Experts' Insights On When To Start Baby Food
There is a lot of information out there regarding baby food stages. It seems like everyone has an opinion on when to begin the transition to solids. While the advice of your pediatrician is always your most valuable resource, there are plenty of nutrition experts out there who can provide you with some good advice.
Knowing When Your Baby Is Ready
While the general medical advice is not to start solids before four months (17 weeks), babies’ readiness for solid foods can differ on an individual basis. But there are important developmental signs that indicate that your baby is ready.
AAP Pediatrician David Hill, MD, advises that your baby should be able to hold up their head, as well as having the ability to “sit in a high chair, a feeding seat, or an infant seat.” Hill also suggests that infants are typically ready once they “double their birth weight” which usually occurs “about 4 months of age.”
The Medical Advisory Board at BabyCenter also suggests that your baby should have lost the tongue thrust reflex and “be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow it instead of using his tongue to push food out of his mouth.”
Don’t Wait Too Long
Though some believe that starting solids too soon can pose its own set of issues, there can also be problems when starting too late.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that waiting too long can result in suppressed growth as well as feeding problems, while the American Association for Cancer Research advises that a delayed start on solid foods could increase a child’s risk of leukemia.
The Nutrition Team at the Montreal Diet Dispensary suggests that waiting past 6 months can pose long-term health issues. After 6 months, “they need food to meet their iron requirements. Without it, they risk developing iron deficiency and anemia.”
The Mayo Clinic also suggests that delaying solid foods beyond 6 months “Might be linked with the development of asthma, hay fever, eczema or food allergies.”
Variety Is Important
When it’s time for your baby to begin eating solid foods, let them experience as much variety as possible. According to the APP, babies need variety in their diet to ensure healthy growth and brain development and that offering variety from the very beginning broadens your baby's palate and increases willingness to accept new foods later on.
This is why we offer the 21 Days To Solids Plan. To expose your baby’s palate to an amazing variety of fresh ingredients that will not only satisfy their hunger, but encourage them to accept new foods later on.
When your baby is showing the above signs of readiness to start baby solid foods, the fun can begin. Feeding your baby a variety of healthy foods now is the key to a lifetime of healthy eating habits.