At 6 months the baby should still be on breast milk/ formula, but they should be starting to start the trip into solids.
Why shouldn’t they continue with milk?
Adding solids/ baby food can help decrease the risk of developing food allergies. As time goes on baby will be more able to receive foods from a spoon and other utensils. At a later age there runs a risk of baby refusing solids just because they are not used to them.
Oh, and before we go on, solids refers to the pureed baby food.
When you do try to introduce new foods follow some of these tips to keep you on the right track. But a word of warning. Our son, Benjamin, hated puree chicken for the longest of times and it wasn’t until we mashed it with other foods that he liked then he was able to eat it.
Some babies take to foods easily, some don’t. Try not to compare too much. Also some people state that it takes 50 goes of the same type of food for a baby to like it.
1- Try new foods when baby is happy and you are not rushed. They pick up on your emotions. Being calm, relaxed and prepared to counter a cry is helpful. Forcing food is never a good idea and can even turn baby off the food item. If they do not like it, try again a few days later.
2- Offer new foods about 3-4 days apart and one at a time. If baby doesn’t like the food or even has a reaction to it, it is then easy to isolate the offending food.
3- Offer solid food after breast feeding/ formula because they contain more nutrients and calories which solid food should not replace.
4- Start slowly and small to start with, and use a spoon. Give a little bit more as baby allows. Baby should dictate how much they should have. Also note that solids, especially baby cereal, should never be given through a bottle- feed only from a bowel and spoon.
5- Never feed from the jar/ container, feed baby from a dish.
6- Never add anything to the food. Baby needs to feel the texture and needs to find out the taste of that item. Adding sweeteners, butter, salt etc
7- Honey should never be used at this age. It could contain a bacteria which could harm baby.
Initially at 6 months “iron containing foods” like infant cereal or meats should be the first solids to offer baby. When buying baby cereal offer rice first, then barley/ oatmeal. Then follow up with mixed grain cereals.
At 7 months vegetables and fruit. Fruit juice may be offered but it is not necessary after fruits and vegetables are taken well.
At 8 months meats should be given. If they haven’t by now, introduce them.
Remember you are not alone. Ask your health care provider if you have any concerns. These are important development times for baby and foods are the number one source of all of baby’s growth.
Baby food though is expensive, buying or even creating yourself. Check out our baby food coupon site which has information on preparing baby food yourself and guides on baby food: Baby food coupons.