Metabolic Tips for Parents Video Series – Part 2

Starting Your Baby on Solids

Introducing solid foods to your baby presents a unique opportunity for your little one to explore new foods and tastes. From the yummy faces to the yucky faces, it’s a fun time for you to engage with your infant.

These 3 short videos from our Metabolic Tips for Parents video series explores helpful tips on starting your baby on solids.

Typically, a child may start solids around 6 months old; however, it is important to discuss a specific timeline with your metabolic healthcare provider based on your child’s individual needs. Find out key signs of readiness to prepare for your healthcare provider visit.

Signs Your Infant is Ready for Solid Foods

Introducing solid foods is an exciting time in your baby’s development, but it may come with some anxiety for you. That’s completely normal! My name is Rachel. I’m a dietitian and when I was still working with patients in the clinic, talking with parents and caregivers about starting solid foods was my favorite stage with my patients!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods around 6 months of age if a child is showing some other signs of readiness. Ask yourself these questions to help determine if your baby might be ready to start solids. Remember, never make any changes to your child’s diet without first discussing it with your metabolic healthcare team.

  1. Babies need good head and neck control to be able to start eating solid foods. They should be able to sit up unassisted in a highchair.
  2. When babies are very young, they have a natural reflex to thrust their tongue out if anything gets in their mouth. This is so they don’t choke on things! Once they get a little older, this reflex relaxes so they are able to take food into their mouths.
  3. If your baby stares at food, reaches for it, or smacks their lips, they may be signaling that they’re ready to try some new things!

If you answered yes to these questions, it may be time to ask your child’s metabolic dietitian about starting solid foods!

Thanks for watching and be sure to check out our other videos at and on our YouTube channel.

Starting Solid Foods on a Low Protein Diet: Tips & First Foods

When your baby is ready for solids, step 2 is determining what to start with and how. In this episode of Metabolic Tips for Parents, you will gain some ideas on which foods might be good to start with while maintaining your baby’s special diet.

Hi. I’m Rachel, a registered dietitian. I used to work in a metabolic clinic and talking with parents about starting their babies on solid foods was my favorite clinic visit. What an exciting time. Watch our other video on the signs your baby is ready to start solids.

Talk to your metabolic dietitian about which foods are best for your baby. They may have you start by offering fruit or low-protein vegetable purees or baby cereal. Whatever you start with, be sure to only offer one new food at a time. Wait 3-5 days before introducing new foods so you can easily monitor for any possible signs of food allergy or intolerance.

At first, only offer small amounts – only a few teaspoons at a single meal. Remember, your baby is learning how to eat for the very first time, so they may not eat very much initially. That’s okay! Let them play and explore. They’re developing new skills and with every exposure, they’ll become more comfortable with solid foods. Once your baby starts eating more at a single meal, start giving foods at a second meal in the day, and eventually a third. 

When you first start giving your baby solids, around 6 months, you’ll start with very thin textures. Thin purees of fruits and vegetables like carrots, green beans, pears, or unsweetened applesauce are common first foods.

Once your baby is comfortable with thin textures, around 8-10 months old, they may be ready for thicker purees and soft, diced foods. Soft, cooked vegetables and soft fruits cut into very small pieces are great options at this stage. You may also offer puffs or some cereals in limited amounts.

Be sure to discuss protein-counting and your child’s daily protein target with your metabolic dietitian prior to providing any new foods.

Around 10-12 months, you can start exploring more with finger foods and new textures. At this stage, your child may be ready for some diced raw fruits and soft vegetables with the skin and seeds removed, like apples, berries, or cucumbers. Cooked vegetables cut into strips like bell peppers or zucchini make great finger foods. This is also when you can offer toast made from low protein bread or soft-cooked low protein pastas. Check out Nutricia’s low protein food options and find other videos at

Is it Low Protein? – How to Read a Food Label

Starting solids when your baby requires a low protein diet typical for metabolic disorders like PKU or MSUD will involve a close relationship between you and food labels. Learn how to find products at the grocery store that are safe and appropriate for your little one.

Hi, my name is and today we’re going to talk about food labels. When you or your child has a metabolic disorder like PKU or MSUD, a diet that is low in intact protein, or the protein found in foods is typically required. So how to know which products at the grocery store are appropriate? That’s where the nutrition facts label comes in. Let’s look through one together.

Let’s look at another option. For these crackers, a serving is only 10 crackers, but it’s the same weight, 30 grams! That means these crackers are probably a little larger than the first ones we looked at. Now let’s check the protein. 2 grams! Half the protein of the first crackers.

Depending on the daily protein target set by your metabolic dietitian, these crackers might be low enough in protein, but they might not! Talk to your metabolic dietitian about what’s most appropriate for you or your child.

Generally, for metabolic diets low in protein from foods, you’ll want to look for food labels that have 1 gram, less than 1 gram or 0 grams of protein per serving. “Less than 1 gram”…what does that mean?

Well, according to the FDA’s food label laws, foods with 0.5 grams to 0.9 grams of protein in a serving can be labeled as having “less than 1 gram” which can either be spelled out or shown with a symbol like this (see video).

Ask your metabolic dietitian how they prefer you count these foods toward your daily protein target.

Go to your pantry and look at the labels on some of the items you already have! You’ll be a pro at finding low protein options in no time.

Thanks for watching and be sure to check out our other videos on our website, and our YouTube channel.

Always consult your metabolic healthcare professional team prior to making any changes to your child’s diet or condition management.

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