Feeding baby first foods schedule
Homemade baby food introducing solids schedule
By Kathryn Doherty
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure policy
Homemade baby food introducing solids schedule is a guide on what foods to introduce to your baby at different stages. A great way for making sure they get plenty of variety!
Introducing solids to your little one — which just means supplementing the breast milk or formula they are getting with baby food purees — is an exciting and somewhat scary time. It can be intimidating to know what to do, when and how.
I’ve put together a lot of homemade baby food resources on this blog to help you through the process and to encourage you to make your own baby food. It’s so, so easy. I promise!
Update: I’ve also written a new cookbook all about making healthy, easy baby food! The Healthy, Quick & Easy Baby Food cookbook is available on Amazon and in most booksellers. It’s got all the info and resources you need to get started, plus 100 recipes ranging from single purees to combinations to finger foods and toddler meals. You’ll have everything you need in one place! (Also, it makes a great gift!)
Today though, I’ve created a homemade baby food introducing solids schedule for you to use as a guide to beginning this journey.
This list is what I researched and used when introducing baby food to M and I mostly stuck to the same thing with J. My kiddos loved purees and were not big on baby-led weaning, so this is the route I took.
(And if you want to save that schedule above, I made a free printable PDF for you!)
- Currently, the recommendation is to introduce solids to a baby somewhere between 4 and 6 months old, depending on the child’s readiness. Talk to your pediatrician about when to introduce solids for your baby.
- Wait 3-5 days between introducing new foods, to monitor for an allergic reaction.
- Speaking of allergies, current research says it’s OK to introduce peanut products as early as 4-6 months old. (This is new since my kids were babies.) If you are concerned about a possible peanut allergy, please check with your health care provider before offering any type of peanut product to your baby.
- You can refrigerate homemade baby food for up to 3-5 days and freeze baby food for up to 6 months. Just be sure to label everything!
- Got extra? I’ve got tons of ideas and recipes (and a video and free printable, too) for ways to use leftover baby food.
- Check out my master list of homemade baby food resources for more info.
Also, if you are new to this journey, check out my guide on how to make homemade baby food purees. I walk you through ALL the ins and outs of making purees at home, including step-by-step instructions for 10 favorite beginner purees.
You can watch this video to see how easy it is to make your own baby food:
I hope this homemade baby food introducing solids schedule is helpful for you to get started! Here’s the FREE PRINTABLE again if you want to print this schedule out to save.
Oh, and if you have a fussy teething baby that’s 8 months or older, definitely check out these homemade baby teething biscuits.
And if you want to be super efficient in making baby purees, it’s all about the batch cooking.
Here are my collections of beginner homemade baby food batch cooking — lots of beginner baby food basics grouped together to make the most out of your precious time. You can knock out 5 foods in as little as 20 minutes!
These batch cooking guides will also give you step-by-step details on how exactly to prepare various foods for your baby.
Homemade baby food round 1: peas, green beans, applesauce, butternut squash, oatmeal
Homemade baby food round 2: sweet potato, brown rice, chicken, pears, banana
Homemade baby food round 3: quinoa, peaches, avocado, pumpkin, cottage cheese
Homemade baby food round 4: broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, black beans, Greek yogurt
Homemade baby food round 5: asparagus, barley, edamame, blueberries, mango
Homemade baby food round 6: apricots, prunes, egg yolks, chick peas, blackberries
Lastly, have fun with it! It’s exciting to see your baby discover the joys of different food and flavors!
Enjoy and let me know if you have questions! Happy to try and help 😊
(P. S. Here’s the link for the free printable again!)
Sample Schedules for Starting Solids (6 to 12 Months)
Looking for sample schedules for starting solids? Ideas for how to introduce solids on a schedule. Including sample feeding schedule for 6 months old and beyond.
Ready to start solids with your babe? This is an exciting time!
Here’s everything you need to know about introducing solids safely including sample schedules for starting solids from 6 months to 12 months, plus recommended menu items.
