Schedule for Starting Semi-Solid Foods

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When your baby is 4 to 12 months old, your doctor, nurse or nutritionist will recommend starting your baby on semi-solid foods. This pamphlet answers some of the questions concerning this new stage in your baby’s development


YOU HAVE NEW DECISIONS TO MAKE!

When your baby is 4 to 12 months old, your doctor, nurse or nutritionist will
recommend starting your baby on semi-solid foods. This pamphlet answers some of
the questions concerning this new stage in your baby’s development.

Schedule for Starting Semi-Solid Foods

WHEN TO ADD FOODS TYPE OF FOOD SUGGESTED FOODS
4 to 5 months cereals iron-fortified baby rice, barley or

oatmeal cereal (dry)
5 to 6 months vegetables carrots*, squash. sweet potatoes, peas,

green beans, spinach* and beets*
6 to 7 months fruits, oven-dried apple juice**, strained fruits; wheat,

toast (without butter) mixed and high protein baby cereals (dry)
7 to 8 months meat and meat alternates strained meats: beef, liver, turkey

alternates chicken, egg yolks. cooked dried beans (put through a sieve to remove
skins), (no gravy nor salt); easily mashed vegetables and fruits.
8 to 10 months cheese, plain yogurt,

finger foods

sliced meats and casserole

combinations ions

soft cooked meats

cottage cheese, mild yellow cheese

soft cooked vegetables green beans, carrot coins cut in quarters, broccoli crackers

macaroni and cheese, spaghetti. beans and rice, homemade soups and stews

crumbled hamburger, some meatloaf.

tender chicken and tuna fish (water-

packed)

10 to 12 months finger foods

whole egg (at 1 2 months)
banana slices, pear slices. peach slices,watermelon. cantaloupe, crackers,cheese
slices and macaroni

** do not give citrus juices until after the baby is one year old.

Making Your Own Baby Food

It is a simple, inexpensive way to feed your baby and can be just as easy for
you as baby food in jars maybe even easier!

TIPS FOR SAFE BABY FOOD

Before You Start -

  • Wash your hands before preparing food.
  • Use clean cutting board, equipment and containers to cook and store food.
  • Always wash and peel fruits and vegetables and remove seeds and pits before using.

When You Are Done -

  • Cover and refrigerate or freeze cooked food immediately after it is prepared.
  • Keep pureed food in a covered container in the refrigerator for no more than
    three days.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

The following items are useful EQUIPMENT for making baby food, but really only
a fork is necessary to get started.

Blender
Sharp Knife Heavy Saucepan
Fork Rubber Spatula Steamer
Strainer Vegetable Brush Food Mill

WAYS TO MAKE BABY FOOD - You don’t need to use all methods, just find one or two that will work for
you .

MASH

Use a fork to mash soft food. Ripe bananas and cooked foods with no skins or
seeds can be used. Cooked apple, white or sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and
egg yolks are easy to mash.

SIEVE OR STRAINER

You can use a strainer or clean, fine mesh wire and spoon to push the food through.
Repeat the process if results are lumpy.

FOOD MILL

Cut the food into pieces. Put the cooked food through the food mill. (The skin
and seeds will stay in the mill.)

CHOP

Foods can be finely chopped or scraped with a knife, then mixed with liquid.

FOOD GRINDER

A food grinder can be used to grind up meats when the baby is ready for junior
foods (about 9 to 12 months old).

BLENDER

Read the directions with your blender. Put a little formula or fruit juice, or
juice from the food you are making or water into the blender. Cut food into cubes
and add to the juice. Blend to desired consistency. Use a rubber spatula to push
food own to blades when motor is turned off Using the blender is the easy and
fast way to make baby food.

HOW TO FREEZE BABY FOODS?

An easy way to freeze baby foods is in FOOD CUBES. Food cubes are a perfect size
for smaller babies and a good way to introduce new foods.

To make them:

  1. Freeze baby foods in plastic ice cube trays.
  2. Pop out the frozen cubes and store in clean ziploc or plastic bags in the freezer
    for up to one or two months. DO NOT TURN BREAD BAGS inside out to reuse.

