should I feed my 4-month old fruits or veggies first?

Amanda - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 58 moms have responded )

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My 4-month old is ready for baby food. I've been feeding her rice cereal for almost 2 weeks now. She doesn't really like it. I try to feed her 1 tbsp at a time like the doctor said. She eats like half that and then she starts to fuss. I think I'll have better luck with stage 1 baby food. However, I don't know whether I should start with veggies or fruits. Some people say that if baboes start with fruit, they won't eat veggies. I just don't know what to do. I need some advice.

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Krista - posted on 03/10/2012

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Have you considered that maybe she's NOT all that ready for baby food? If she's fussing and not enjoying the cereal, then perhaps she's just not really ready for solids. Does she seem eager to eat the cereal and is just then turned off by it? Or is she reluctant right from the get-go?

Sherri - posted on 03/11/2012

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Sorry Samm but that is hugely outdated information. Putting cereal in a babies bottle is an amazing choking hazard and no longer recommended. If you can't feed by spoon then they shouldn't have it.

Kate CP - posted on 03/11/2012

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Meats are actually easier for a baby to digest than veggies, fruits, or cereals as it's more like mother's milk: high protein and fat, low carbs.



Cereals and rice for babies is only nutritionally valid because they put all the vitamins in the cereal. You can get the same vitamins and nutrients (and not all the crap in processed cereal) in a serving of carrots or peaches or banana.



There is NO evidence that fruit before veggies causes kids to dislike veggies.



...not sure why I bother. No one ever listens to me. :P

Kate CP - posted on 03/11/2012

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Honestly, feed her a pureed version of what you eat. If you're having chicken breast grind up some of it and let her taste it. This is just a "for fun" stage and she's learning about new tastes and textures. But babies really don't have the digestive "juices" and enzymes to digest grains like rice, oats, corn, bran, etc etc until they're closer to 18 months. It can seriously upset their tummies (diarrhea, gas, constipation, even vomiting if it's really irritated).



I'm all for home-made baby foods. It's easier and cheaper than you'd think. Get some bananas and mash 'em up with a fork or in a blender and give her a few bites of it. She should be getting a majority of her calories and nutrition from breast milk or formula (whichever she's drinking). Try some avocados mashed up, egg yolks scrambled up and cooked thoroughly. My kids LOVED acorn squash with some butter and a little cinnamon. Full fat yogurt is also an awesome first baby food as it's full of probiotics, fats, and protein. It's NOT the same as giving a baby cow's milk as it's been cultured so the proteins ARE different than cow's milk.



This site is AWESOME about homemade baby food and how to prepare it. It also gives you pointers on some of the foods that can get high in nitrates and nitrites (cabbage, carrots, broccoli, etc) and what some fruits and veggies are good to hold off on until they are older. http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/



If you don't want to do homemade baby food I can understand. It can seem like a time consuming and pain in the butt chore. Read baby-food ingredients carefully and make sure you're not giving foods full of dyes or sugars.



A good rule to remember: Before one, solids are JUST for fun!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/17/2012

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Also, after introducing 1 food, do not offer a different food for 3-5 days to watch for allergies. Once you are certain there are no reactions, then you can offer then next kind of food.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/17/2012

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Get the book by ruth yaron, super foods for babies. It outlines perfectly what babies first foods should be, when to give them, and which comes next. Avacadoes are actually the best first baby food. Very easy to digest. Then sweet potatoes, then bananas.

Just remember, the food you are giving her is not suppose to be her main nutritional needs. It should still primarily be breast milk or formula/

And yes, veggies should be introduced first in my opinion.

Renee - posted on 12/16/2012

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I have always heard to feed babies sweet potatoes first, then squash, then carrots you know the best tasting starchy vegetables first then move to peas, the green beans, and then start fruit after all vegetables have been introduced. That's what I did with my daughter 4 years ago and I don't know if that has anything to do with why she loves vegetables now? but I've heard if you give a baby fruit before vegetables they won't eat them. I decided not to take my chances. I will follow the same type of pattern with my 4 month old though I may introduce fruit with a vegetable? Just something I'm thinking about. He is so ready for more than just rice cereal, let me tell you:)

Amanda - posted on 03/14/2012

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I'm gonna continue breastfeeding until a year hopefully but I'm gonna keep trying one new fruit or veggie every 4-5 days. Onceshe got used to the spoon, she LOVED eating. She gobbled the tsp of carrots I gave her yesterday. I'm gonna start her on sweet potatoes tomorrow I think. Maybe skip today and just give her breastmilk.

