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How & When to Introduce a Baby to Solid Food

Learn how and when to introduce an infant to solid food from parenting coach Tammy Gold in this Howcast baby care video.


Typically babies are introduced to solid food around the age of six months. This is because it is shown that there are less allergies present in children if they're exposed to food in solids at six months of age. However, there are some parents that do introduce solids earlier than six months, around four months. And there are also babies that may have reflux, which may require rice in their formula, and this can be done as early as two weeks. Typically, it's around six months also because babies get teeth at that age, and they can eat different types of textures and different types of food. Traditionally, the thing that's usually introduced the most is rice cereal, and that goes first. Typically, a doctor will ask for one to two tablespoons of rice cereal for one week to make sure the baby doesn't react. I always tell all of my clients, and I recommend to all parents that it's really important to log your baby during this time. The only way you'll know if they have a true food allergy is to see if they react to it. However, sometimes that reaction may not come until a day or two after. So if you have a log that says introduced bananas Tuesday, and on Thursday they have a rash, pretty much you know what's causing the problem. So babies are usually introduced to cereals first, then vegetables second, and usually fruits last, because those are the sweetest. But really you can introduce, as long as the baby is OK, you can introduce foods any way you want in any manner that's easiest to do. There are a whole host of already pureed baby foods, or you can simply make baby food at home by taking something as simple as a banana and mashing it up with a little bit of breast milk and formula. It's really important in the beginning to make sure the texture is very smooth and very soft, because it's very new for a baby to have texture on their mouth. Most times, the first feeding for a baby is a wonderful event. I know, I videotaped all three of my girls for the first time they ate solid food. Most of it ends up on their face, on their clothes, because most babies have a thrusting reaction with their tongue, and they end up pushing more of the cereal out than they get in. The object of introducing the cereal altogether is just to get them accustomed to texture, and to eating in this new manner instead of taking food from a bottle. It's a wonderful experience for you and your baby, but one that should be logged down, because of the allergies that could be present with different foods. So please make sure you write down each food that you try, and wait four to seven days before introducing another one.

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