First published on November 17 2017, Updated December 27 2018
Introducing solid food: let the adventure begin!
How you feed your baby is determined by the type of parents you are
Starting with solids: what are you supposed to do?
Should I do baby-led weaning?
Solids food introduction: What is recommended?
- Introduce solid food when baby shows signs of readiness. Forget the whole story about age-related readiness – it is such a poor indicator of physiological readiness. Rather, look for signs like:
- holding their head up with control
- being able to lean forward
- sitting up with limited help
- turning their head to signify lack of interest
- grabbing objects and bringing them to their mouth
- showing interest in food you are eating
- wanting to imitate your behavior at the table
- Start with iron-rich foods like meats, meat alternatives and iron-fortified baby cereals.
- Progress in textures, forms and shapes. The goal is to offer family meals and snacks around 1 year of age following your family eating schedule. This will depend on your child’s developmental milestones and might not happen at exactly 1 year of age.
- Offer foods cooked with limited salt and sugar.
- Ensure food is prepared, served and stored safely.
- Encourage self-feeding with finger foods, where baby leads the way under your constant supervision. This responsive feeding ensures you respect baby’s hunger and satiety.
- Don’t delay introduction of allergens.
- Offer breastmilk up to 2 years of age or as long as you and baby feel so.
- Offer a daily supplement of vitamin D.
Ultimately, we want to “encourage parents and caregivers to be role models and instil lifelong healthy eating habits” starting with the introduction of solid food.
Spoon or no spoon?
With time, baby will also lose his/her gagging reflex. But because the choking risk will always remain with food or toys, make sure to familiarize yourself with the differences between gagging and choking, and what to do in both situations.
There is no right or wrong way of feeding your baby as long as you do it safely.
Meal time: What’s your family style?
Feeling competent and confident feeding your baby
How do I know what is best for me and baby?
We are here to guide you as you determine how to introduce solid food, and what your family meals will look like.
Food before 1: just for fun?
Contrary to popular belief, food before 1 is not just for fun!
Food and the act of eating as a family have several purposes.
Food before baby reaches one year old help with:
- introducing common allergens
- exploring and progressing with textures, flavours, colours, shapes
- learning to respect baby’s appetite
- preventing baby from becoming picky eater
- ensuring the family establishes the family rules
Food before 1 is much more than just for fun!
- Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants – Recommendations from Birth to Six Months
- Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants – Recommendations from Six to 24 Months
- Brown A, Jones SW, Rowan H. Baby-Led Weaning: The Evidence to Date. Curr Nutr Rep [Internet]. Current Nutrition Reports; 2017;6(2):148–56.
- New baby? All you need to know about vitamin D supplement.
- Baby is ready to eat solids? Is baby-led weaning the right choice for your family?