Pamela - posted on 03/13/2012

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Start with fruits and alternate with a vegetable at each mealtime. Go back and forth trying one new fruit and one new veggie at a time. At 4 months children are quite capable of digesting pureed foods.



In fact, do your daughter a favor. Buy the fresh fruits and veggies and use your own blender to puree them after you have chopped them up. That way you will eliminate the preservatives that most prepared foods have in them.



Prepare these foods at the same time you would prepare your own dinner and keep left overs just as you would your own food. If you already have baby food jars, just wash and re-use them.

Dana - posted on 03/13/2012

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~♥ LMCBW ♥~

I am breastfeeding. I hadn't even thought to use BM to thin it out, I was figuring on using distilled water. ~ Thanks for the idea!

Sandi - posted on 03/13/2012

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my youngest who is now 7 wouldn't eat rice ceral at all. i think it was a texture thing. he would gag every time! my pediatrician said it would be okay to feed him yogurt...like plain vanilla no fruit in it. well, he loved it and is a yogurt person to this day. you usually feed babies fruit first and you can mix some rice cereal in that so it is more filling. the taste buds that develop first in babies are the ones that can taste sweet stuff like fruits. baby food bananas were a hit with both my boys.

Amy - posted on 03/13/2012

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My pediatrician, Jay Gordon MD, has said for years that babies who start on fruits and veggies before cereals and grains have FAR less allergies than babies who start grains first. He is an infant nutrition specialist, who believes in no solid foods till 6 months if at all possible. Ideally, breast feed for 6 months, then introduce fruits and veggies (mashed, home made is better), then wait for grains for a few months, maybe at 8-10 months old. I would never put rice cereal in a bottle. Not a good habit, and possible tooth decay down the line.

Diana - posted on 03/13/2012

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It may be that your baby isn't ready for the cereal yet or it upsets her stomach. The longer you can get her to take the formula/breast milk the better.



All babies are different and so is the advice you get from one doctor to the next. Some doctors say 4 months is ok start solids & some say 6 months is better. One of mine girls loved the mixed veggies & baby stews in a jar, while the other one didn't like her stuff mixed together. It's a lot of trial & error.



My first baby was ready for food at 4 months. I started her on the veggies because I figured once she got a taste for the sweet fruit she may not be nearly as interested in the veggies which were less sweet.



My second baby was not ready for solids until she was a little over 6 months old. I started trying food with her around 5 months. I tried a few times to give her cereal on a spoon, but she still had a strong "tongue-thrust" response. As soon as that spoon would get near her mouth she would use her tiny little tongue to push & keep it out so I just waited a few weeks and tried again then a few weeks more and tried again and a few weeks more and tried again...until one day she was ready.



If I had it to do again the only thing that I would change were that I would probably mash up fresh veggies when possible & I would have breast-fed my older one longer (I stopped at 8 weeks because I thought it would take longer to ween her off & wanted to be done before returning to work.). She developed an egg allergy as a baby but grew out of it by the time she was 3 yrs. because we avoided it as soon as we discovered what it was. She also has lots of seasonal allergies that she is growing into as she gets older. Most of it is hereditary thanks to both my genes & my hubby's, but I wish that I would have given it a longer go... My younger one I breast-fed until she was 14mos & she doesn't really have any allergies apart from shellfish.



Good luck!

Cheryl Dawn - posted on 03/13/2012

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Just read Kate's information so I guess I don't need to add anymore. She's said everything I was going to. Good job! Your'e a mommy in the know!

Cheryl Dawn - posted on 03/13/2012

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Oh my! No! Don't put cereal in the baby bottle. You're just forcing a baby to take what they don't need. Besides the choking hazard and filling up with poor calories that will take away from baby drinking the healthier milk, it causes more people to end up with celiac disease and other gut problems because grains were introduced too early. My mother (89 when she passed) never did that but I know many people started doing that in the later60's through 70's (and unfortunately in the 80's through now) but it is really outdated information.

Cheryl Dawn - posted on 03/13/2012

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Early solids causes much gut disruption and food allergies. Sounds to me like she's not ready and she's telling you that. Why force food on a baby when they don't want it. she is a baby, you know. She should be having only breastmilk to get all of the benefits. Excitement and grabbing don't mean she is ready, babies use their mouths as part of their senses to explore so they will try to find out what all that fuss is with peopel putting things in their mouths and will put toys, stones, rocks, whatever they can grab and put it into their mouth.



