So your baby is ready to try foods for the first time? Great!
As a first step: Start with a small amount of a single-ingredient food. As a tip, you can put a small amount into a bowl for your baby to sample, and then store the rest in the refrigerator or freezer to use later – this helps to save money and avoid waste.
Now here’s what to expect as you introduce a new food:
- Expect a Funny Face. Funny faces are perfectly normal as babies taste different flavors and textures.
- Expect to Try…and Try Again. It can take 10 to 20 different times before a baby learns to like a new food. Give your baby a chance to try foods again and again, even if your baby does not like them at first. Babies may need to try some foods many times before they like them. Here are some tips that might make trying foods again and again easier:
- Wait a week before you try the new food again.
- Try mixing the new food with a food your baby likes, such as breast milk.
- Remember that it may take more tries for your baby to learn to like vegetables (because of their bitter taste) than other healthy foods like fruits (which are sweet). Continue offering a variety of vegetables, and let your child decide when he or she is ready to start eating them. Be patient and keep trying.
- Expect a Mess. Messy meals are part of the experience, but it can leave you wondering… Did my baby actually eat anything? Well here’s how you can tell…
- Expect a Poopy Diaper: You can tell your baby is eating by a change in his or her poop’s texture and color. More solid food means more solid poop. And don’t be surprised if the poop oddly resembles the food that he or she just ate. Did I see a pea in the diaper?
And here’s one final tip! Wait 3-5 days before introducing a new food, especially if there is a family history of food allergies.
But most importantly, HAVE FUN! You’re developing your baby’s taste buds for years to come. And remember, talk to your child’s pediatrician or health care provider about any questions or concerns.
To learn more, check out these additional resources related to this topic:
- More bite-sized videos about introducing first foods – 1,000 Days
- Picky Eaters and What to Do – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Starting Solid Foods – American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children
- Food Allergy Reactions – American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children