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Baby Food 101: Fruits Vs. Vegetables

For the first few months, your child's daily diet should consist solely of breast milk or formula. Once your baby hits the 4- to 6-month milestone, however, it's time to introduce him to solid foods—including pureed fruits and vegetables.

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Get Those Bibs Ready

According to the Mayo Clinic, babies are ready to eat solid foods when they can sit with support, hold their heads up and when they lose their extrusion reflex, which causes them to push food out of their mouth. Your baby also may begin to show a desire for food by chewing her hands, fingers or toys, drooling, or even showing interest in what you're eating.

Natural Choice

While both are solid choices for nutrition, the American Academy of Pediatrics and AskDrSears.com agree that serving a baby vegetables before fruit is not necessary. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and giving them smashed peas before pureed pears won't change this. In fact, you may find your tot has an affinity for certain vegetables—such as sweet potatoes—over fruits.

Stick to Simple Starters

No matter what you decide, start with single-ingredient fruits or vegetables such as applesauce, sweet potatoes, carrots or peaches. The food should have no sugar, extra salts or other additives. If the tot doesn't have an allergic reaction, then it's OK to move on to something more. The AAP suggests that organic fruits and veggies can reduce your little one's exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. The food should be pureed to make it easier for the baby to swallow.

RELATED: 12 First Foods for Your Baby

All Systems Are … Go

Of course, fruits and veggies will have an effect on your baby's digestive system. According to the AAP, his stools will get solid and vary in color. Dark leafy greens such as peas and spinach can turn his stool a dark-green color, while beets can turn it red. Keep an eye out for diarrhea, as this may be a sign that his digestive tract is irritated. Consult your child's pediatrician with any concerns.

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