to fullness cues
Keep trying a variety of foods. For some babies, it may take 8–10 exposures of a new food before they accept and seem to enjoy it!
Gerber products to help starting solid foods
Introducing a variety of foods is key to expose baby to new tastes, flavors, and textures. Gerber baby foods in tubs, jars and pouches are made from nutrient dense foods representing all the food groups as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.Learn more about gerber baby foods