Introducing Your Baby to Solid Foods

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Introducing solid foods to your baby can be a fun exciting experience.

But it can also be a confusing time.

Pediatricians recommend introducing solids between 4 and 6 months of age because that’s when babies usually start showing interest in food, have good head control and can swallow.

If you’re tempted to start sooner-consider this.

“I know some families are interested in doing that, but this is because some studies recently have shown that chronic diseases, such as obesity occur when children are fed complimentary foods before 4 months of age,” said Dr. Lauren Fiechtner, director of nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.

Breast milk or formula should still be the main source of nutrition until age one, experts say, and solids should be a compliment.

So, start with just a couple of tablespoons a couple of times a day.

In the past, pediatricians had recommended introducing cereal first, but they now say pureed meat or iron rich vegetables, like spinach, are best.

“This is really a critical time, so it may be tempting to give them juice and sweets and all of these things, but you have to remember that this is going to set up their health for the rest of their life, so really giving them healthy nutritious food for the first thousand days is extremely important,” said Dr. Fiechtner.

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