Brought to you by SunRice Australian Baby Rice Cereal (Sponsored Content)
There is a lot to think about when you are taking that first step of starting your baby on solids. Which meal do I start with? What should I offer? When can I bring in different foods? When can I offer more than one meal a day?
Making the decision to start your baby on solids is an exciting time. Here is our suggested schedule for starting solids:
Step one: Work up to two tablespoons
The Ministry of Health1 and Plunket2 recommend baby rice cereal as a first food for infants, as it is plain, smooth and soft, and a good source of iron. Mixing baby rice cereal with breast milk or formula can make it taste familiar to your baby, so they are more likely to accept it. Start with offering just a teaspoon per meal, once a day, after your baby’s milk feed. Lunchtime or early afternoon is often a good time of day for first solid foods. Once your baby is comfortably taking two tablespoons per sitting, you’re ready to move on to step two.
Baby refusing solids? Check out our article on why baby may not be interested here.
Step two: More flavours
SunRice Baby Rice Cereal comes in both Original and Mixed Vegetable flavours. The Mixed Vegetable flavour is made with pureed carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin, to help introduce new flavours with minimal hassle for parents. This is a great second step for introducing new flavours alongside flavours your baby is already used to. Once your baby is used to SunRice Baby Rice Cereal With Mixed Vegetables, you can move to more fruit and vegetables, either mixed with SunRice Baby Rice Cereal or on its own.
Step three: More meals
More flavours and more meals go hand in hand, and often happen at the same time. Once your baby is established on solids, you can introduce a second meal of solids – either breakfast or dinner. There are positives and negatives to choosing either one as your baby’s second meal: many professionals recommend that dinner is the second meal, as starting the breakfast meal can cause some babies to reject their morning milk feed, which is arguably the most important feed of the day. However, dinnertime can be a fussy time of day for some babies, so they may reject their solids meal.
We suggest looking at your schedule and deciding which time of day will work best for you and your baby to introduce a second meal.
Step four: Meals and snacks
By 8 or 9 months old, most babies are having 3 meals a day and 2 snacks, along with breast milk or formula feeds3. Always remember that babies progress at their own pace. If you are concerned that your baby is refusing solids, check with your Plunket nurse, WellChild provider or doctor.