Guide to feeding your baby

In the first four to six months breastfeeding or formula is the only food that your baby needs. Once that time is over, you can begin solid food as soon as your baby shows signs of being ready.

In the beginning, your child will be able to eat just a few teaspoons an all-in-one food (like an uncooked fruit or vegetable, or even meat) daily. After a few months, your child is ready to eat various food items and will be eating one to two meals per day.

Between 8 and 12 months, you could be a feisty eater who loves plenty of soft finger food and needs three meals as well as snacks throughout the day.

Age From birth to 4 Months

Age between 4 and 6 months

Age 6-8 months

Period Between 8 and 12 months

Follow this guide to feeding your baby to determine what and how much you should feed your child during the first year. These amounts are guidelines and are not meant to be a guideline, so don’t fret about your baby’s eating habits if they are slightly more or less than what is recommended.

It’s always good to discuss your plans for beginning with solids together with your child’s physician before beginning.

You don’t have to introduce food items for your baby in a specific arrangement. If you’d like to offer your child a taste of tofu before the age of 6 months, do it even though it’s not on our list until the age of 8 months. While baby cereal is a common first-time food item in the United States, it’s fine, to begin with, with pureed fruit and vegetables or meat instead.

For some ideas, take a look at these most popular first food choices for infants Check out our collection of exciting first foods and discover more about the concept of baby-led weaning (an alternative approach to feeding).

Age: Birth to 4 months

Feeding behavior

Reflex to root can help your baby move towards a nipple to get food.

What should I feed

Formula or breast milk only

How much per day?

How can you tell whether your baby is getting sufficient breastmilk

How do you determine how your baby’s formula needs

Feeding tip

The digestive tract of your baby is still developing, which means the consumption of solid foods is not recommended at the moment.

Age: 4 to 6 months

Preparation indicators for food items that are solid

Your child is probably ready to start solids when they

Can be able to keep their head and sit straight in a highchair

Significant weight increase (doubled baby weight) as well as weighing at a minimum of 13 pounds.

Can they close their mouths around the spoon

Move food from their forward to their mouths

What should I feed

Formula or breast milk and

Purée vegetables (peas and squash)

Fruit pureed (apples, bananas, and peaches)

Pureed meat (chicken pork and beef)

Semi-liquid, iron-fortified, and semi-liquid cereal (avoid rice cereal and instead opt for a cereal composed of barley or oats)

Small amounts of yogurt that is unsweetened (no cow’s milk up to age 1)

How much per day?

Formula or breastfeeding Formula: 4 to 6 feeds (breastfeeding or formula in bottles of 4 to 6 ounces)

In the beginning, you should start with a small amount of a single ingredient pureed foodstuff (about 1 – 2 tablespoons).

Gradually increase the amount to 1 to 2 tablespoons. If you’re feeding cereal, mix it in with formula or breast milk until the consistency doesn’t get too thick.

How do you introduce your baby to new foods?

Learn how to introduce solids safely and efficiently by introducing recommended food items to adhere to a plan.

Tips for feeding

If your child isn’t willing to eat what you’ve prepared initially, do it again after a few days.

Certain medical professionals suggest you introduce new foods slowly. It is recommended to wait up to three or five days should you be able to, before introducing another food item. (If your baby or your family is prone to allergies, speak to your doctor regarding specific timeframes.)

It’s recommended to record the food items that your child eats. If they experience unintentionally a reaction to something, keeping a food log can aid in determining the reason.

Insufficient levels of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, cadmium mercury, and arsenic can be found in supermarket-bought baby food (including Organic brands). Find out how to stay clear of heavy metals found in baby food.

Find more in-depth information regarding the best way to start introducing solids.

Check out which foods aren’t suitable for your child.

Age: 6 to 8 months

Signals of readiness for solid food items

Similar to 4 to 6 months.

What feeds to feed

Formula milk or breast milk Plus

Pureed or strained fruit (banana, peaches, applesauce and pears, and avocado)

Pureed or strained veggies (well-cooked squash, carrots sweet potato, etc.))

Mash or pureed meat (chicken pork, beef)

Pureed or made into mashed tofu

Small quantities of pureed or soft pasteurized cottage cheese, cheese, and unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk after the age of 1)

Pureed or pureed legumes (black beans, chickpeas Fava beans, edamame lentils, black-eyed beans, kidney beans)

Iron-fortified cereal (oats and barley) as well as small crackers and bread pieces

How much per day?

Formula or breastfeeding Formula: 3 to 5 feeds (breastfeeding or formula in formula bottles of 6 to 8 ounces)

1 to 3 teaspoons of fruit and gradually increase it up to 4-8 tablespoons.

2-3 tablespoons of vegetable slowly increasing to 4 to 8 tablespoons.

1 – 2 teaspoons of grain products gradually increasing up to 2 to 4 tablespoons.

1 – 2 tablespoons of protein-rich food slowly expanding to 2 to 4 tablespoons

Tips for feeding

As your baby becomes more at ease eating, it’s time to add a variety of meals and increase the number of your meals. When your baby is 8 months old typically, you can expect your baby to consume up to two meals a day.

If you are introducing an unfamiliar food, begin with a tiny quantity (a tablespoon or two) to let your child adjust to a new taste and texture.

Age: 8 to 12 months

Preparation indicators for soft and solid finger food

Similar to 6-8 months and

Takes objects in with the thumb or forefinger ( pincer grasp)

Are you able to transfer things from one hand to another hand?

The jaw moves by chewing

It is easier to swallow food.

Do not force food from the mouth using the tongue

Try using a spoon

What feeds to feed

Formula or breast milk and

Soft pasteurized cheese cottage cheese, and unsweetened yogurt

Bite-size, soft-cooked vegetables (carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes)

Fruit is mashed or cuts into cubes, strips, or soft cubes (bananas peaches, pears, peaches, and avocados)

Finger food (O-shaped cereals, tiny pieces of scrambled eggs cooked pieces of potato that are well-cooked, spiral pasta that has been cooked well teething crackers, tiny fragments of bagel)

Protein-rich food items (small pieces of chicken, meat boneless fish, tofu, and cooked beans such as split peas or lentils as well as pintos and black beans)

Iron-fortified cereals as well as other cereals (barley Oats, wheat mixed cereals)

How much per day?

Formula or breastfeeding Formula: 3 to 4 feeds (breastfeeding or formula bottles ranging from 7 to 8-ounce bottles)

1/2 to 3/4 cup of fruit

1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegetable

12 to 1/4 cup of grain products

12 cup or less protein-rich food items

Tips for feeding

At around 8 months the baby usually eats three meals and begins having snacks.

Keep offering a broad assortment of vegetables, fruits grains, and protein-rich food items. When your baby’s eating abilities improve slowly introduce more textures and soft food items.

It’s perfectly acceptable to feed your child what everyone else in the family is eating, but be sure to look for added sugars which aren’t advised for children younger than two years old. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts labels on the food products you purchase and stay away from foods that contain one gram or more in “Added Sugars.”

Look over the sample menus below and get visual guides on the amount of food your child should consume.

Check out our article on toddlers for advice on how to feed children aged 12 months or more.

 

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