Starting Solid Foods: 6 Common Questions Answered by a Dietitian

March 2, 2023
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

Starting solid foods with your baby is such a big milestone! Watching your little one explore new tastes and textures can be so much fun, but it can also feel a bit overwhelming. You probably have a lot of questions, and with so much information out there, it’s normal to feel a little uncertain about where to begin. 

At BridgeWay, our goal is to help parents feel confident and prepared every step of the way. We offer frequent programs and workshops on nutrition lead by knowledgeable dietitians and early childhood professionals. In the meantime, we asked our registered dietitian to answer some of the most common questions about starting solid foods.

Your questions, answered!

When is the best time to start solid foods with my baby? 

The general recommendation is to wait until your baby is 6 months old and showing signs of being able to eat safely, such as good head/neck control and the ability to sit upright. 

What textures are best for babies? 

You don’t have to limit yourself to pureed baby food! Babies can handle a wide range of textures, so feel free to have fun and explore with them. Just keep in mind that some textures, like sticky, shiny, round, or hard foods, can be dangerous for babies to eat.

What method should I be using to introduce solids? 

There is no specific pattern or method that you need to follow when starting solid foods. In general, babies can handle trying multiple different foods at a time. When it comes to common allergens like fish, eggs, soy, and nuts, it’s a good idea to wait a little longer between introducing these foods. This way, if baby has a reaction it will be easier to identify what may have caused it. 

What kind of foods should I feed my baby? 

Starting with iron-rich foods is a great place to begin! Some examples would be meat, fish, beans, lentils, mashed chickpeas, or fortified baby cereal. Pairing these with foods high in Vitamin C, like fruits and vegetables, will help your baby absorb all that iron! 

How often should I feed solids to my baby and how do I work it into their milk schedule? 

Your baby is probably already on a feeding schedule for breastmilk or formula, so you can add in some solids between their milk feedings. We like to think of this like a snack between meals! 

Between 6-8 months, you can add solids between 2-3 times per day in addition to their milk. When baby is 9-12 months, aim for 3-4 times per day in addition to their milk! 

How do I know if my baby is eating enough? 

The best thing you can do is learn to trust your baby. They’re pretty good at telling us what they need, so look for signs that they’re hungry or full! It might not look like they ate much, but it may have been enough for them. 

Remember to regularly attend pediatrician visits and monitor baby’s height and weight. Your doctor will help you make sure your baby is thriving and getting enough nutrients! 

Please note: if your baby is not eating anything, is losing weight, seeming sluggish or fatigued, please consult your doctor. 

Want more information on feeding your baby?

Parenting can be tough, but you are not alone! The fears and worries you have are a lot more common than you might think, and BridgeWay is here for you.

If you have more questions about feeding your little one, we can help. We run nutrition programs and workshops on a regular basis – click here to find out more! We can also connect you with our dietitians and social worker for additional support. To find out more please email [email protected]   

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