Oral Health Buzz
What Foods to Start Baby on First: Healthy Teeth and Gums From the Start
Most babies are ready for their first bite of solid food between four and seven months of age. Signs of readiness include your baby showing an interest in what you're eating, as well as an ability to hold his head up and sit without support. You might wonder what foods to start baby on first. With a pediatrician's go-ahead, choosing watery and bland items is an ideal way to begin solid foods. It's also important to space out the introduction of new foods by offering new items every few days so you can watch for any signs of a food allergy.
Baby cereal is a great way to get your little one started on solid foods. The flavor won't overwhelm him and the texture makes it easy for him to learn to take food from a spoon. Start by thinning out the baby cereal with formula or breast milk and offering tiny bites. As your baby gets used to the process, gradually add just a bit less liquid so he can make the progression toward thicker purees.
Fruits and Vegetables
It doesn't really matter whether you offer fruits or vegetables first, but many parents report more success with fruits, since they are sweeter and might be more tempting to a new eater. You can start by stirring a bit of fruit or vegetable puree into baby cereal. You can also introduce pureed meat by mixing a small spoonful with a vegetable he already enjoys.
Once your baby gets the hang of purees, usually between 8 and 10 months, you can add table foods to his plate. If he hasn't had any teeth erupt from the gumline, you might want to hold off on finger foods until he can chew them a bit. Tiny pieces of soft fruits and vegetables and finely shredded meats and cheeses are healthy options. Small pieces of crackers or pasta also work well.
Remember, a varied and well-balanced diet is the best way to ensure that your little one is getting the nutrients he needs for strong, healthy teeth as well as growth, development and good overall health.
Learn more about what foods to start baby on first in the Colgate Oral Care resources.