At your baby’s 4 or 6 month checkup, your doctor may discuss starting your baby on solid foods. It is an exciting time – up until this point your baby has been taking in all of his nutrition from breast milk or formula, and you get to shape his palate with new flavors and textures over the next 6 months and beyond. Your doctor may have talked to you about introducing iron rich foods early on. This is because iron stores in your baby typically start to become depleted around 6 months of age. I typically recommend families wait until 6 months of age to start solids (although I have heard pediatricians recommend between 4-6 months).
Written by Rachel Rothman, MS, RD, CLEC
A frequent question I encounter in my practice and in my Introduction to Solids classes, is how to introduce foods that may be allergenic to babies. The last 15 years have brought significant attention to allergens, and most parents are now keenly aware of the risks. However, a drumbeat of new research published on the causes of allergies and allergy prevention has brought new strategies to light and debunked old myths. Until 2008, the American Association of Pediatrics recommended that parents delay exposing infants to certain allergens until after one year of age. The guideline changed because after a review of research and patient outcomes, there was no evidence for waiting. I help many moms and dads make sense of this new world, as they are understandably cautious about what this all means for their child.
This post is by Rachel Rothman, MS, RD, and is the third post in the three-part blog series about introducing solids to your little one. Rachel is a mom to a toddler, a pediatric dietitian and instructor of “Introduction to Solids” and “Nutrition for Toddlers and Preschoolers” at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. Join us for the next Nutrition for Toddlers and Preschoolers class on October 29th at 10:00am. More information and registration can be found here.
In case you missed it, I discussed the feeding relationship in my previous two posts, and these may be summarized using the division of responsibility. Parents are responsible for the “what, when, and where of feeding; children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating” . In this third post we discuss age appropriate serving sizes – however, as with all nutrition advice, sustainably learning the behaviors associated with this division of responsibility will be as important, if not more influential, than simply choosing specific serving size, as all of our young ones progress at slightly different paces and individual ways.
Most of the food we eat- and the nutrient measurements we rely on – use the idea of serving sizes. But what does a serving look like?
This post is by Rachel Rothman, MS, RD, and is the second post of a three-part series about introducing solids to your little one. Rachel is a mom to a toddler and a pediatric dietitian. Rachel is the instructor of "Toddler Nutrition" and “Introduction to Solids” classes at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. Join us for the next Toddler Nutrition class on October 29th at 10:00am. More information and registration can be found here.
In my previous post, I addressed a parent’s responsibilities for the “when” (setting meal time) and the “what” (the food to be served) of feeding. This approach is generally referred to as the feeding relationship: Parents are responsible for the “what, when, and where of feeding; children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating” . The relationship is between parent and child, and between the child and the food they eat. Now that we’ve established the parent’s responsibilities, we can move to the child’s responsibilities – whether to eat, and how much to eat.
Join Rachel Rothman, MS, RD in our three-part blog series to learn more about introducing solids to your little one. Rachel is a pediatric dietitian and the instructor of our Introduction to Solids classes here at the SDBFC.
Introduction to Solids, Serving Sizes, Feeding Relationship
When babies are 4-6 months of age, many moms start thinking about how much solid food kids should eat. It’s easy to get caught up in a race toward the “starting solids” milestone, but what comes next? Many parents wonder, now that their little one has started eating solid foods, how much is enough? Am I making him/her overeat? Am I wasting food? Am I teaching poor habits?
What might reassure you is that as long as your selections contain a balance of protein, carbohydrate, fats and vitamins and minerals, measuring “servings” of food consumed may not necessarily be the best way to ensure your baby’s success at adopting a solid diet.
Written by Rachel Rothman, MS, RD
At your baby’s four-month visit, your pediatrician may have talked to you about starting your baby on solid foods and probably recommended to start between 4-6 months. It’s usually recommended that baby can start solids when he/she is sitting up mainly on his/her own, has a pincer grasp, seems interested in food, and opens his/her mouth when food is offered. As a pediatric dietitian, I get asked many questions about infant nutrition and starting baby on solid foods.
Thanks for responding to this question on Facebook the other day, but I would love to hear more on this topic: does breast milk start losing its nutritional value after 6 months? If the pediatrician states solids (in particular enriched rice cereal) twice a day are needed, are there any alternate opinions? I'm curious if the WHO or LLL have any alternate evidence.
Thank you for your excellent questions. Solids are a huge topic of discussion in our weekly breastfeeding support group and pretty much every pediatrician in town has a different philosophy. Here’s what the official organizations recommend