Most pediatricians recommend that single grain cereals be started first, usually rice cereal. Baby cereals are excellent first solid foods because they are all iron fortified by law in the United States and are easily digested. Each new food should be introduced one at a time, starting with just one teaspoon the first day and gradually increasing the amount each day. Cereal can be mixed with either breast milk or formula. It’s always a good idea to wait three or four days between new foods to make sure that your baby tolerates that particular food. Watch for any adverse reaction. The usual signs would be vomiting, diarrhea, gassiness, or rashes. If any of these develop, eliminate that food from your baby’s diet and go on to another one. Tell your doctor about this during your next visit. After cereals I recommend the orderly introduction, each over the period of one month, of strained fruits, then strained vegetables, and then strained meats.
Dr. Alvin Eden is chairman of the department of pediatrics at Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Brooklyn and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Cornell University Medical Center. Dr. Eden has authored several books including “Positive Parenting” and “Healthy Kids”.