How to Introduce Protein to Your Baby

Want to beef up baby's plate? Check out these five easy tips for feeding your baby protein.

5 Tips for Introducing Protein to Your Baby

Before you carve a slice of prime rib for your discerning young diner, get familiar with these meaty basics.

1. Puree your dinner.

Beef, chicken, cod, salmon, and lamb are all safe to introduce when your baby starts solids, says Ronald Kleinman, M.D., physician-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. Blend until smooth, either alone or with a veggie, fruit, or pasta he’s already tried. As with any new food, wait two to three days before giving another, in order to watch for allergic reactions.

2. Meat in a jar is just fine.

While it might not look very appetizing to you, it contains all the right nutrients your growing infant needs.

3. Transition to pieces.

At 8 to 10 months, his purees can contain tiny bits of protein. By 12 months, his pincer grasp and teeth will help with grabbing and chewing shredded food.

4. Observe meatless Monday.

Even if you’re not a vegetarian family, options such as lentil soup, scrambled eggs, quinoa, yogurt, and cheese are protein-rich powerhouses that expand your baby’s palate and deliver a variety of nutrients.

5. Peanut butter is fair game.

In fact, introducing it when Baby starts solids could lower her risk of developing food allergies later on. Thin it out with formula or breast milk and a little warm water, and stir into oatmeal.