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© 1990, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide explains when and how to add solid foods to your baby's diet.

Good nutrition is the cornerstone of a baby's growth and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends breast-feeding for most full-term infants. No formula can replace the immunological protection a baby receives from colostrum -- the breast milk produced the first few days after birth. It's important to breast-feed for at least the first few weeks, even if it can't be continued for a long time. If breast-feeding is not your choice, or if it is discontinued before the baby's first birthday, commercially prepared infant formula is the best alternative.

Breast milk or an appropriate fortified formula are the only fluids your baby needs for the first four to six months and should remain the core of the diet throughout the first year. Formula-fed babies also may need plain water. What you feed your baby in the first year of life is very important because this is when your baby grows most rapidly.