Give her foods to mouth if you must, a teething cookie, something she can hold herself and practice putting in her mouth, this way she is not getting too much in her that will mess up her gut. Fruits or vegetable don't matter. Doctors still stick with cereal because that's what they've heard and learned without going further with their education. When you do give any foods, remember it is only complementary, just testing. Baby can try something (about a tablespoon) once a day or just every few days. There is no hard fast rule because it is just practice while she is getting her nutrients from the Breastmilk (or formula if that is what you give her.)

Good luck. I just am trying to help prevent food allergies and stomach, intestinal problems. I've seen too many in babies that started foods to soon.

http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/res...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/13/2012

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Dana, cannot remember if you are BFing or not, but if you are, when trying to get the avocado to a smooth and thinner consistency, you can totally add breast milk!

Dana - posted on 03/12/2012

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Hm, I'm thinking I'll go with avocado with my son next week then! :)

Brittney - posted on 03/12/2012

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You can also try single grain oatmeal cereal. My daughter refused to eat the rice cereal and loved the oatmeal one. Good luck with whatever you choose!

Julie - posted on 03/12/2012

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Bottle or breastfeed her first

as she might be VERY hungry

and the cereal just isn't metting that need fast enough -

Grains are a good start ... stagger fruits with veggies and she will accept both of them -

one spoonful of fruit one spoonful of veggies ... etc.

♥ enjoy her!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/12/2012

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I used to make my own baby food for both my kids, and i got this awesome book called "super baby food" and it lists exactly what to start them with and at what age. Believe it or not, avocado is the first foods that are high in protein and extremely easy to digest. Then sweet potatoes, then bananas.

Kate CP - posted on 03/12/2012

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I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of liver either. Never could stand the stuff so I never fed it to my kids, but it's supposed to be really good for them.



My son's first food was eggs. He LOVES them. :)

Amanda - posted on 03/12/2012

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I think I may stop the cereal because I think my baby is having a hard time digesting it - just like Kate said. I think I'll stick with veggies for now. It seems like every time I feed her the cereal, she gets gassy and uncomfortable. It seems like she spits up more after eating cereal too. She seems fine with the veggies though.

Dana - posted on 03/12/2012

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I have to admit, I'm a bit put off by eating liver or giving it to my child. Eating an organ that filters out impurities is a little freaky!

Christina - posted on 03/11/2012

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the first thing they tell you is the vegs. what i always did was take some of what ever i fixed for dinner and put it in a food proccesor. blend it up and fed it to my kids. they liked the real stuff better then the jar food.

Stifler's - posted on 03/11/2012

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I don't really understand the sugar or apple sauce bit either. Why!?!

Samm - posted on 03/11/2012

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Put the rice cereal in her bottle. Make a bigger hole in the nipple, I hate to say this but add a pinch of sugar, or a little apple sauce.



I've had 3 kids, 7 grands and 2 great grands, did that for all mine and the grands.

Stifler's - posted on 03/11/2012

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i always gave logan and now renae bits of chicken to chew on or corned meat, and chunks of vegetables in the high chair tray to pick up with their fingers when we were sitting down having dinner. they mostly just mangled the meat and didn't really eat it unless it was really soft.

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I don't know about recommended age to start meat now... but I do know that any baby food meat was my now 10 year olds favorite thing to eat at 8 months.... so they started it at 7 or 8 months. :)

Stifler's - posted on 03/11/2012

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Yoghurt was one of Logan's first food but he didn't really eat solids until at least 5 1/2 months

Sherri - posted on 03/11/2012

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Yup that is what I was always informed to do as well Dana. I was also told to hold off on yogurt until 6mo's.

Kate CP - posted on 03/11/2012

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Protein mimics mother's milk more closely than fruits or veggies and is usually easier to digest than other foods. The best first foods (as in before you give them anything else) are:



Avocados

Bananas

Egg yolks

Liver

Full fat yogurt



All of those foods are really high in fat (great for brain development) and the liver and egg yolks have a pretty good shot of iron in them, too. Yogurt is high in protein and has probiotics to help with their digestion.

Dana - posted on 03/11/2012

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I thought you were supposed to wait until they were 9 months to eat meat.

