You've survived the first few months as a new parent, and then a curve ball is thrown your way -- starting solids!
Typically we bring this up at the 4-month well child check, but parents often have already heard murmurs of starting solids even before that. The recommendations have changed in the last few years, so here are some tips and evidence-based recommendations.
1. Fruits vs Veggies - The Ultimate Battle: Many say you need to start with vegetables before fruits to avoid a "sweet tooth." The vegetables we typically start with (sweet potatoes, carrots, squash) already tend to be sweeter. Plus, some of the first fruits (prunes, pears, peaches) can help your baby out if he/she gets constipated, so we don't have a particular rule about which you should start first.
2. Higher Allergen Foods - The Pendulum Has Swung: Only about 15 years ago, the rules for introducing higher allergen foods (peanuts, dairy, eggs, fish) were super strict. After lots of research, what we now know is that if we wait too long to introduce these sorts of foods, our bodies may see the food as a foreign substance and direct an allergy response to the food. The new recommendations are to introduce peanut protein as young as 4-6 months old! Obviously, peanuts themselves are choking hazards, but now there are so many options for baby-appropriate peanut products. You can even mix some peanut butter in with a banana for a delicious treat. Earlier introduction of other foods like fish, dairy and eggs also apply.
3.Spacing: Parents are always on high alert to see if their child has a reaction to a food. The easiest way to do this is to introduce a new food every 3-5 days so that if your baby has a reaction you know what the newest item is.
We know that starting solids brings with it lots of excitement but also a lot of questions, so that is why we are here. We are always happy to help be your culinary advisors -- bon appetit!