Feb 03 2014

How Will I know My Baby Is Ready for food?

Published by at 2:35 pm under children

Breast milk and formula can meet baby’s nutrient needs through six months of age,  but many babies are developmentally ready earlier and ready to start foods at 4 to 6 months of age. It will be important for your baby to move to solid foods to meet his needs for nutrients such as: iron, zinc and vitamin D. 

 Many parents are ready to start solids early some because they think the milk feedings are “thin and watery” and many because they believe their child is hungry for food. For some,  adding food to a baby’s menu is a developmental milestone they are proud of, and for all of these reasons 30 to 50 % of babies are given cereal by 2 to 3 months of age and by 4 to 6 months 50 to 70 % of babies are eating cereal. Infant cereal fortified with iron is a common first food because it is easy to use, well tolerated and a source of dietary iron a nutrient children need to obtain from food around the 6 month of life as the stores they were born with are used up and need to be replaced.

  1. Ask your health care provider about when to add solid food.  Most will recommend you wait until your child can support his head and sit independently.
  2. Pay attention to your child’s interest in food. A child that sits forward and watches what you eat, may be showing an  interest in food . Once you start food, a child can  communicate fullness when he turns his head away from food .
  3. It is essential that infant formula or breast milk remain a part of your child’s diet for the entire first year of life, they are the primary source of the nutrients very young children need.

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