Solid Foods

There used to be a tendency to start infants on solid foods at an early age. Frequently, this was done because everyone was doing it rather than for demonstrated benefit to baby.

Milk is the only food for an infant during the first five to six months of life. It is a complete food containing all the nutrients an infant needs during this important period. The baby’s digestive system is not designed to handle complex foods other than milk. Although most infants will not be obviously harmed by early introduction of solid food, there is increasing evidence that indicates subtle but defined disturbances of the intestinal tract can occur when solid food is started too early.

There is strong indication that early introduction of solid food will lead to an increased incidence of allergies later in life. Obesity frequently begins in infancy and has been related to the early introduction of solid food.

For these reasons we recommend infants start solid food no earlier than four months of age (six months for most infants). This is also the recommendation of the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Decisions as to what solid foods to be introduced first are quite arbitrary. Any foods that the baby accepts readily are appropriate, though we would recommend delaying introduction of sweet, dessert type foods until after the first year. Generally, bland foods are introduced first and tastier, sweetened foods last.

There are no advantages to baby food over prepared table food other than their convenience. Any table foods that can be pureed are satisfactory for your baby. Whichever form of infant feeding you wish to use (prepared baby foods or prepared table foods), introduce no more than one new food every three to five days. This will allow you to identify any food causing your baby problems.

Copyright ©2014 All Rights Reserved.

East Valley Children's Center 3200 S. George Drive, Tempe AZ 85282 ( map )
480.839.9097 (Fax) 480.839.1762 / Terms of Use / Refund/Return/Cancellation Policy

Office Hours: By Appointment Only. M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Evenings & Saturdays on urgent basis only.