Babies aren’t born with a digestive system that can properly accommodate all foods. Milk and formula are given to newborns early on to ensure that they’re able to properly digest these products and do so without gas, indigestion or harming their development. The digestive tract is still forming during the first few weeks of life.
But when do babies start eating real food? This depends on the type of food. Some foods are soft and can be digested with ease, while others are much harder to digest or simply can’t be chewed properly by a baby with no teeth.
We’re going to go over the most common food-related questions parents have to determine when you can start feeding your baby a variety of different foods. I had many of these same questions when raising my newborn, too.
Table of Contents
- When Do Babies Start Eating: 37 Food Questions Answered
- 1. When Can Babies Eat Eggs?
- 2. When Can Babies Eat Scrambled Eggs?
- 3. When Do Babies Start Eating Baby Food?
- 4. When Can Babies Eat Cheerios?
- 5. When Can Babies Eat Yogurt?
- 6. When Do Babies Start Eating Jar Food?
- 7. When Can Babies Eat Chocolate?
- 8. When Can Babies Eat Oranges?
- 9. When Can Babies Eat Spinach?
- 10. When Can Babies Eat Ice Cream?
- 11. When Can Babies Eat Beans?
- 12. When Can Babies Eat Chicken?
- 13. When Can Babies Eat Finger Foods?
- 14. When Can Babies Eat Pasta?
- 15. When Do Babies Eat Solid Food?
- 16. When Can Babies Start Eating Puffs?
- 17. When Do Babies Start Eating Cereal?
- 18. When Do Babies Stop Eating at Night?
- 19. When Can Baby Eat Bananas?
- 20. When Can Babies Eat Raisins?
- 21. Can Babies Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?
- 22. Can Babies Eat Raspberries?
- 23. When Can Babies Eat Table Food?
- 24. When Can Babies Eat Honey?
- 25. When Can Babies Eat Gerber?
- 26. When Can Babies Eat Popcorn?
- 27. Can Babies Eat Mango?
- 28. When Can Babies Eat Watermelon?
- 29. When Can Babies Eat Corn?
- 30. When Can Babies Eat Meat?
- 31. Can Babies Eat Strawberries?
- 32. Can Babies Eat Fish?
- 33. When Can Babies Eat Oatmeal?
- 34. Can Babies Eat Beets?
- 35. When Can Babies Eat Salmon?
- 36. Can Babies Eat Tuna?
- 37. Can Babies Eat Cinnamon?
When Do Babies Start Eating: 37 Food Questions Answered
1. When Can Babies Eat Eggs?
Most doctors recommend waiting to feed your baby eggs until she’s at least a year old. The problem with feeding a baby eggs is that eggs are a trigger for allergies, and a young child may not be able to express the severity of the allergic reaction.
If allergies run in your family, you may want to consult with your doctor before feeding your baby eggs, too.
A few symptoms of an egg allergy are:
- Increased heart rate
Egg allergies, if they do exist, are outgrown by the age of 5 for most kids.
2. When Can Babies Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Scrambled eggs are the same as our previous question, but it’s the egg whites that normally cause allergic reactions. Some parents will begin feeding their children scrambled eggs with just the yolks at 9 months old.
But if you or a family member has or had egg allergies, it’s best to wait until age 2 before trying to give your child eggs.
3. When Do Babies Start Eating Baby Food?
Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding or giving your baby formula for the first 4 to 6 months of life. Even when a child begins to eat solid foods, you’ll want to still give milk for the first few months. You need to start feeding your child solids slowly.
Baby food is one of the solid foods people feed their babies first, and it can be introduced between months 4 and 6.
4. When Can Babies Eat Cheerios?
Cheerios can start being added to your child’s diet between the ages of 9 and 12 months. Cheerios recommends that you start feeding your baby their product when she:
- Can chew properly
- Can sit without support
- Exhibits the pincer grasp
5. When Can Babies Eat Yogurt?
Yogurt is easy to digest and doesn’t require chewing, so most doctors recommend feeding yogurt to your child at 6 months. If your family has a history of milk allergies, you’ll want to wait longer before introducing yogurt or milk-based products.
6. When Do Babies Start Eating Jar Food?
Jar food, such as applesauce, can be given between the ages of 4 and 6 months, but in small quantities.
7. When Can Babies Eat Chocolate?
The digestive system of a baby cannot handle chocolate, and there’s also the consideration that chocolate contains caffeine, which isn’t good for a child to eat. Chocolate can contain high calorie counts, and you will want to limit intake.
Most babies can start having chocolate after the one-year mark.
8. When Can Babies Eat Oranges?
Acidic foods can cause rashes, so babies shouldn’t be introduced to oranges or any highly acidic foods until they’re 12 months or older. High acidic levels can causes rashes on the lips and around the mouth as well as diaper rashes.
