What Changes Can You Expect as an Infant Transitions to Solid Foods

Early in the transition to solid foods, infants will not have the hand dexterity and hand-to-mouth coordination to feed themselves. However, within the ensuing months they develop these capabilities. During this time, teeth begin to appear, and an infant may begin to take small sips from a cup. Usually by age 9 months, infants are able to participate in a meal as they begin to play with plates, cups, and perhaps help support a cup when drinking. By 10 months, many infant will be feeding themselves finger foods and drinking from a cup; however, a thorough cleaning of the infant and the surrounding area usually is necessary following these feats.

Table 12.1 Recommended Progression of Feeding During Infancy 0-4 months Breast milk or formula

4-6 months Iron-fortified cereals when infant is ready while still breast or formula feeding 6-9 months Strained vegetables, fruits, and meats are added to cereals while still breast or formula feeding 9-12 months Gradual introduction to cut and mashed table foods, meats should be well cooked to minimize chewing, juice by a small cup becomes appropriate; breast or formula feeding continues

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