When Can My Baby Eat ...?

It was not too long ago that parents were given a lot of rules and guidance about when their baby could have certain foods. However, new research has shown that parents do not need to focus so much on what foods can be introduced at what age.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics maintains waiting until 4 to 6 months to introduce solids foods, for most babies the common allergens no longer need to be limited.

It's very important to ensure that the forms of foods (shapes, cooking methods, etc.) introduced to your baby are developmentally appropriate.

Below are more details on many common first foods. But remember, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the possibilities for feeding an infant. As always, talk with your pediatrician about their insights on when your baby can start solids and what types of foods might be best to begin with.


Best organic yogurt
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Your pediatrician might recommend starting yogurt between 6 to 12 months of age. Be sure you give your baby yogurt made from whole milk yogurts as the added nutrition is excellent for her quickly growing body. Read on to find out tips for feeding yogurt, how to save money, and which brands of yogurt is the best for your baby.


baby sucked his lips to a large piece of cheese
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Depending on your doctor's advice, you may find that starting cheeses between 8 and 10 months is ideal for your baby. A baby's taste preferences can vary. Many babies might prefer to start with mild cheeses while they get used to the flavor and texture and then progress to more flavorful cheeses. It's important to follow safety advice regarding the size and shape of the pieces of cheese you give to infants, as things like cheese sticks can be dangerous if the infant gnaws off a chunk.

Stick with cheeses made from whole milk, and do be mindful to avoid unpasteurized or uncultured cheeses.


Farm Fresh Chicken Eggs. Healthy eating concept
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Parents used to be advised to delay giving babies eggs. It was even suggested that egg yolks could be given sooner than egg whites.

However, those new studies have found that there is not a need to delay the introduction of cooked eggs. 

Nuts and Nut Products

Close-up of peanut butter
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It is likely that you are going to read a good deal of conflicting advice when it comes to giving your baby nuts and nut products. With so much attention placed upon nut allergies in recent years, new medical studies on nut allergies are being released regularly and the standards have been changing.

Bottom line: Peanuts and peanut products are no longer suggested to be delayed when starting to feed an infant solid foods, for the majority of babies. As always, speak to your doctor to see what they suggest regarding your baby's unique health and development needs.

While most infants can safely have peanut products incorporated as some of their first foods, high-risk infants who have eczema or an egg allergy will need more testing and incorporation of allergenic foods under close watch of their doctor.

Remember that whole nuts are a choking hazard and shouldn't be given to kids until age four. In addition, large amounts of nut butters can also be choking hazards. It's safest to incorporate nut butters into things like oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies, or thinly spread on small pieces of whole grain toast.


Baby in highchair with a raspberry on each fingertip of one hand, eating a raspberry straight from the table with her mouth
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Berries used to be restricted as a highly allergenic food and limited in the first year. This is no longer the case. The only restriction on berries, for most infants, has to do with choking safety. If you do choose to offer your baby berries, be sure to cut them in halves or quarters depending on the size of the berry.


Baby girl eating fish
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For the longest time, it was recommended that parents delay fish to no sooner than 1 year to 3 years of age, depending on whether it was fish or shellfish being offered. Now research is indicating that babies can have fish soon after they start solids. Opting for omega-3 fatty acid rich fish, like wild salmon and sardines, delivers a range of important nutrients. Cooking the fish until it's cooked all the way through is also important for food safety as well as ensuring there are no bones.

By Jennifer White
Jennifer White has authored parenting books and has worked in childcare and education fields for over 15 years.