Written by Moms on Call and Mission MightyMe || Photography courtesy of Mission MightyMe
Introducing solids is an exciting milestone for you and your baby! At Moms on Call, we work hard to make feeding as easy as possible so that parents can have more time to enjoy their kids. And make a mess while doing so! For this blog post, we’ve teamed up with our friends over at Mission MightyMe to also bring you the latest recommendations from experts on the introduction of peanuts and other allergens during this exciting stage.
The important thing to remember is to HAVE FUN! We want a low stress environment for both your baby and you!
Feeding is Fun!
Giggle often and take lots of pictures and videos to look back on this memory.
Babies get 100% of their nutritional needs met through formula or breastmilk until 12 months of age, so we aren’t worried about the amount of food we are giving. This is all just an introduction to tastes and textures.
Below, we’ve answered a few FAQs on introducing solids to babies, including where to start and a simple free printable food introduction calendar.
When Can I Start Baby Foods?
You can introduce stage one consistency baby food between 4-6 months of age. Starting at this age is right within the developmental window for babies. If your baby is 6 months of age or older, start today!!
Where Do I Start?
Order of Introduction
Baby Cereal: Mix together 1-2 tablespoons of baby cereal with formula or breastmilk. The consistency should be similar to smooth yogurt.
Fruits and Veggies: One new food can be introduced every 3 days. See the Moms On Call Baby Food Introduction Calendar on our website!
Cooking your own: There are many great websites to assist in cooking your own baby food! The Moms on Call 6-15 Month Online Video Course shows you some simple ways to make your own baby food, recipes included!
Store-bought: We recommend putting some baby food into a separate container, so we do not contaminate the main container with bacteria from their mouth, by way of the spoon. Once opened, an uncontaminated jar of food should be refrigerated and used within 48 hours.
Use the long-handled spoons and place the baby food on the tip. Place the spoon in the baby’s mouth and allow the spoon to sit there while you hold it. Babies typically spit out the food the first few times. Remember this is all new to them, and although these textures and tastes are exciting, they are different! Our Online Video Courses include great demonstrations of how to do this!
How Much Should a Baby Eat?
There is no exact amount a baby may take one bite or 20! Our goal is to try new textures and flavors and progress through baby food stages, so the baby is at stage three foods by 6 months of age.
We will move from a thin, yogurt consistency to a thicker consistency with some texture within a little over a month.
- Stage one- Very pureed x 2 weeks
- Stage two- Thicker pureed x 2 weeks
- Stage three- Thickest puree until they begin mushable finger foods by 7 months of age.
How Should I Introduce Peanuts?
(Excerpt from Mission MightyMe’s blog post: Should I Introduce Peanuts And Other Potential Allergens To My Baby During Quarantine?)
If you’ve made the decision to introduce peanuts or other potential food allergens at home now, how should you do it?
First of all, “introducing solids as well as potential food allergens should be enjoyable,” says pediatric nurse and Moms On Call Co-founder Laura Hunter. “Complementary foods (along with breastfeeding or formula) are such an important part of your babies’ development – from learning fine and gross motor skills, to getting accustomed to different textures, tastes and smells. We want our children to experience a diverse range of foods early in life because it’s important to their development and their ability to eat a variety of foods later in life!”
Registered dietitian nutritionist and food allergy expert, Sherry Coleman Collins agrees, “Make sure you don’t let fear take the joy out of feeding your baby food,” she says.
Coleman Collins also shared these tips:
- Start with a healthy baby! Don’t introduce new foods when baby is sick, teething, or fussy. You don’t want to mistake illness for a food allergy reaction.
- Begin early in the day, well before a nap, when you can monitor baby during and for a couple of hours after feeding.
- Start slow. Give baby just a small amount of the allergen to start and work up to a full (infant-size) serving if baby has no reactions. Wait a few days in between allergens.
- Make sure to use infant-safe food forms. Whole peanuts and peanut butter off a spoon shouldn’t be given to babies or toddlers because of the choking risk. You can start with small amounts of peanut butter thinned with breast milk or formula, peanut powder mixed into purees or quick-dissolve peanut puffs like Mission MightyMe Proactive Peanut Puffs. See the NIAID Instructions for home feeding of peanut protein for more suggestions. And remember, potentially allergenic foods like peanuts should be introduced only after the successful introduction of other solids.
- Avoid any foods to which a child has reacted before: If a child has had a suspected food allergy reaction, reintroduction should wait until evaluation by a doctor. AAAAI COVID guidelines state that food challenges are not considered essential and should wait until after the pandemic subsides.
It’s also a good idea to know the signs and what to do in the case of an allergic reaction. See National Allergy Strategy Australia for a comprehensive list of signs. (We like this website because it’s specific to babies).