After six months of age, your baby will be ready to try new and exciting soft and solid foods. Keep your baby healthy and happy with these delicious foods that parents can enjoy too!
You can start feeding small bits of pasteurized cheese to your baby at six months of age. Make sure to cut into small pieces to avoid choking. If you’re wondering why cheese is okay when milk is a no-no, it’s because cheese is created by culturing milk with bacteria. These bacteria digest much of the lactose and milk proteins, which makes cheese easier for babies to digest than regular milk. However, just like when you were pregnant, make sure to avoid cheese made from unpasteurized milk, as these cheeses may contain a bacteria that can cause serious illness in infants and pregnant women. Children with lactose allergies may still react to the lactose in cheese, so keep a close eye on your child when you start feeding him cheese.
Berries, apples, and bananas are great fruit options for babies. Whether pureed or cut into small pieces, these foods are generally safe for babies to eat. Avoid fruit juices and blends like applesauce, which usually contain extra sugar and other ingredients. It’s best to give your baby one fruit at a time for a few days in order to make sure he isn’t allergic or sensitive to that fruit. However, avoid citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, which are harshly acidic and may give your baby an upset stomach. This ban also applies to non-citrus fruits that are still acidic, such as fresh tomatoes and pineapples. Exotic fruits are also not recommended.
So long as your baby isn’t allergic to wheat, pasta is a healthy addition to his diet. Pasta is chock- full of carbohydrates, which give your baby’s body energy. (Relax, a little pasta isn’t going to disrupt naptime!) Pasta should be well-cooked and cut into small pieces to avoid choking. Plain pasta is fine for a baby, but you may want to give him a little sauce too. Cooked tomato sauces (which are less acidic than fresh tomatoes) and sauces made of pureed vegetables are good choices that mom and dad might be interested in eating too!
Cooked beans are a great source of protein for your baby. There’s a large variety of beans available, so if your baby isn’t crazy about one type of bean, just try another. Lima beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, and so on are all good choices. However, there is one exception: soybeans (and other soy products) should not be given to babies. Beans may also give your baby uncomfortable gas, so be on the lookout for symptoms like crying and fussiness after the meal. Raw beans are a choking hazard and should never be given to babies to eat or play with.
Cooked rice is an excellent choice of finger foods for babies. Cooked rice grains are tiny and soft, and picking up the grains may even help improve your infant’s motor skills. Avoid big heaping gobs of rice, which your child may try to pick up and eat whole. A small amount of rice, fluffed and separated, is much better. Rice is a great option because it’s easy to cook, you can make a lot and keep it in the fridge, and somebody other than baby might actually want to eat it!
A fluffy warm pancake is fine for your baby, but don’t put any toppings on it. Syrup, whipped cream, fruit sauces, and other common pancake toppings are both too sugary and too messy for your baby. A plain pancake is fine—no butter either! Pancakes can be given cut up, or you can give your baby a small whole pancake if he is old enough to not shove large things down his throat and choke on them. You can also add foods into the pancakes, such as pureed fruit. Avoid chocolate chips, whole blueberries, and other additions that your child could choke on.