WIC in Vermont

Getting ready for solids

Around 6 months, most babies will show developmental signs that they are ready to start solid foods. 

Watch for these signs that your baby is ready to start eating solid foods: 

  • Sits up with support 
  • Holds head steady 
  • Reaches for objects and holds on to them
  • Stops pushing tongue out when lips are touched
  • Opens mouth for spoon, closes mouth over spoon and begins to swallow 
  • If your baby is not showing these signs by 6 months, talk to the nurse or doctor at your next visit.

Signs of hunger:

  • Reaches for food
  • Points to food
  • Gets excited when sees food

Signs of fullness:

  • Pushes food away
  • Closes mouth tight
  • Slows down eating
  • Starts playing with food

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Starting Cereal                     

Around 6 months, your baby will need extra iron to grow.  Iron-fortified infant cereal is a good choice.  Rice cereal is best to start with, because most babies can eat it without any problems. Start with 1-2 feedings of cereal per day.

  • Chose a feeding time when baby is happy, and just give half the usual amount of breast milk or formula. Hold your baby in your arms – babies do better when they feel safe.
  • Start with equal parts cereal and liquid, increase thickness as baby desires.
  • Offer 1-2 spoonfuls of cereal and watch baby’s reaction.  She’ll let you know if she’s ready for more.
  • Take it slow, be patient, and let your baby take the lead.
  • Offer the other breast or the rest of the formula, and end the feeding on a happy note.

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Vegetables & Fruits                            

Many people introduce vegetables and fruits between 6 and 8 months, after baby has learned to eat cereal.

  • Offer one new vegetable or fruit a week. Watch for any allergic reaction, such as rash, diarrhea, runny nose, wheezing, itching, or swelling of mouth, lips or tongue.
  • Offer 1 teaspoon of vegetable or fruit to start.
  • Start with strained or pureed vegetables and work toward a thicker mixture with a few lumps. Once baby has tried a number of vegetables and fruits, then try different textures.
  • Next, try vegetables mashed with a fork, and then soft pieces of cooked vegetable that can be eaten with a spoon or fingers.

Honey should not be given to babies younger than one year. The bacteria that may be in honey can make babies sick.

Protein Foods

Around 8 months you can add protein foods such as meats, beans, lentils, egg yolks, yogurt, tofu and cottage cheese.

  • Offer 1 new protein food a week.
  • Offer 1 teaspoon to start increasing to 2 tablespoons twice a day.
  • Start with strained mashed meats, legumes, etc.
  • Wait to offer egg whites until 1 year, as they are possible cause of allergies.

Drinking from a cup

At 6 months, your baby can begin to learn to drink from a cup. Drinking from a cup is an important skill and can help prevent tooth decay that occurs from taking a bottle to bed. Offer a cup without a lid starting with a small amount of water. Work towards the goal of weaning your baby to drinking only from a cup by 12 to 15 months.

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