This Is When You Should Start Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods

Wondering when to start baby food? Plenty of new parents worry that they're weaning their babies too late—or too early. So, don't fret: Here's a quick guide.

Introducing solid food to your baby is an exciting milestone! Know when to start baby food with this quick guide.

What Age Do Babies Start Eating Baby Food?

According to the La Leche League, your baby may be ready to eat solid foods when she’s around six months old. Most sources agree not to feed solid foods to babies who are younger than four months old.

Dietitians practice these healthy habits with their own families.

What Signs Should I Look For?

Your baby should be able to sit up and hold his head up without support. Wait until your baby has lost his tongue-thrust reflex, in which infants reflexively push food out of their mouths with their tongues—if you try introducing solid foods too early, your baby may simply make a big mess and not get much nutrition.

If your baby is displaying interest in foods someone else is eating, or can pick things up between his fingers and thumb, those are also good signs he might be ready to try solid foods.

Does this surprising food boost babies’ brain power?

What Are Some Baby-Safe Solid Foods?

Cereal: A popular first solid food for babies eating formula is iron-enriched cereal; breast milk has enough iron that babies shouldn’t need more. Look for cereals with just one grain, cook or soften in water or breast milk. Baby cereal should be very runny: Think about 1 teaspoon cereal to 4 or 5 teaspoons of breast milk, water or formula.

Vegetables: Wash thoroughly, peel, and cook until very soft. Cut into tiny bites or puree. Babies I know love sweet potatoes, white potatoes, green beans and carrots.

Fruits: Wash thoroughly, peel, and cut into tiny bites or puree. Bananas, ripe peaches, pears and cooked apples or applesauce are a hit with most babies.

Meats and Fish: Make sure meat and poultry is well-cooked and remove all bones. Cut into small bites or puree. Chicken and mild fish will be most appealing to little ones.

Save a bundle by making your own baby food.

Kelsey Dimberg
A former senior digital editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Chicago. Since 2010, she’s followed a gluten-free diet, and especially enjoys the challenge of baking sourdough bread and pizza dough. As a contributing writer for Taste of Home, she covers a broad range of topics but with a special emphasis on gluten-free cooking and baking. Outside of her gluten-free experiments in the kitchen, Kelsey is also the author of the thriller novel “Girl in the Rearview Mirror.”