Introducing solid food to your baby is a milestone that can be fun, unpredictable and undeniably messy. Like walking and using the potty, eating is a skill that takes time and practice to master. As a parent, your job is to provide your baby with a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods in a pleasant and relaxed setting. It’s your baby’s job to learn what and how much to eat—with no pressure from anyone.
See more: 3 Tips for Starting Solids
Introducing solid food is different for every baby
While introducing solid food is easy for some babies, for others, it can be a challenge. Staying calm and removing any expectations will help make it more enjoyable for both of you. “Some infants take their sweet time accepting new foods, and forcing the issue will only make the transition more stressful,” explains Loraine H. Stern, MD, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) book Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know (second edition).
Advice for introducing solid food
To help you make your baby’s transition to introducing solid food a smooth one, we’ve gathered advice from Stern and other experts on the best time to start solid foods, how to introduce a new food, which foods to begin with and which ones to avoid. You’ll also find a handy guide to preparing 11 healthful baby foods to help start your child off on a well-balanced diet for life.