Is Baby Ready for Solids?
The most important thing to consider as your baby approaches the 4-6 month mark, is whether they are showing signs of feeding readiness.
This includes things like:
- Baby is 6 months old (there is no benefit to starting solids before 4 months at the earliest)
- They are interested in food they see around them
- Baby is losing their tongue thrust reflex that keeps food out of their mouth
- They are sitting up on their own for at least 60 seconds at a time
If your baby is showing these signs, great! It’s time to start introducing some solids.
Note that baby should continue receiving breast milk and/or formula for at least the first year of life, as you begin the transition to solid foods.
What Are the Benefits of Solids?
Eventually, your baby’s diet will be predominantly solid foods, but it takes some time to get there.
Solid foods expose your baby to a wide variety of textures, shapes, consistencies, and colors. They’re also important for nutrition, providing an array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, fat, and energy.
Eating solids is also important for physical growth and development. As your baby matures, they become prepared to try new foods and get more of their nutrients from solids than breast milk/formula.
Plus, it’s fun to play with and try new foods!
However you decide to introduce solids – using a traditional spoon-feeding/puree approach or a baby-led weaning approach – your baby benefits from the nutrition and exposure.
Recommended Solid Foods for Babies
Below are some nutritious first foods that have worked well for us:
- Soft fruits, like bananas, kiwi, mango
- Soft-cooked vegetables, like zucchini, sweet potato, and broccoli
- Beans, peas, lentils
- Toast, cut into strips
As you design your baby’s menu, these are some great nutrient-dense foods to incorporate that can also be prepared and served in an age-appropriate way.
For a list of foods to avoid when starting solids, see this blog post.
Sample Schedules for Starting Solids
How you choose to design your baby’s solid feeding schedule depends on several things, including what your daily routine looks like.
We recommend beginning with 1 solid food meal per day for 6-month-old babes and increasing to 3 meals per day for 9-month-old babies.
Between these milestones, continue to slowly add new foods and increase how many meals/snacks you’re offering.
By 12 months old, your baby will be eating 3 meals and a few snacks per day of solid foods, using breast milk and/or milk/milk alternatives (e.g., fortified unsweetened soy or pea milk) as needed.
Keep in mind that it can take 10-15 times of offering a food before a baby even tries it, or decides whether they like it. If your baby doesn’t seem to be interested in a certain food, keep offering.
Below are a few example feeding schedules for offering solids to babes at least 6 months old.
Feeding Schedule for 6 Months
- 7am: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 8am: Breakfast – Iron-fortified baby oat cereal, peeled sliced peaches, avocado strips
- 11am: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 2pm: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 5pm: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 7pm: Breastfeed/bottle feed
Note that you may continue to breastfeed/bottle feed babies this age during the night if they are still waking up.
Feeding Schedule for 9 Months
- 7am: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 8am: Breakfast – Pancake strips, chopped raspberries and bananes
- 11am: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 12pm: Lunch – Penne pasta with tomato sauce, green peas, melon slices with skin and seed removed
- 3pm: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 5pm: Breastfeed/bottle feed
- 6pm: Dinner – Smashed black beans, tofu strips drizzled with thinned nut butter, sliced orange sections with outer membranes and pith removed
- 7pm: Breastfeed/bottle feed
Feeding Schedule for 12 Months
- 7am: Breast milk or milk/milk alternative
- 8am: Breakfast – Toast strips with mashed avocado, half of a banana (remove 2 inches of the skin, leaving the rest of the peel for easy handling)
- 10am: Mid-morning snack – chopped watermelon, diced grapes, hummus
- 12pm: Lunch – Quinoa-based veggie burger patty, steamed cauliflower and beet strips
- 3pm: Afternoon snack + breast milk or milk/milk alternative
- 6pm: Dinner – Lightly fried tempeh strips, kidney beans, roasted sweet potato cubes, steamed cucumber
- 7pm: Breast milk or milk/milk alternative
We hope these sample schedules for starting solids are helpful when your baby is ready for first foods. When you introduce solids on a schedule, this can help alleviate some of the stress of feeding while nourishing your baby well. Have fun with it!
