Starting Solid Foods

Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor for Ameriacn Baby Magazine.
It's one thing to bring home the bacon. It's quite another, of course, to eat it. Especially when you're under a year. When to introduce solid foods into your baby's diet is the topic of an article in this month's American Baby magazine. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor, offers some guidelines.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest you start your baby on solid foods between 4 and 6 months. Since it's such a large window, there are two milestones you should be looking for. First, make sure your baby can sit upright and hold his head up. Second, he will be curious about food and seems eager to eat.

When it's time to start you baby on solids, start with rice cereal and then move on to pureed foods. And don't worry, it's normal for your baby to grimace and make funny faces as he gets used to the physical process of swallowing. Also remember, a baby gets a majority of her calories in the form of breast milk or formula until somewhere between 7 and 10 months. So keep providing breast milk while you transition your child to solid foods.

Around the time your baby starts to eat as much as he drinks, he can try foods with more texture, like crackers and soft fruits and vegetables. There are some foods you should avoid when starting your baby on solids for allergy reasons. These include, honey, citrus, cow's milk, peanut butter, nuts, popcorn and raisins. Hartshorn highly recommends Annabel Karmel's book, "First Meals Food Diary." It gives helpful tips on what foods to avoid and helps you keep track of what your child is eating.

And finally, it's a good idea to get your baby on a meal time schedule. Sit your baby down for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the rest of the family, to get him used to the routine, even if he's just biting a piece of toast.

For more tips on how to start your child on solid foods, and other baby tips, please visit
by Jenn Eaker