Use this guide to learn what and how much to feed your child during the first year. The amounts are fundamental suggestions only, so don’t fret if your baby eats a bit more or less than advised. It’s usually a good idea to talk about your plan about intending to feed your baby solids with your child’s doctor before doing so.

Additionally, you don’t have to present foods to your child in any particular order. If you want to give your baby a taste of tofu at age 6 months, do so, even if it’s not specified on our chart until age 8 months. And while cereal is a standard first food in the United States, it’s alright to start with mashed fruits or vegetables as an alternative.

Most commonly, you don’t even have to wait to introduce highly allergenic foods like eggs, fish, and peanuts.

Age: Birth to 4 months

Feeding behavior

  • Rooting reflex helps your baby turn toward a nipple to look for nourishment.

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula ONLY

How much per day

  • How to determine if your baby’s getting sufficient breast milk
  • How to determine how much formula your baby requires

Feeding tip

  • Your baby’s digestive tract is still developing, so solid food is temporarily restricted.

Age: 4 to 6 months

Signs of readiness for solid food

Listed below are some guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your child is most probably equipped to eat solids when he or she:

  • Can hold head upand sit upright in highchair
  • Displays significant weight gain (doubled birth weight) and weighs at least 13 pounds
  • Can close mouth around a spoon
  • Your child can now move food from front to back of the mouth

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Pureed vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash)
  • Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, peaches)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal
  • Cow’s milk isn’t recommended until age 1. Instead you can offer your child a small amount of unsweetened yogurt

How much per day

  • You can start with about 1 teaspoon of pureed food or cereal. Combine cereal with 4 to 5 teaspoons breast milk or formula. (It will be very runny.)
  • Slowly you can increase to a whole tablespoon of pureed food, or a whole tablespoon of cereals mixed with a breast milk or with a formula, you can do it twice a day. If you’re feeding cereal, progressively thicken the consistency by using less liquid.

Feeding tips

  • If your baby refuses to eat what you offer the first time, try again in a few days.
  • Few doctors recommend that you introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before introducing another new food. (Wait three days if there’s a history of allergies in the family.) It’s also an excellent idea to jot down every food your baby tastes. If he has a negative reaction, a food log will make it easier to identify the cause.
  • The order in which you introduce new foods is irrelevant. Your baby’s doctor can advise you.
  • Get more comprehensive tips on how to introduce solids.

Age: 6 to 8 months

Signs of readiness for solid food

  • Similar to 4 to 6 months

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Fruits like banana, pears, peaches, avocado, applesauce (Pureed or strained)
  • Vegetables like well-cooked carrots, squash, sweet potato (Pureed or strained)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Pureed tofu
  • You can offer your child a small amount of unsweetened yogurt (No cow milk up until the age of 1 year)
  • Black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, kidney beans, etc.
  • Iron-fortified cereal (oats, barley)

How much per day

  • Fruit – 1 teaspoon, and gradually you can increase to 2 or 3 tablespoons in four feedings
  • Vegetables – 1 teaspoon, gradually increased to 2 or 3 tablespoons in four feedings
  • 3 to 9 tablespoons cereal in 2 or 3 feedings

Feeding tips

  • Few doctors recommend that you introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before introducing another new food. (Wait three days if there’s a history of allergies in the family.) It’s also an excellent idea to jot down every food your baby tastes. If he has a negative reaction, a food log will make it easier to identify the cause.
  • The order in which you introduce new foods is irrelevant. Your baby’s doctor can advise you.
  • Get more comprehensive tips on how to introduce solids.

Age: 8 to 10 months

Signs of readiness for solid and finger foods

  • Same as 6 to 8 months, PLUS
  • Your child picks up some objects with thumb and forefinger known as pincer grasp
  • Your child can transfer now items from one hand to the other hand
  • Puts everything in his mouth
  • Moves jaw in a chewing motion

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Another alternative can be soft pasteurized cheese (in a small amount), unsweetened yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Mashed vegetables (cooked carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes)
  • Mashed fruits (bananas, peaches, pears, avocados)
  • Foods known as finger foodsfor example well-cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, O-shaped cereal, small bits of scrambled eggs, well-cooked pieces of potato, small pieces of bagel.
  • Small bits of meat, well-cooked beans, like lentils, split peas, pintos, or black beans, poultry, boneless fish, tofu – those account for the protein the baby needs
  • Iron-fortified cereal (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

Feeding tip

  • Few doctors recommend that you introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before introducing another new food. (Wait three days if there’s a history of allergies in the family.) It’s also an excellent idea to jot down every food your baby tastes. If he has a negative reaction, a food log will make it easier to identify the cause.

Age: 10 to 12 months

Signs of readiness for other solid foods

  • Same as 8 to 10 months, PLUS
  • Swallows food more easily
  • Has more teeth
  • No longer pushes food out of mouth with tongue
  • Tries to use a spoon

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula PLUS
  • Soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese (no cow’s milk until age 1)
  • Fruit that you’ve mashed or cut into small cubes or strips
  • Bite-size, soft-cooked vegetables (peas, carrots)
  • Combination foods (macaroni and cheese, casseroles)
  • Protein (small bits of meat, poultry, boneless fish, tofu, and fully cooked beans)
  • Finger foods (O-shaped cereal, tiny bits of scrambled eggs, well-cooked pieces of potato, fully cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, tiny pieces of bagel)
  • Iron-fortified cereals (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

Feeding tip

  • Few doctors recommend that you introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before introducing another new food. (Wait three days if there’s a history of allergies in the family.) It’s also an excellent idea to jot down every food your baby tastes. If he has a negative reaction, a food log will make it easier to identify the cause.
  • Refer to our toddler article for pointers on feeding children 12 months and older.

Next, Learn now about Handling a Newborn

Bonding and Soothing your baby

All About Diapering

Bathing Basics

Circumcision and Umbilical Cord Care

Feeding and Burping Your Baby

Sleeping Basics

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