Chime In: If you’ve already done solids with your babe, what has your schedule looked like? Any other tips for new parents?
If you found this post helpful, we suggest you read these too:
- Spoon Feeding vs. Baby-Led Weaning
- Do Babies Really Need 11mg of Iron a Day?
- Plant-Based Baby-Led Weaning Grocery List
- How to Wean Baby to Plant-Based Milk
WHO recommendations for the introduction of complementary foods
Readiness of the child to complementary foods According to the WHO recommendation, existing for 2018, it is optimal to introduce complementary foods to an infant at 6-8 months. Until six months, the baby's gastrointestinal tract is still not sufficiently formed, all the necessary enzymes are not produced for the assimilation of food other than mother's milk or formula. And by 9-10 months, the child can already form stable stereotypes of eating only liquid food, and overcoming them will be painful and difficult for the baby.
Thus, WHO defines the following signs of a child's readiness for the introduction of complementary foods: the maturity of the digestive system; extinction of the solid food ejection reflex; the appearance of the first teeth, making it possible to chew; the readiness of the baby to be stable in an upright position; emotional readiness for new tastes and sensations.
Complementary feeding system WHO has developed recommendations for three complementary feeding options: cereals, vegetables, and meat.
Fruit complementary foods are not recommended for cereals and vegetables. This is due to the fact that up to 8-9 months the gastrointestinal tract of the baby is not ready for the absorption of raw fruits and fruit juices. It is vegetables and cereals that will populate the intestines with the necessary bacteria for the absorption of fruits.
Kefir, according to the WHO, is not considered complementary foods because it is not a solid food. The WHO complementary feeding scheme includes kefir only as an additional food from 8 months. The introduction of cow's milk is recommended by WHO only from 12 months.
Any complementary feeding scheme assumes that portions of complementary foods will systematically increase from half a teaspoon to 100-200 g. The first dishes for complementary foods are prepared exclusively with one-component. Each next component is introduced only after complete addiction to the previous one (6-7 days).
The following sequence of introduction of complementary foods is proposed.
- Vegetables at 6 months.
- Porridges on the water (oatmeal, buckwheat, corn) at 6.5 - 7 months.
- Fruit puree, yolk at 8 months.
- Milk porridge at 8-9 months.
- Meat puree at 9 months.
- Meat by-products at 9-10 months.
- Kefir, cottage cheese, yogurt at 9-10 months.
- Fish at 10 months.
- Juice at 10-12 months.
- Berry puree at 12 months.
- Meat broths at 12 months.
The introduction of vegetable oil (olive, sunflower) in puree and porridge is allowed from 6 months: a scheme with 1 drop with a gradual increase to a volume of 1 teaspoon. The introduction of butter begins at 7 months: the scheme is from 1 g to 10 g in porridge.
For formula-fed babies, the first feeding schedule is similar, with a few exceptions. For these babies, it is better to introduce complementary foods from 5 months, because the milk mixture does not give the small body all the “building material”. The introduction of complementary foods differs only in terms: vegetable purees and cereals are introduced a month earlier.
If the child's weight is significantly less than normal, WHO recommends starting complementary foods with non-dairy cereals. For babies, cereals are prepared only with non-dairy, unsalted, semi-liquid, absolutely homogeneous in consistency. The first cereals are prepared from cereal flour (the sorted and washed cereals are carefully ground and crushed).
The following sequence of introduction of cereals is proposed: buckwheat, rice, corn, oatmeal, semolina. It is recommended to cook semolina porridge only once a week, because it contains practically no nutrients, but it is rich in gluten, which can cause problems in the intestines. Proportion for the preparation of the first porridge: 5 g of cereal flour per 100 ml of water. After slightly cooling the finished porridge, chop again. In the finished porridge, you can add 1-2 drops of vegetable oil or a little expressed breast milk.