9. When Can Babies Eat Spinach?
Spinach is filled with nutrients and is very healthy, but the time when a baby can start eating this vegetable differs greatly when talking to different doctors. You’ll find some doctors who say babies can have spinach between 6 and 7 months old.
Other doctors suggest waiting until the baby is 8 or 10 months old. If you want to be on the cautious side, ask your own doctor for his/her recommendation.
10. When Can Babies Eat Ice Cream?
Ice cream is soft, so it’s not hard for a child to eat, but it’s also a dairy product that uses whole milk and is filled with sugar. Your baby may be sensitive to milk products or the ingredients in the ice cream. Or she may develop sensitivities if given milk products too early.
You’ll want to hold off on the ice cream until after your child passes the one-year mark.
11. When Can Babies Eat Beans?
Beans are high in fiber, and you’ll want to be careful with the type of bean you give your child. A baby who already has a lot of gas will have even more when she eats beans, but lentils are often able to be given to a child between 6 and 8 months of age.
Some beans can also be hard to digest, so you’ll want to be very careful during your preparation of the beans to make sure they’re easier to digest.
12. When Can Babies Eat Chicken?
Chicken needs to be cut into small pieces and may need to be shredded to be eaten by your baby. A lot of doctors recommend chicken and poultry, in very small amounts, between 7 and 8 months.
13. When Can Babies Eat Finger Foods?
Finger foods can be introduced when your baby uses the “pincher grasp,” or using two fingers to pick up food and bring it to her mouth. Soft foods are recommended, including noodles and dry cereal. Avoid foods that a child can choke on.
Many babies can start eating finger foods between 9 and 12 months of age.
14. When Can Babies Eat Pasta?
Soft pasta is easy to eat, and there are moms who give their babies very small portions of pasta as early as 7 months old. But most doctors recommend waiting until 8 months before introducing pasta. If wheat or gluten intolerance runs in the family, you’ll want to wait even longer before introducing gluten to your baby’s diet.
15. When Do Babies Eat Solid Food?
Every solid food is different, so you’ll need to wait until you introduce tougher foods into your baby’s diet. A baby between 4 and 6 months can have some solids introduced into her diet, but you’ll want to make sure your baby exhibits:
- Head and neck control
- The ability to sit in a high chair
- Chewing behavior
16. When Can Babies Start Eating Puffs?
Puff cereal shouldn’t be introduced to your baby until the 8 to 12 month mark.
17. When Do Babies Start Eating Cereal?
Cereal needs to be fortified to provide baby with the nutrients she needs, particularly iron. You’ll find that you can introduce this cereal to your baby around the 6 month mark, but some moms will introduce cereal as early as 4 months.
18. When Do Babies Stop Eating at Night?
Night sleeping is a baby’s development, and every baby will need to sleep all night at some point. You’ll need to wean your baby off night feedings slowly, and most babies are properly developed and able to stop night feeding between 6 and 8 months of age.
If you find your baby having a terrible time weaning, you may need to continue night feedings for another few weeks before trying to wean her off for good. Mom and baby will need to take advantage of additional sleep, so it’s very important to put an end to night feedings when possible.
19. When Can Baby Eat Bananas?
Bananas are often one of the first foods parents introduce into their child’s diet. The great thing about bananas is that they’re filled with potassium and other vital nutrients and vitamins. Soft and delicious, mashed bananas can be given to your baby once solid foods are recommend: between the 4- and 6-month mark.
You’ll find that many baby foods will contain bananas, so it’s a food you can start to feed to your baby pretty early on.
20. When Can Babies Eat Raisins?
Raisins are a tricky dried fruit because they’re very small, so most parents believe that they can feed their child raisins very early on, but this isn’t the case. While small, raisins are hard to chew even for some adults. Since babies have either no or very small teeth, they won’t be able to properly chew the raisins and can choke on them, too.
You’ll want to wait until your child can easily chew other solid foods before introducing raisins into her diet. If your child is doing good with other solids, you’ll be able to:
- Cut raisins into very small pieces
- Begin feeding raisins after age 9 – 12 months
If your baby has difficulty eating a lot of solids, don’t attempt to give her raisins.
21. Can Babies Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?
Honey can be very dangerous for a child since it can cause botulism, so even Honey Nut Cheerios shouldn’t be given to your child too early. While the risk of getting botulism is low, around 20% of babies who have botulism get it from honey-based foods. You need to be very careful with the foods you give your child.
Most doctors recommend waiting until babies are at least one year of age before feeding them Honey Nut Cheerios or any food that contains honey.
22. Can Babies Eat Raspberries?
Raspberries are filled with antioxidants and vitamins, but they’re not the ideal food to feed to your baby. There are so-called “forbidden foods” that babies should not begin eating too early, and raspberries are on the list – as are most berries. The reason for raspberries being on the risk list is allergies.
