SOOOO confused about the best way to introduce cereal and baby food to my 5 month old.

Erin - posted on 01/03/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I really wanted to wait to introduce foods to my son until six months of age. However, I think he is ready now at 5 months so I've started researching how to introduce. There is so much conflicting information out there! I was thinking I should start with cereal once a day in the morning for a week and then move on to a different veggie every four days. Is this the proper way to introduce the foods? My next issue is how much? I am thinking once I start the veggies should it be cereal for breakfast and some veggies for supper? Or should the veggies be fed twice a day (ie lunch and supper). Any thoughts would be appreciated....I'm so worried and confused about this!

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Krista - posted on 01/03/2011

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There are a lot of different philosophies out there about introducing solids. Some people say to start with just a taste of very runny cereal. Others say to wait longer, skip the cereal, and go straight to pureed vegetables. You're definitely right about there being a lot of conflicting information out there!

I found that this website was a great help when getting into solids for my baby: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/index.h...

And your instincts are correct in that you should give a new food several days before trying another one. That way, if he has a reaction, you're not trying to guess if it was the peas or the squash that did it. Personally though, I stuck with the cereal for a lot longer than a week. I started with rice cereal and did that for a week or so and then moved to oat cereal, and then a mixed cereal. After that, we tried sweet potatoes. So he'd probably been on cereal about 3-4 weeks before I tried any other solids. However, I'm not saying that my way was the BEST way to do it -- it's just how I went about it, and you'll have a lot of mothers telling you that cereals are nutritionally void and not to bother with them.

How much? Let your baby be your guide. He'll let you know when he's had enough, or when he wants more. It'll probably be trial and error for awhile, but try not to stress out about it. If you prepare too much cereal and have to throw a bit away, it's not the end of the world.

One tip: when introducing a new food, do it in the morning or at lunchtime. That way, if he has a reaction, your doctor will be in.

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Forget all the research and follow your baby. Solids at this age are not necessary (though not wrong if your child wants and can handle it either). They are for taste and practice, so whatever you start w/ should be fine. Definitely give several days to a week between introducing each new food. Feeding times and amount of food can be determined by your baby.

I had twins that started w/ rice cereal at 3.5 months. I forget exactly what and when I introduced other foods, but they loved it all and never had any problems.

My son, on the other hand, didn't take his first bite til 6 months (avocado). I tried a bit earlier, but he didn't know what to do w/ the food. His interest in solids came and went at random and he wasn't even eating on an every day basis up to about a year.

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My son didn't like the cereal, so after a couple of days I stopped giving it to him. We then moved onto mashed apple puree and then moved onto things like potato and other veg's and other fruits. I tried each ingredient on its own before I began making mixes of 2 or 3 different flavours. By 9 months my son was eating table food so I just took a little off our plate and mashed it. I found my son prefered the texture of mash to puree so he pretty much never had pureed food. Like Krista we made all our own purees and froze them into ice-cube trays, it made life so much easier. We just defrosted a cube at a time, then as he began to eat more 2 cubes, 3 cubes (when he got to 3 cubes I stopped freezing in cube portions). We just let him eat until he wasn't interested - he would stick his tongue out or refuse the spoon by moving his head.

Relax, you sound as though you know what you are doing, go with your babies leads and you will be fine.

Amy - posted on 01/03/2011

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I personally just started it once a week with our sunday breakfast and used breastmilk since it was sweeter and he was used to that taste. Neither kid really liked cereal. But as far as the food. I got a baby food grinder - about 8 bucks in the store - and ground up whatever we were eating and let them eat it too. Saved us money and time. I rarely needed to do any ahead of time or freeze it because it was just what we were eating. We did eat oatmeal in the mornings and that was their favorite. The rice or grain mix - they could care less. we didn't do much "food" though `until kids were about 9/10 months old.

[deleted account]

Ditto what Krista E. said in both posts. About making your own baby food and freezing it I made all my own too in a food processor. The only difference is I used the silicone mini muffin pan.Soooo easy to remove frozen pureed fruits , veg. and meats. Each cup is exactly one oz. and there are 12. So you can make boat loads of different types of foods.
I did try the jarred stuff first to test for allergies.

Krista - posted on 01/03/2011

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As well, I wanted to mention that if you have a food processor, a food mill, or even a little hand blender, it's really easy to make your own purees for your baby instead of relying on the store-bought stuff. Just cook your fresh or frozen veggies until they're soft as can be, add a bit of water, and puree them up until they're as smooth as you can get them. Then, spoon the veggies into ice cube trays and pop them in the freezer. Once they're frozen, put them in freezer bags, and off you go! Then, when you want some veggies for your baby, you just grab a cube (which equals about 2 oz, by the way), and microwave it for about 45 seconds. Stir it around and let it cool, and your baby has lovely fresh veg. If you spend a few hours on a Sunday doing this, you can make enough to last the month or more.



It tastes SO much better than the jarred stuff, there are no additives, and it's much less expensive in the long run. Plus, you're not throwing away a bazillion little bottles. I did this with peas, beans, squash, sweet potato, asparagus, parsnip, carrots...anything that's not super-watery. And if you roast the parsnip, carrots, sweet potatoes or asparagus, they're super-yummy, as the roasting process brings out the natural sweetness.

Keshia - posted on 01/03/2011

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I always was told by doctors to start cereal at 3 or 4 months but no baby food until 6 months because it can cause food allergies so we started our son on cereal at about a little over 3 months he didnt like the rice kind and got really constipated from that so we switched to oatmeal and he did good on that we gave it to him about 2 or three times a day and bottle everytime we just werent giving him as many bottles because the oatmeal would fill him up so it was getting him used to the 3 meals a day also when you try baby food my doctor told me to start with veggies first because if they have a fruit they like the sweet taste better and then dont like to go to a veggie after and with that we gave our son oatmeal in the morning a fruit for lunch and veggie for dinner everyday until he was a little old and started being able to have the bigger kind

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