From 9 months, the baby's nutrition system involves multicomponent cereals, from products already well known to the child. You can already add vegetables and fruits familiar to the baby to cereals. At 9 months, it is allowed to cook barley and millet porridge for babies. And by 10-11 months, cereals on the water will be a great addition to meat and fish meatballs and steam cutlets.
The first purees are made from one vegetable.
The sequence of introducing vegetables into complementary foods for babies suggests the following order: zucchini, cauliflower, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, green peas, beets. These vegetables are introduced within 6-9baby months. After 1 year, you can give your child cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, sweet peppers, white cabbage. After preparing the puree, make sure that the mass is completely homogeneous, there are no fibers and small particles, the consistency is semi-liquid. Don't salt. Add 1-2 drops of vegetable oil or expressed milk.
If the child refuses vegetable complementary foods, cancel this product for 1-2 weeks. Try to temporarily replace it with another and return to it after a while.
From 9 months old, the first meat purees are recommended for babies. The first courses are recommended to be prepared from lean meats: rabbit; quail; turkey; chicken.
Complementary foods for a 6-month-old baby are recommended to be introduced in the morning. This will allow you to track the child's reaction to an unfamiliar product before a night's sleep: is there a rash, intestinal disorders, anxiety in the baby, profuse regurgitation. It is better to give vegetables or porridge first, and then saturate with breast milk or formula. Gradually, porridge and a vegetable dish will replace one full meal. The dish must be warm and freshly cooked. Gradually, by the age of 1, your baby will develop taste preferences. You will know what dishes he eats with pleasure. In the meantime, try to fully expand the child's diet with products necessary for growth and development.
scheme of the first complementary feeding of the child (table) with artificial and breastfeeding, what can be given to the baby
The need to introduce complementary foods in modern mothers has long been beyond doubt. Pediatricians, pediatric nutritionists and other graduates unanimously say that at some point both mother's milk and formula are not enough to satisfy the growing needs of the child's body for useful trace elements and vitamins. That's when it's time to introduce complementary foods. The fact that your baby is ready to get new experiences and try tastes so far unknown to him is indicated by the presence of the following signs:
• doubling the initial weight of the child,
• ability to sit with support,
• child does not push food out of his mouth,
• curiosity and desire to try something from the common table.
Signs of malnutrition in a child, constant feeling of hunger and anxiety associated with it, and weight loss can also be important signals for the start of complementary foods. In these cases, it is recommended to immediately contact a specialist and share your observations with him.
- start introducing complementary foods
The timing of the introduction of complementary foods is still debated. But if we bring scientific reasoning to a common denominator, then the conclusion suggests itself that complementary foods can be introduced from about six months, and for children with certain medical indications - from 3-5 months. Many experts believe that half a year is the ideal time for complementary foods, when the first colic is over, and the digestive system has matured enough to try new foods. The exact answer to the question of when to introduce complementary foods in a particular child can only be given by a pediatrician. In some situations, it may be necessary to introduce new dishes into the baby's diet as early as 4 months, and someone will be ready for this only after six months.
What foods should I start introducing complementary foods with
Fruits, vegetables or cereals? Which of these foods are best for starting complementary foods? Experts have long answered this question as follows: if the baby is underweight, suffers from frequent loose stools, it is advisable to start with cereals (of course, gluten-free and dairy-free), and if everything is fine with weight, then vegetables will be the first in line. Also, vegetable complementary foods are recommended for breastfed children with constipation problems, rickets, or those born prematurely, whose weight is normal or exceeds the standards.
Why not fruits? Everything is simple. Fruits have a bright and sweet taste, and after trying an apple or banana first, the baby is likely to refuse zucchini or broccoli, which do not have the same rich taste. Therefore, the introduction of fruit purees and juices into the diet is postponed until vegetable purees become a familiar dish on the menu. As for cereals, buckwheat, rice and corn are first introduced, as they are characterized by the absence of gluten, saturate and are well digested.
