World Health Organization has determined that babies can start eating solids by their 6th month.
WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk. Foods should be adequate, meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs.
Kelly Mom gives reasons for delaying solids: (1) greater protection from illnesses; (2) enough time for the babies’ digestive systems to mature; (3) decreases the risk of food allergies; (4) protects babies from iron-deficiency anemia; (5) protects baby from future obesity; (6) Most importantly, Kelly Mom writes, delaying makes feeding so much easier! 😀
But as Dr. Sears’ wrote, babies don’t “read calendars” so we need to watch out if they are developmentally ready to eat solid food. Some indications: sitting without support; losing the tongue thrust reflex; ready to chew even without teeth; developing the pincer grasp; and showing eagerness to participate during mealtimes.
In our case, I’m going to wait until Little A loses the tongue thrust before trying solid foods. I also plan to try baby led weaning (not the mashed type food). I first heard of this from Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom when she wrote about BLW-ing her son. I read up on it, tried to see what other were doing by joining a facebook forum, and attended a CPR class to ease my mind. Since Little A will still be breastfed, eating will really just be supplementary in the beginning. Then gradually increase her solid food intake as she grows.
If Little A takes after me, I’m in for one big karmic event–it took me hours on end to eat when I was younger. But, I outgrew it and now, I love eating and boy, do I eat fast! 🙂
I am hoping we can source organic vegetables and fruits here (can’t be too careful, you know) but as long as the produce don’t come from the dangerous areas, it should be fine. We will start with maybe squash, carrots, potatoes and avocado. Maybe even apples and bananas. Breastmilk is sweet so Dr. Newman writes that we don’t have to worry about offering sweet foods first. In fact, it might be easier to entice the baby with fruits.
Suggestions from Kelly Mom:
Ripe banana, avocado, yam, or sweet potato (sweet like breastmilk)
Whole-grain breads and cereals (rather than baby cereals)[wheat and corn are usually delayed until baby is 9-12 months old]
Fresh fruits[citrus fruits are usually delayed until baby is 9-12 months old]
Dairy products after 9 months[cow’s milk is usually delayed until baby is 12-18 months old]
Introduce only at 9 to 12 months: Wheat, Oranges and other citrus, Cheese, Yogurt, Soy, Peas and other legumes (except peanuts), Egg yolk, Corn
Introduce only at 12-18 months: Cow’s milk (including cottage cheese, icecream), Pork, Tomatoes
Introduce only at 18-24: egg whites and berries
Introduce at 2 years: chocolate 😦
Introduce at 2-3 years: fish and seafood, nuts except peanuts
Introduce at 3 years: peanuts
Please keep in mind that the egg whites should not be fed to baby before 1 year old.
If your family has a history of egg allergies, then it is probably best to wait until after 12 months old to introduce egg yolks.