In my holistic pediatrics practice, I routinely advise parents how to introduce solid foods to their infants. Parents want to know when and what to feed their baby. My advice is a little different from what they are used to hearing. I recommend pureed fruits and vegetables as first foods instead of rice cereal. To determine if a baby is ready for solids I instruct parents to put a very small piece of a banana is the baby’s mouth. If the baby is able to swallow the banana this shows a readiness for solids.
There are several sources that outline introductions of foods. One of my favorites is the “Child Health Guide” by Randall Neustaedter, OMD. I agree with the following recommendations by Dr. Neustaedter:
Age 5-6 months (pureed or mashed): organic egg yolk(no whites), bananas, steamed broccoli, yams or sweet potatoes, organic applesauce, stewed prunes, organic carrots
Age 7-9 months (soft or mashed): vegetable soups, squash, peaches or nectarines, peas, avocados
Age 10-12 months (soft solid pieces): organic whole milk yogurt, chicken/turkey, blueberries, papaya, butter, cooked vegetable pieces, mangos
Age 12 months and older: oats, whole wheat breads and crackers, whole egg, oranges, melons, seedless grapes and raisins, spinach, tahini, cheese, cashew/almond butter, strawberries, peeled apples, corn, honey
Remember to only add one new food at a time over a 3-4 day period. This will enable parents to determine if the child has an allergic reaction to a particular food.