If you’re a new mom—or dad—you know how scary it can be to know what to feed your baby and when. Emily Koelsch, MD, a mother of three and a pediatrician with Pediatrics of Sleepy Hollow, demystifies which foods to feed babies—and at what age.
Birth to 4 months
Though breast milk provides antibodies that formula does not, Koelsch says, look for formulas that contain probiotics and prebiotics, “as well as vitamin A, choline, and DHA, which supports eye and brain development.”
4 to 6 months
Rice or oatmeal cereal, as well as puréed fruits and vegetables, should be introduced “one at a time, to watch for reactions.” Typically, the order of introduction is cereal, followed by vegetables, then fruits.
Soft foods, such as yogurt or puréed meat, may now be added to the menu. “Start with one ounce and work up to four ounces.”
Finger foods make their debut. As the pincer grasp develops, babies can handle small pieces of food, like Cheerios, shredded meat, or skinned grapes, which should be cut into small pieces, so as not to be a choking hazard.
With more fully developed digestive systems, babies can now eat items like honey, shellfish (cut into appropriate sizes), and whole milk. “We recommend only whole milk until age 2 because the fat content is good for brain development.”