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Baby's First Solid Foods

The first solid foods to give your baby are those that are easily digested and least likely to trigger an allergic reaction. The very first food often recommended by healthcare professionals is iron-enriched baby rice cereal.
Rice cereal is one of the three single grain cereals widely available. These cereals provide extra calories, along with iron. Infant cereals are prepared by mixing them with formula, breast milk, or water. The consistency should start out thin; it can thicken over time.
Offer the cereal at the end of breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Use a spoon to feed your infant the cereal in small (teaspoon-size) bites. You can start with two to three teaspoons of cereal at four to six months of age. Gradually increase the amount of cereal per day. At six months to eight months, your infant should be eating one to four tablespoons of cereal twice a day.
Rice cereal is best to start with because it is so easy to digest and almost never causes an allergic reaction. After your baby has conquered this first solid food, you can begin offering oatmeal and barley cereal.
(Click Feeding Solid Foods to Infants for more information about other appropriate solid foods and to find out what foods you should avoid giving your infant.)
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters
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