Introducing Solids

Eat smeared pretty baby eating from spoon
  • Try to have a predictable routine associated with the beginning and ending of meal times.

  • Introduce changes in food texture slowly. Offer sippy cup of water often to aid in chewing and swallowing.

  • Children are much better at starting new foods or new textures when eating finger foods as opposed to being fed.

  • Avoid foods that have a safety risk, such as nuts, raw carrots, popcorn, and slices of hotdogs.

  • Introduce easily crunchable foods that do not require a lot of chewing, such as Cheerios and cheese curls.

  • Remember, the face is the most sensitive area of the body, so touching in or around the mouth can be over-stimulating to the child.

  • Minimize cleaning around the mouth during feeding if your child reacts strongly to it. When you must wipe, pat instead.

  • Give the child time to close the mouth on the spoon and remove food rather than scraping food off on the upper lip or teeth.

  • Limit meal times to 20–30 minutes. If your child shows signs of being finished, usually by pushing the spoon away or throwing food, offer food 1–2 more times, then end the meal.

  • Avoid power struggles with your child during meals.

  • Offer one food at a time, placing in front of your child and giving your child time to become interested in the food.

  • Serve yourself and enjoy a meal with your child! This helps your child to experience food/meal time as a social time.

  • Only offer two choices if you are asking your child what they would like to eat for a meal.