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Your baby can eat meat that has been pureed to a very thin, smooth consistency as soon as he starts eating solid food, usually around 4 to 6 months. Traditionally, many parents start with cereal or pureed fruits and vegetables when they introduce solid food, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there's no reason you can't start with meat. And it doesn't matter if you introduce beef or poultry first.
If your baby has been breastfeeding exclusively and you now want to try giving him meat, the AAP suggests starting with a very thin puree. Meat contains easily absorbed sources of iron and zinc that your baby needs by the time he's 4 to 6 months old. Check with your baby's doctor if you have questions.
Every baby's development is different, but according to the AAP, general signs that your baby may be ready for solid food are when he has doubled his birth weight and weighs at least 13 pounds, holds his head up steadily while sitting in a high chair, and can accept a spoonful of food without pushing it out of his mouth.
This happens as early as 4 months, but the AAP says if you're breastfeeding, it's best to stick to only breast milk for the first 6 months.
If you're adding meat to your baby's diet of fruits and vegetables, you may find that your baby takes longer to accept meat. If that's the case, try mixing your baby's favorite vegetable into pureed, slightly warmed meat to help him adapt to the new flavor.
To prevent choking, don't offer your baby pieces of meat until he's been eating other finger foods successfully and has several teeth – and then start with well-cooked, finely chopped pieces.
If your baby rejects meat at first, wait a few weeks and then try again.