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Introducing Solids to your Baby

This is a fun and exciting time in you and your baby’s life!  Use these tips to help you get started on introducing solid foods to your baby.
 
When can I introduce solid foods?
At about six months of age and if they are showing signs of readiness, babies are ready for solid foods. At this time, they can handle more textures, their digestive system is ready and they need more nutrients, like iron, that solid food provides. Your baby does not need teeth to start eating solid foods.
 
Starting solid food to early or too late can cause problems. Before six months babies do not need solid foods as breast milk (or infant formula) provides all the nutrients that babies need.  
 
Learn more about how you can tell your baby is ready to have solid foods introduced to their diet.
 
Growth spurts
Growth spurts are common at about three months and six months. Your baby may want extra breast milk at these times but this is not a sign that your baby needs solid foods or that starting solids will help your baby sleep through the night. 
Breastfeed more often when your baby shows signs of hunger during a growth spurt. 
  
At about 6 months babies need more iron in their diet so start with iron-rich foods.  Introduce one new food at a time.  You can introduce a new food the next day. 

The transition between breast milk to fluid milk
  • Breastfeeding can continue for up to two years or beyond. 
  • Pasteurized whole cow’s milk (3.25%) may be introduced at 9 to 12 months of age.
  • Skim milk and partly skimmed milk (1% and 2%) are not recommended until after 2 years of age because they are lower in fat.  Fat is important because it helps babies brains develop
  • Aim for 2 cups (500 mL) of cow milk by age 2.   Do not give more than 3 cups (750 mL) of milk per day.  This is because your child may fill up on milk and not get other important nutrients from foods. 
 
Preventing Choking
Always supervise and watch your baby while they are eating to prevent choking. Remember: a choking child is silent. Contact emergency services in the case of an emergency.
 
Learn more about:

Source:  Best Start and the Nutrition Resource Centre. 'Feeding your baby: From six months to one year'. Retrieved from: www.beststart.org.