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Food for Baby’s First Year

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Infants are often developmentally ready to gradually accept complementary foods between four and six months of age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. When ready for solid foods, your baby will be able to control head movements and sit with support. To show an interest in food, they will open their mouth and lean forward. When they have had enough to eat, they will lean back and turn away. 

The first year of life is a time of rapid growth when most babies triple their birth weight. Make sure your baby gets the proper nourishment they need to develop to their fullest potential. Their fast-growing brain, along with their nervous system, continues to develop until about the age of three.

By the age of four to six months, most babies’ energy needs increase, making this the ideal time to introduce solid foods. Until this age, most babies don’t have enough control over their tongues and mouth muscles to eat solid foods. They have been using a tongue-pushing reflex to nurse or drink from a bottle. This reflex causes them to push their tongues against the spoon rather than swallow food.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it does not matter what solid foods are offered first. However, many doctors recommend cereals first, starting with rice cereal, because it is not likely to cause food allergies.

The following list is a general guideline for offering certain foods to your infant at suggested times.


  • breast milk
  • iron-fortified formula

4 – 6 Months:

  • infant cereal (plain, from spoon) offered in this order:
  • rice
  • oatmeal
  • barley

6 – 7 Months:

  • vegetables (unsalted, strained)
  • carrots
  • squash
  • green beans
  • green peas
  • fruits (unsweetened, strained) by using littoes Food Prep Set
  • applesauce
  • banana
  • peaches
  • pears

7 – 9 months:

  • other infant cereals
  • wheat
  • mixed grains
  • high protein
  • apple
  • cherry
  • grape
  • orange
  • mashed vegetables and fruits
  • mild cheese

8 – 9 months:

  • strained meats (plain)
  • chicken
  • lamb
  • veal
  • beef
  • liver
  • ham
  • egg yolk
  • pureed legumes (beans, peas and lentils)

10 – 12 Months:

  • finger foods
  • toast squares
  • cooked vegetables (strips or slices)
  • peeled, soft fruit without seeds (wedges or slices)
  • small, tender pieces of meat
  • food from the family table (feeds self)
  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • cereal
  • pasta, noodles
  • bread
  • beans
  • fish, meats, chicken
  • cheese
  • whole egg
  • may continue breastfeeding
  • weaned from the bottle
  • able to drink whole cow’s milk at 12 months

Feed your baby a wide variety of colorful vegetables and fruits as soon as they can eat solid food. Recent research shows that children will be more likely to continue this good eating habit later in life when they can make their own food choices. Let the rainbow be your guide, because different colors of vegetables and fruits contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients.


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