There’s a high risk of allergies with most berries, so hold off on introducing them to your child until she is 12 months of age or older.
23. When Can Babies Eat Table Food?
Table food will need to wait until your baby becomes a pro at eating a lot of other foods. There will come a point when you can confidently allow your baby to eat most foods, and this is normally somewhere between the 8 and 12 month old mark. But you want to introduce these foods slowly.
Keep a close eye on your baby to ensure that there aren’t any signs of an allergic reaction, especially if this is the first time she’s eaten a food.
24. When Can Babies Eat Honey?
Honey can cause botulism, and it’s not safe to feed your child honey until after the 12-month mark. The good thing about honey is that it will help your baby adapt to local allergens and start to alleviate many of the allergies a baby may suffer from in the wild.
But honey can be very dangerous due to the risk of botulism.
25. When Can Babies Eat Gerber?
Gerber is a leader in baby food, and they have a slew of literature that can be used as a guideline of when to feed your baby certain foods. Infant Gerber food can be introduced early on, somewhere around the 4 to 6 month age mark.
26. When Can Babies Eat Popcorn?
Popcorn can be a dangerous food that causes choking. While popcorn is soft, babies do not have the dexterity in their mouth to be able to properly breakdown popcorn. The good news is that popcorn doesn’t provide an immense amount of nutritional benefit for a child or an adult.
You’ll find that most small foods, such as popcorn, aren’t recommended before the age of 4 or 5 years. Many babies die from choking on popcorn, so it’s definitely not a food you want to risk giving to your child.
27. Can Babies Eat Mango?
Mangoes are a delicious, wholesome food. A tropical fruit, mangoes are soft, so they are often given to a child too early. Just because a child can eat certain soft foods doesn’t mean that her body can handle them yet.
Most doctors recommend waiting until the child is between the ages of 8 and 10 months before giving them mango.
28. When Can Babies Eat Watermelon?
Watermelons are a great summer fruit, and they’re filled with vitamins and minerals that are great for your body. Melons in general, including cantaloupe, can start to be introduced into your baby’s diet around 8 months old. The one precaution you’ll want to make is with seeds.
A baby can choke on the seeds of a watermelon, so if you do feed your baby a watermelon slice, you’ll want to either buy a seedless watermelon or remove the seeds yourself. If your baby gets a rash from the watermelon, you’ll want to stop feeding it to her, as she may have a slight allergy to the food.
29. When Can Babies Eat Corn?
Corn can be a healthy part of a baby’s diet, and some people recommend feeding corn to your child as early as 4 to 6 months of age. This age range is a little too early for most doctors, so you’ll want to wait a little longer.
A safe estimate is 10 – 12 months of age before feeding corn to your child.
Sources are conflicting as to when to feed your child corn, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and wait to feed your baby this food.
30. When Can Babies Eat Meat?
Meat is a little harder for a baby to digest, and the baby will not have the proper chewing function to tear through thicker meat. If you want to feed your baby meat, you’ll need to cut it up very small, depending on her chewing ability.
A baby can be introduced to very thin or pureed meats between the 6- and 8-month range. Meats will provide a great source of iron and protein to the baby.
31. Can Babies Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries fall within the same range of raspberries and should be avoided until the 12+ month mark.
32. Can Babies Eat Fish?
Pureed or mashed fish can be very good for a baby, but you’ll want to wait until your baby is 6 months old to introduce fish into her diet. Fish is filled with a lot of vitamins and nutrients, but you’ll want to avoid shellfish.
Observe your child and watch for any allergies that may present.
33. When Can Babies Eat Oatmeal?
Oatmeal, cereal or porridge are often one of the earliest foods introduced to children, and you can start to introduce this food at the 6-month mark, or 4 months if your baby is doing good on other solids.
You’ll want to avoid oats that have a lot of sugar or processed ingredients in them.
34. Can Babies Eat Beets?
Beets are a great food for any diet, but you’ll also need to be cautious that the baby doesn’t eat any part of the beet’s peel because it’s difficult to digest. With that said, you can try to introduce beets into your child’s diet at the 8 – 10 month range.
Remember that the beets will make your child’s stool red in many cases, so don’t be alarmed.
35. When Can Babies Eat Salmon?
Salmon falls into the same range as any fish – 6 months.
36. Can Babies Eat Tuna?
Tuna can also be eaten around the six-month mark.
37. Can Babies Eat Cinnamon?
Many parents add spices to their baby’s food, and not only does this make the child like foods they normally wouldn’t eat, but it’s also better than adding sugar or other bad-for-you ingredients into the food.
Doctors recommend waiting until a child is six months old before experimenting with adding spices to food. If you add cinnamon, you’ll often get a cute reaction from your baby without having to add sugar or salt into the food. And cinnamon has many health benefits, which will help your baby grow stronger and healthier as she ages.