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Introducing Solids -- What Every Parent Should Know

There are certain things that every parent should know when it comes to introducing solids to a baby.
 
Between four and six months of age, most babies are physically developed enough to handle the process of starting to eat solid foods. They are also moving a lot more, building muscle and strength as they develop their early mobility skills. This requires a great deal of energy and nourishment, more than can be provided with just breast milk or formula.
 
The very first food often recommended by healthcare professionals is iron-enriched baby rice cereal. 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 the rice cereal, you can begin offering oatmeal and barley cereal.
 
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. 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. You can increase the variety of foods and the textures.
 
(Click Starting Solid Foods and Feeding Solid Foods to Infants for more information on what you should know when introducing solids to your baby, to find out what other foods are suitable for infants, and for a list of foods you should avoid.)
 
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters
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