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A Baby’s First Taste of Fruits and Vegetables

ababyfirsttaste.jpgWe all know that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important for a baby’s overall health, but did you know that an infant begins to acquire a taste for leafy greens and sweet succulents long before she even tries her first spoonful? If a woman eats a steady diet of fruits and vegetables while pregnant, her baby-to-be experiences their flavors through the amniotic fluid. Additionally, a breastfed baby is able to distinguish the various tastes of the foods her mother consumes. You can guess, then, what happens if mom has constant cravings for salty chips and sugar-filled cookies.

Once an infant is old enough to be spoon-fed, by around 6 months of age, as is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can begin to offer solid food by first introducing iron-fortified cereal with a bit of breast milk or formula mixed in. If your baby pushes a lot of the cereal out with her tongue, wait another week before trying again.

To reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, introduce one new fruit or vegetable at a time. Refrain from mixing fruits and vegetables together before you have had a chance to test each one separately, and wait at least a week before trying something new.

Serve a baby who is 9 months or older pureed meats and soft, chunky finger foods. Wait until your baby is at least 1 year old before giving her cow’s milk, eggs, honey, or citrus fruits.

Until your child is at least 1 year old, continue to give her breast milk or formula as a major part of her diet.

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