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How much food should you introduce first?

 

When introducing solids to babies it is important to always offer breast-milk or formula first as this is still the baby’s main source of nutrition. You need to do this from the time you start solids (approximately 6 months) until the baby is 8-9 months old. Only from 8-9 months should you start offering solids before their breast or formula feeds.

What you decide to feed your baby as a first food may be determined by your culture or independently held views. There is no ‘best’ first food although a hypoallergenic iron-fortified rice cereal with added breast-milk, formula or cooled, boiled water is a very common ‘starter’ food in New Zealand.

Whatever weaning food you decide to start your baby with, always remember that initially the ‘solid’ must be a very small amount of a thin, smooth mixture (use a rubber tipped spoon to protect your baby’s mouth). Your baby will probably not want much (approximately 2 teaspoons) and may spit back what it has been given. The initial trials with ‘solids’ is really only to provide something ‘new’ after the baby’s usual liquid feed and is not going to add significant energy to their day.

Start by offering the ‘solids’ only once a day. Offering the ‘solid’ early in the day – mid-morning to the middle of the day, allows you to judge how your baby feels about the ‘solid’.

As a general rule it is best to try one ‘solid’ at a time. Allow your baby about 3 days to get used to the ‘solid’.

Once your baby has become used to the variety of flavours of different ‘solids’ on the ‘once a day’ program after the usual liquid feed try moving to ‘twice a day’ for the next week and move to ‘three times a day’ the week after that.

 

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