8. August 2011 | 13:06

What happens when my baby starts eating solids?

When your baby starts eating solids this can be a bit of a challenge. But CMA is no reason why you and your infant should not have fun together in trying new foods and tastes!

Usually babies start having solid foods at around 4-6 months. In cows' milk allergic babies new foods should be introduced slowly. This cautious approach is used to help spot any new food allergies that may arise. For this reason, the breast milk or the specialised formula remains a very important source of nutrition at this stage, although in addition you can now try feeding suitable puréed, mashed and semi-solid foods.  By the age of eight months, most infants can also eat finger foods. Just make sure to avoid foods that may cause choking because of their shape and size (such as whole nuts, whole grapes or raw carrots. Your Dietitian or Doctor will be able to advise you further on suitable weaning foods.

As more and more solid foods are introduced, your baby will rely less and less on breast or formula milk. However, this must be a gradual process and the amount given should not be decreased suddenly. Please talk to your child’s Doctor or Dietitian for the right amount of formula. It’s also possible to add some of it to the solid foods to increase the nutritional content.

By 12 months, most children can eat almost all types of solid foods. Their diet will resemble more and more the food you put on the family table, but of course without the milk and dairy products. Therefore, the hypoallergenic formula may still play an important role in the child’s nutrition as it will allow you to avoid the foods your baby may react to.

When preparing solids for your baby, try to work as cleanly as possible to avoid cross-contamination. Always wash kitchen utensils like knives, chopping boards, and slicers thoroughly after use. You should also wash your hands after handling products containing cow’s milk before touching your child.

Do you want to learn more about the transition to solids? Download our Weaning Guide.