Stifler's - posted on 03/11/2012

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I agree with kate just feed them a pureed/mashed version of what you eat. When we have steamed veg or spaghetti bolognaise or something I just make a bit more and mash it up and freeze the 5 or so extra baby portions instead of doing a baby food cook up (because the kids eat at 5 and we eat at 630 I just defrost it in the morning and warm it up for her dinner.

Amanda - posted on 03/11/2012

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Kate,

When should I introduce the stage 1 meats? I'm assuming I would still have to introduce it like any other food. Feed it to her for 3-5 days to see if she has any reaction to it.

Stifler's - posted on 03/11/2012

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I did sweet potatoes and pumpkin first then carrots, cauliflower etc. then yoghurt. Then weet bix for breakfast. Renae doesn't eat much fruit but loves it.

Dana - posted on 03/10/2012

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Its is true that once babies taste bananas, applesauce, pears and so on they do not want the spinach, peas, greens and carrots. So Veggies first.Think of your child's future and health. Taste buds for fruity and sweet foods develop when they are introduced to it as a baby. When you start adding fruit, I suggest 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruit for two meals per day and never just serve fruit for a meal.

Michelle - posted on 03/10/2012

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The cereal is important especially beginning at five or six months because babies need the iron (until then they are still reaping the benefits of iron from mom). Have you tried oatmeal cereal. Or once you get there, mix it with fruit. My children's dr said they needed 3 tbs of cereal but it takes time. There is also a poly-vi-sol vitamin with iron.

Remember now it is about teaching them the process of eating,

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2012

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Ooops. It was sweet carrots I gave her. I read the container wrong. Oh well. She likes them anyway. She was looking for more.

Dana - posted on 03/10/2012

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I wouldn't bother with rice cereal. Stick with the veges and fruits for now.

My son will be six months in one week and I can't wait to see if he likes solids! I will probably start with sweet potatoes as well! :D

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2012

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I think I'm gonna continue giving her cereal once a day everyday. Then feed her sweet potatoes once a day for the next week. I switch veggies every week but be consistent with the cereal.

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My girls started on rice cereal and LOVED it... I forget whether we did fruit or veggies next cuz it's been 10 years. They actually loved baby food peas though... I remember that. ;) And at 8 months they loved any baby food meat and vanilla ice cream (thanks to dad @@).



My son wasn't ready to start til 6 months and the first thing he ate was avocado. I had tried a bit of applesauce a few times before cuz he acted like he wanted it, but he would just sit there w/ it on his tongue and stare at me like he was saying 'now what do I do Mom?' lol He only had cereal a handful of times to thicken up some of the soupier foods cuz he wouldn't touch the stuff on it's own. He didn't eat many purees anyway though as he wasn't eating on a regular basis til closer to a year.



At 4 months... I'd feed her once a day or less. Take it slow for a month or two and see how it goes. I'm glad she's liking it! ♥

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2012

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I gave her 1 tsp of sweet potatoes. She loved them. I'm so excited. But I still have a question. How often should I feed her the rice cereal? Should I feed her sweet potatoes and rice cereal at different times during the day?

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2012

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I gave her 1 tsp of sweet potatoes. She loved them. I'm so excited. But I still have a question. How often should I feed her the rice cereal? Should I feed her sweet potatoes and rice cereal at different times during the day?

Kate CP - posted on 03/10/2012

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Babies actually can't digest grains until closer to a year. Starting fruits or veggies first doesn't matter, really. Babies like sweet things. The best food to start first is things like egg yolks (scrambled), bananas, and avocados.



*shrug* The "scientific evidence" has shown in numerous studies that no matter what the order your kids eat fruits or veggies they're just as likely to eat (or not eat) veggies later in life.

Krista - posted on 03/10/2012

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Okay, so yes, if she's ready, then maybe try some easy-to-digest vegetables. Squash and sweet potato are lovely first foods. So is mashed avocado.

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2012

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She's ready to eat. She tries to take food off my plate when I'm eating. She mimics us when we eat. She was excited when I started feeding her. She shakes with excitement when she sees the bowl and spoon. She just doesn't like cereal.

My doctor never said anything about trying all the different cereals. He told us the normal thing about trying one food at a time for a week at a time to check for allergies. He also told us that if she doesn't like it, we shouldn't make her eat it.

She also drink from a cup. She watches me drink and tries to get my cup. So I put a little water in her medicine cup, which we don't ever use for medicine, and she sips from that. Its just small enough for drinking water and it doesn't overwhelm her. She loves it.

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