Food cubes are also handy for traveling or visiting. Since baby food does not
always have to be heated, thaw the cubes in the refrigerator and feed at room
temperature within 30 minutes of removing from refrigerator. As his or her appetite
grows, use more cubes!

Now you are ready to start learning a few basic recipes. Try one recipe at a
time …. soon you will be comfortable enough to prepare larger amounts of food
at the same time.

 

Basic Recipes for Baby Foods

FRUITS

Cooked Fruits

Wash fresh fruit. Cook in a little bit of boiling water until soft. Puree or
strain so all of the lumps are gone. Make sure there are no seeds or skin in the
fruit. Rinse canned fruits to remove part of the sugar if canned in syrup. If
using home canned products, make sure proper canning guidelines were followed.

Ripe Banana and Other Fresh Fruit

Ripe bananas have a brown skin with spots. Mash a little bit. Other fresh fruits
can be ripe cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, pears, prunes

-prunes are especially good for constipated babies.

Frozen Fruits

Frozen unsweetened fruits purchased in bags can be slightly thawed, then blended
and frozen in ice cube trays no need to cook them as long as equipment is clean
and things are done quickly.

An 18-ounce bag of frozen fruits and vegetables will fill an ice cube tray.

VEGETABLES

(See chart above)

To cook: Boil, Steam or Bake , then blend or mash.

If the baby foods are too thin , add Baby Rice Cereal, and if they are too thick
, add fruit juices, formula, or juice from the cooked vegetables.

DO NOT add salt, sugar or fat.

DO NOT feed corn to babies.

By 5 months of age, spinach, beets, carrots and turnip or collard greens, whether
home grown or commercially prepared, should be tolerated. For some infants who
are sensitive to high nitrate levels, only commercially prepared strained or junior
spinach, beets, carrots, turnip or collard greens should be served. As a general
precaution for all infants, feed only I to 2 tablespoons of home grown or canned
spinach, beets, carrots, turnip or collard greens at a time.

MEAT AND MEAT ALTERNATES

(Do not add salt or fat)

One pound of meat equals one and a half cups pureed (blended) meat, about 8 to
10 food cubes. Do not use pre-cooked luncheon meats such as bologna or bacon because
of too much salt and additives.

Basic Meat Recipe

Half a cup finely cubed meat that is well-cooked, and 2 tablespoons (more or
less) formula or unsalted meat broth.

Liver

Liver is the easiest meat to blend. It also is very rich in iron. Steam liver
in a small amount of water in a covered pan about 8 to 10 minutes and blend.

Hard-Cooked Egg

Put a fresh egg in water. Bring water to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the
egg sit in the hot water 20 minutes. Remove the cooked yolk and mash with a fork.
Do not serve the egg white to the baby until baby is 12 months old.

Egg Custard

Put one egg yolk, A? cup milk, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a pan. Stir over medium
heat until mixture is thick.

FINGER FOODS FOR THE TEETHING INFANT

Hard bread roll, toast (without butter) or bagel Banana pieces

Chicken drumstick (remove gristle)

Avoid using sweet cookies, cakes, pretzels and pastries for the teething infant.
Children will learn to eat sweets and salty snacks soon enough as they grow up.

JUNIOR FOODS

As your baby approaches 9 months of age, junior foods can be introduced (see
page two for new foods to try)

Besides trying new foods, continue with the fruits, meats and vegetables your
child enjoys eating. Simply blend foods for shorter periods of time to leave food
“chunky”.

When using strongly flavored foods such as chili or beans and rice, serve small
amounts first to see if your baby is ready for them.

If you decide to BUY BABY FOOD already prepared, there are a few things to know:

I. It is best to buy strained fruits, strained vegetables, strained meats. This
way you know what you are feeding your baby.

2. Read the labels on jars cans and boxes, especially the words following “Ingredients”.

Adapted and reprinted with permission of the WIC Supplemental Food Program, Columbia/Boone
County Columbia, Missouri.

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Bureau of Nutrition Services and WIC

P.O. Box 570

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

1-800-392-8209


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