Introducing solid foods to a baby

Introducing solid foods to a baby

Before introducing solid foods to the baby’s diet, the mother should educate herself in the matter and consult the pediatrician. If the baby is fussy and cranky in general, the baby’s system may simply not be ready for solids or even may experience a food intolerance or allergy.

When to introduce solid foods to a baby?

There are different schools as for when the solids should be introduced to the baby’s diet. In general, parents start introducing solid foods when the baby is 6 months old. Since every solid food will be new for the baby, parents should do it by steps, giving her system the time to accommodate and to the parent the time to detect any abnormality. The best way is to follow the ‘four day rule’, meaning introducing every new food every four days. In case of baby allergies, this rule should be extended up to seven days. New food should always be introduced in the morning, so if any reaction appears, it does within the pediatrician’s office hours and also it does smooth by the evening.

First baby food

Baby’s first food should be rice cereal, then oatmeal and barley.
Below you will find diagrams describing this process (click on the diagram to enlarge):

After some time, depending on the baby’s reactions, fruits and vegetables should be introduced. For the mother’s convenience, many companies offer first baby food in jars, for example Gerber, Beech-nut or Earth’s Best Organic. A variety of stages and ingredients of jars is available.

Least and most common allergic foods

When introducing solid foods to the baby’s diet, it is extremely important to know which food is the most common allergen, and which one is the least allergic one. And of course, the baby should be introduced first to the least allergic ones.
Foods least likely to cause allergic reactions are:

  • apple
  • apricot
  • avocado
  • barley
  • beets
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • chicken
  • cranberries
  • lamb
  • lettuce
  • oats
  • peaches
  • pears
  • raisins
  • rice
  • rye
  • squash
  • sunflower oil
  • sweet potatoes
  • turkey
  • veal

Most common allergic foods:

  • berries, excluding cranberries and blueberries
  • citrus fruits
  • dairy products
  • egg
  • fish
  • mustard
  • nuts
  • peanuts
  • peas
  • pork
  • shellfish
  • soy
  • wheat
  • yeast

In case of an allergy to dairies, it is important to know that the dairy cleans up from the body up to 14 days, which means that when the baby has allergic reaction to a dairy product and stop getting it, the symptoms of the allergy may persist for around 14 days because the traces of dairy stay that long in the system.

Introducing solid foods to an allergic baby

If the baby has allergies, special formula remains the main food. And the solids should be introduced later than at the sixth month and always under a supervision of the pediatrician.
The mother should strictly observe every baby’s reaction (behavior, skin condition and diaper) and write down any symptoms. If anything bothers her, she should contact the pediatrician immediately. Maybe even keep the diaper and let him test it for blood or mucous. What is more important than the baby’s health?

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