Addition of Later Solids to Infant Diet

About one month after cereal is started you may offer fruits or vegetables as well.  We don't think it really matters which you choose to add first, but you should only introduce one new food every 4 or 5 days in case baby reacts badly to one of the new foods (fussiness, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, etc.).  Many doctors recommend starting fruits first because of the added vitamins and minerals, others recommend veggies because the sweetness of fruit may be more attractive if started first. If you suspect baby is having a problem with a new food, drop it from baby's diet for a week or two and try it again later to see if the same reaction occurs. 


Start with applesauce or bananas, then gradually add others.  We do not recommend citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit) until at least 9 months of age.  You can use regular applesauce but be sure to buy the kind without added sugar or preservatives.  Ripe bananas can be smashed with a fork very easily.  Offer about the same quantity of fruit as you do of cereal.  Avoid most of the commercially available foods that have "dessert" in the title since they contain extra sugar which your child dose not need.  As your child gets older they may be able to enjoy these products.


Start with green peas, squash or sweet potatoes, then gradually add others.  We do not recommend giving tomatoes (citrus) until at least 9 months of age.  Once you have introduced a yellow and a green veggie, try to offer one serving of each per day. Offer about as much vegetable as you are offering cereal. 


We usually introduce these twice a day at about 8 months of age.  It is best to use the plain strained meats or simple dinners rather than the "dinners" because the combinations have all sorts of undesirable additives (onion, salt, tomatoes, etc) and if babies eat the combination dinners regularly they will develop carotenemia, a yellow skin discoloration from consuming too much yellow vegetable. This is probably a harmless condition and it gradually goes away, but if a baby is getting that much yellow vegetable they are probably not getting enough green vegetable.  If babies find the taste of the strained meats too strong or the texture too pasty, mix the meal with the cereal or vegetable being offered at that feeding. We usually offer the chicken or turkey first, and move on to other meats later.  A good size serving of meat would be about ¼ of a jar of the strained meat. 

Below is a suggested schedule for fitting in the new solids as they are introduced. You will notice that we offer baby cereal each time solids are offered because it is the best source of iron among the solids which we offer, and it provides some predictability to baby's diet and takes the place of a lot of the carbohydrates which we consume (bread, pasta, rice). 


You can view a printable version of this page for your convenience here: Addition of Solids.pdf