Feeding Solid Foods to Infants
What About Fruit Juice?
Before six months of age, juice provides no nutritional benefit and is not recommended or needed. After that, you could start introducing fruit juice in limited quantities.
Some recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics related to fruit juice in infants and children include:
- Fruit juice should be offered from a cup (not a bottle or sippy cup).
- Give no more than 4 to 6 ounces of fruit juice per day. Start with 2 to 4 ounces a day when first introducing juice.
- Juice should be given only as part of a meal or snack. It should not be sipped throughout the day or at bedtime. You can dilute the juice with water so it is not so sweet.
- Buy only pasteurized juice.
- Look for juices that are high in vitamin C.
- Juices should be 100 percent fruit juice. Stay away from fruit drinks that contain a blend of a little fruit juice and a lot of sugar and other additives.
Why all these recommendations? Because too much juice can lead to nutrition problems, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and dental cavities.
Apple juice fortified with vitamin C is a good choice. If your infant does not tolerate it, white grape juice might be a better alternative.
Solid Food Progression
One of the keys when starting solids is to introduce a variety of different flavors and textures. At first, you will progress through the different types of cereals, pureed meats, fruits, and vegetables. You will start with thinner purees and smaller amounts.
By the time your baby is eight months of age, he or she will have probably mastered thicker purees and can chew and swallow food with more texture. Continue to mix it up! You can increase the variety of foods and the textures. You can start adding small, soft, lumpier blends, such as pureed foods mixed with small pieces of meat, vegetables, or pasta.
You can try other protein foods, such as:
- Plain yogurt (which can be mixed with soft fruits or applesauce)
- Lean chicken or fish cut into tiny pieces
- Egg yolk
- Mild cheeses
- Cooked dried beans.
By the time your baby is 10 months old, he or she should be eating about ½ cup per day of both fruits and vegetables.
(Click Infant Feeding Schedule to see a chart that outlines the different types of foods and when each should be introduced.)