Introducing solid foods to a baby

Introducing solid foods to a baby

Sunna Ósk Ómarsdóttir
6 minute read

It’s important to know what to feed your baby during each age stage. Most children start eating solid foods around 6 months old, although some might need to start earlier.

In this blog we’ve provided you with a list of foods that are safe to introduce to your baby at 6 months, 7 months, 8 months, 9 months and 1 years old. You can print out the list or download it to your phone/computer.

 

What to feed my baby?

In 2007 Ebba Gudny, the healthy, wholesome baby diet genius from Iceland, released the book What should I feed my baby? In Icelandic.

The book has since then been used by parents in Iceland and is still a great guide to feeding babies healthier foods and changing the lifestyle of the whole family.⁠ The book has also been translated into English and is a simple but thorough guide for parents who want to introduce their baby to wholesome and nutritious food right from the start.

⁠In her book Ebba shares a detailed list of foods babies can eat at certain ages and she's allowed us to share this list here on the blog. The list starts with first foods for 6 months old babies but if children start eating before 6 months old it's still possible to use this list as a support.⁠

The list is not carved in stone, it's only a guide to make life with a small baby easier.

Note that the list is based on recommendations by professionals in Iceland. If your doctors have recommended other foods for your baby please follow their instructions.

Please also keep these notes in mind before introducing solid foods to your baby:

  • Uncooked honey sometimes contains botulinum toxins in amounts that are detrimental to infants.
  • If there is peanut allergy in the family you should wait longer than 9 months to give the baby almonds and longer than one year to give nuts in general. Ask a certified healthcare professional for advice.
  • If your baby needs to start eating solids earlier than 6 months (like 4 or 5 months) you can still follow the 6 months list.

 

What & When - Introducing Solids - list

We recommend printing out the whole list

or download a list for each month here.

Below you can also see the list for each age stage.

 

 

 

How to feed my baby?

 When your baby has reached 6 months of age, or is between 4 and 6 months old and has started to show signs of being ready for start eating, you can introduce the foods shown in the list above as safe for 6 months old children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) you should start your child on solids between 4 and 6 months.

According to Parents, when introducing solid foods, give the baby the breast or bottle first thing in the morning, before or after meals and also before bedtime. You can see information on the suggested quantity of milk feeded up to 9 months and 12 months in Parent’s article.

It’s good to start by introducing foods that are not sweet. Otherwise the baby might refuse other non-sweet foods. A cereal is a great start. Remember to only introduce one new ingredient at a time for 3 to 5 days. If your baby shows any allergy symptoms to new foods, introducing only one ingredient at a time makes it easier for you to figure out what your baby is allergic to. It’s also recommended to give new food to a baby during noon, so you don’t experience a sleepless night if your baby gets a tummy ache.

It might take time for your baby to get used to new flavors, so try offering the same ingredient three times during the same meal before giving up. Start by diluting the food with breastmilk, water or other suitable milk for your baby’s age. That also makes the food taste of something they already know and like. You can then blend new foods with a porridge/cereal to milden the flavor.

Make sure the meal times are as enjoyable as possible. Feed your baby before it gets hungry, as that minimizes irritability. If your baby starts crying, wait until it’s in a good mood again before continuing. If your baby refuses completely to taste or eat something, act like nothing has happened and try again at a later meal, as it may take ten tries or more for your baby to get used to new flavors and textures. You can go back to bottle or breastfeeding exclusively before trying again. Remember that while the baby is learning how to eat solids, the main nutrition will continue being milk.

When you give your baby the first meal start with just half a spoonful at a time or even less in the spoon and keep your voice in a positive tone. Do not feed your baby more than total of 2-4 teaspoons of diluted food in the first meals. Your baby might not seem to like eating at first, but strange/strong reactions might just mean they are confused or surprised. Also, the food might all end up on the floor or their face. In that case, decrease the amount you’re offering and give it time before you increase the amount of food. It takes time for babies to learn how to swallow solid foods.

After a few weeks you can start giving your baby more than one meal per day. Listen to your baby’s needs and try to estimate if and when it needs (and can) have more than one meal.

Around 9 months old you should stop pureeing all food and rather mash it, so your baby will get used to chewing more.

We recommend purchasing Ebba’s book. In that book you can read more details about handling food, recipes for baby food as well as the whole family and knowledge about nutrition and baby’s health.

You can also check out Ebba’s website for delicious recipes and an interesting blog.

It’s always good to speak with your pediatrician before introducing something new to your baby, also before giving solid foods for the first time.

« Back to Blog

z