Fruits before veggies, green before orange?
Does it matter if babies are introduced to fruits before they are introduced to vegetables?
In it’s latest update, and further updated in 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics published the following concerning the order of starting solid foods:
“Though many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this. ” AAP
A Common Assumption: Giving a Baby Fruits First = Veggies Never
Myth: Giving your baby a fruit as a “first” solid will cause baby to reject and dislike veggies.
Truth: The order of food introduction really doesn’t matter. Some say introduce the vegetables first so that your baby does develop a “sweet tooth” for fruits. Others say fruits first so that baby will enjoy her first foods and not be as likely to reject solids. If your baby is breast fed, she is already receiving the sweetest food there is.
Many advise that you should start yellow veggies first and then introduce green; of courseothers say that it is crucial that you begin with the green before yellow so baby doesn’t reject the yellow. It is believed that green veggies are less tasty than yellow, hence the “advice”.
There is no hard scientific evidence to prove any of the above; you find many babies LOVE their green veggies and HATE their fruits and v. v.
We personally introduced foods in an order something like sweet potato then bananas then peaches then another veggie then another fruit and some homemade cereal along the way too.
Order of Solid Food Introduction Does Not Matter – Study 23 January 2007
In doing some research for an upcoming article on our site, I ran across this tidbit. Many parents are convinced that they must offer veggies before fruits so as to avoid developing a sweet tooth. We have always said that this was a myth as our pediatricians and dieticians advised. Now here it is in one (of many different studies and research papers) study more plainly stated than we have ever seen.
“We found that some recommendations concerning the order in which complementary foods should be introduced and how often new foods should be introduced were not based on sound scientific evidence. As a result, the new guidelines are more flexible in these areas,” he said. (CNRC scientists Dr. William Heird)
The Start Healthy Feeding Guidelines for Children Ages 6 to 24 Months were developed jointly by the American Dietetic Association and Gerber Food Products Company with guidance and oversight by a panel of academic pediatric nutrition specialists.
The panel included CNRC scientists Dr. William Heird and Dr. Nancy Butte, Tufts University professor Johanna Dwyer, Indiana University professor Dr. Karyl Rickard, WIC project nutritionist Laura Graney, and nutrition consultant Kathleen Cobb.
The guidelines were published in the March 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and also appear on the CNRC website.
d) How quickly and in what order should complementary foods be introduced?
There is no evidence for a benefit to introducing complementary foods in any specific sequence or at any specific rate.
However, it is generally recommended that first solid foods be single ingredient foods and that they be started one at a time at 2 to 7 day intervals. The order of introduction of complementary foods is not critical, except for providing nutrients required from complementary foods. Meat and fortified infant cereals provide many of these nutrients. Combination foods (instead of single-ingredient foods) may be given to older infants after tolerance for the individual components has been established. The Start Healthy Feeding Guidelines for Children Ages 6 to 24 Months
Note – While resources say the order of food types does not matter when introducing solid foods, it still may be beneficial to follow the 4 day wait rule and be mindful of any possible allergy issues.
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.