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Tuesday, 08 May 2018 16:06

Introducing Solids to Babies Featured

Introducing Solids to Babies

On average, infants visit their GP 11 times in the first year of their life and a common query is when to introduce solids. There is often conflicting advice given by well-meaning relatives and friends as well as various websites which leads to confused parents.

Babies either born premature, with poor weight gain or special health needs then it is essential to consult a doctor or dietician to assist. 

For most infants it is recommended to commence solids between 4 and 6 months of age. They should however continue to breast feed or use infant formula to the age of 12 months.

There is no need to delay the introduction of solid food in the hope that it may reduce allergies later on. In fact, it has now been shown that introducing cooked egg by 9 months and peanut-containing food by 12 months can reduce allergy risk.

Infants from 4 months on will start to display a developmental readiness and interest in solid food. Each child will be slightly different in timing but all should be ready for solids by 6 months of age.

After 6 months, infants that are entirely breast-fed or formula fed are at risk of developing iron deficiency, so solid foods are important. In particular foods rich in iron such as pureed cooked meat, poultry, boneless fish, cooked eggs, tofu, lentils and legumes are important to introduce.

An excellent and comprehensive on-line resource on this matter can be found at:

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/when_to_introduce_solids.html

If you are having troubles introducing solids or unsure of the particular needs of your infant it is important to see your GP for a full assessment of the baby and professional advice. At Busselton Medical Practice we have experienced doctors who are knowledgeable in this area and would be pleased to help.