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House Calls Previously Asked Questions

Dr. Varma

 

 

Pediatrician
Graybill Medical Group

When should my infant start eating solid foods?

Answer: Starting solid food at six months of age allows your newborn to gain the full protective benefits of breast milk and lets his digestive system mature sufficiently to process solid foods.

While most pediatricians recommend starting with rice cereal, I believe mashed carrots or sweet potatoes make an excellent first food as these orange vegetables are packed with carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Babies only need a half-teaspoon to begin with, fed once a day. Over the next few weeks, green vegetables and then bananas or pears can be added. Cereal and chicken or turkey can be introduced next. It’s very important to continue giving 27 to 32 ounces of breast milk or formula daily to provide sufficient calories for development.

I started this approach five years ago and my young patients thrive and grow without becoming overweight. Parents are happy because their children don’t fuss about eating vegetables and fruit as many toddlers do. Because childhood obesity is such a problem, I think this approach, which is followed in different countries such as Italy, has many long-lasting benefits.