When should my baby start solids?

Feeding your baby the right way from the start is very important, as baby feeding forms the basis for eating habits for the rest of your child’s life. Instead of just following advice from friends, parents or grandparents, make sure you have the most up to date information.

This is a question all moms ask: When is the right time to start my baby on solids? Can I start solids at 4 months? Should I wait until 6 months before I give my baby food?

For the first six months of your baby’s life, all he will need is milk. The best choice is you breastmilk! But before you know, milk is not enough anymore. Buying a pretty bowl and spoon is not the only things to put in place. Your baby need more nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamin A & D, energy and protein. If you teach your baby from day one to love healthy food and to listen to his body, it will help to prevent obesity and other health problems in his childhood years and beyond.


When is my baby ready for solid food?

You need to answer YES to all these questions:

  • Is your baby older than 17 weeks?
  • Did he double his birth weight, weighing at least 6kg?
  • Can he sit upright in a baby chair?
  • Can he turn his head to say “no”
  • Did his extrusion reflex disappear?
  • Will he try to grab food and put it in his mouth?


What food should I give to my baby?

  • Food that is high in iron, like iron fortified baby cereal and meat
  • A new food every 4th day
  • More information on the Baby menus and in Eet reg


What food should I not give to my baby?

  • Unpasteurized honey – it can cause a deadly illness called Botulism
  • Food that may cause choking, like raw carrots, nuts, whole grapes, etc.
  • Sweet and salty foods: Cake, chocolates, sweets, cold drink, biltong, dried sausages, crisps, etc.


When will I know my baby had enough food?

  • He sits back in his baby chair
  • He starts looking around and is not interested in the food anymore
  • He stops opening up his mouth
  • He turns his head away


How should I give my baby food?

  • Let your baby set the pace
  • Give food that you baby can self feed from early on
  • Read more in Eet Reg

Zelda regularly teaches moms and dietitians about baby feeding. Get Zelda to do a talk for you and your friends with babies. Contact us for more information.

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