On Saturday, we had guest speaker Cynthia Epps (infant feeding specialist) come in to give us some tips on early solid food feeding techniques. Here are some suggestions for our parents:

  • To protect the baby’s most important nutrient, his/her breastmilk or formula, you may offer one one meal/day for the first month, then two meals with two foods per day for the second month.
  • You may keep your baby seated facing outward, on your lap, or, you may sit him/her up straight in a high chair facing you. If baby faces you, sit directly in front of him/her
  • Use a small, shallow-bowled, long handled soft tipped spoon
  • Allow him/her to discover the first spoon, coated with pureed “food flavor”
  • Hold your spoonful of food so he/she can see it, about 12 inches from baby’s mouth
  • Wait for your baby to “cue” – pay attention to the spoon of food before you try to feed it
  • Anticipate your baby’s grasp, and encourage him/her to take the spoon by placing the stem across your baby’s open palm
  • You may also gently drip food onto your baby’s lower lip
  • Offer a second spoonful and follow your baby’s cues – dripping onto the lips until your baby opens his/her mouth
  • Drip the food into his/her mouth only when he/she opens up
  • Feed as slowly or as fast as your baby wants to eat
  • Always pause and wait for him/her to show you readiness before offering the next spoonful
  • Let baby touch the food on the spoon and/or tray to explore. This can get messy, but is normal food exploration to develop self-feeding skills
  • Talk to your baby and keep him/her company during the feed, but don’t be exciting or entertaining
  • Stop feeding as soon as your baby indicates he/she is done – small whimpers, sudden arching, hands waving, and head turning away
  • Never force your baby to finish another “bite or two”
  • Babies eat better when they feel like they have control of the situation

Cynthia says: “Remember, if you want to encourage your baby to try a new food, simply fill the spoon, allow him/her to see it, and then put it into your mouth. Smile, swallow, and offer the next spoonful to your baby, without comment. Children cannot resist a happy parent model!” We thank Cythina for joining us at the group and sharing great information with us!

Cynthia Epps, MS, IBCLC


Metabolic Nutritionist

Board Certified Lactation Consultant

(310) 458-6430