Read also: How to properly teach a child to different tastes
In order for the introduction of complementary foods not to become a test for either the baby or the mother, you need to follow some recommendations. Most importantly, be patient and don't get too upset if things don't go according to plan. Each child is individual, as are their taste preferences and needs.
• Start complementary foods if the baby is perfectly healthy. Contraindications for the introduction of new products will be teething, colds, stress associated with separation or moving, recent or planned vaccinations.
• New foods are introduced gradually, starting with half a teaspoon. In the absence of allergies or digestive problems, the amount of the product is approximately doubled the next day. Sometimes the introduction of a new product stretches up to a week. Do not rush, give the child the opportunity to "taste" this dish. If the baby flatly refuses the offer, postpone the acquaintance for at least a week.
• Do not force your child to eat. After all, your goal is to introduce your child to new tastes and help develop good eating habits.
• The best time for the first feeding is after the morning feed until 12 noon, when the baby is already hungry and ready to eat something else. In case something goes wrong, you will know about it during the day, not at night.
• In the event of an adverse reaction to the product, such as an allergy, seek medical advice immediately. Then, in agreement with the doctor, offer this dish after a certain period of time.
• Gradually increase the amount recommended by your pediatrician. If you don't fit within a week, don't worry. Listen to your child and act accordingly.
• Always start feeding with complementary foods. Only then offer breast milk or formula.
• Stick to a 5-meal schedule. Feed your baby at the same time every day.
• Food offered to the baby must be thermally processed - boiled or steamed. The dish should be at a comfortable temperature - about 37 ° C.
• Purees and cereals should be of a liquid consistency so that a child who does not yet know how to chew can comfortably eat them. Thicker dishes with lumps and pieces are introduced into the diet by about a year, when there are already several teeth.
• Do not use salt, sugar or spices when preparing complementary foods. Also, do not add them in order to force the child to eat something. Let the baby get used to natural tastes.
• Complementary foods are prepared at one time and should never be refrigerated until the next meal. Everything should be only the first freshness.
• If you prefer ready-made baby food, carefully study the top manufacturers, pay special attention to the shelf life when buying.
When introducing complementary foods, be guided by the data in the tables, which indicate which products, in what quantity and in what months experts recommend giving. 6 months
50–100 g 9000 G
9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000
145 80–120 g
195 Military porridge
90IT0145 80–100 g
10–30 g 9000 g 9000 99
- 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 - 9000 -
, as you can see, the schemes of the introduction of bureaucrats and artificial vicinity. In any case, starting to introduce new foods into the baby's diet, you will have to give the baby milk or formula for a long time, which are still the basis of his nutrition.
How to introduce solid foods by month
If your doctor advises your breastfeeding or formula-fed baby to introduce complementary foods at 3 months, start with what your specialist has recommended. If these are vegetables, start with the classic - zucchini puree. This vegetable contains many beneficial nutrients and fiber. Start with half a teaspoon, carefully observing the reaction of the child's body. Be sure to supplement your baby with breast milk or formula afterwards. In case the child does not like the zucchini, try giving broccoli or cauliflower. Well, if the doctor advised porridge, feel free to choose buckwheat or corn.
After your baby has tasted zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower, it's time to add other vegetables: carrots, potatoes, green peas. Do not overdo it with carrots, give it no more than 2 times a week. It is even better if this root crop is combined with other vegetables. It's porridge time! Gluten-free, water-cooked buckwheat, rice or corn. If the baby refuses to eat such cereals, add some breast milk or the usual mixture to them.
Time to pamper your baby with dried fruit compote, and formula-fed children start giving milk porridge. You can use a milk mixture to prepare such cereals, and in some cases, milk diluted with water. But in general, pediatricians do not advise introducing cow's milk into a child's diet before 8 months, as this can cause allergic reactions.
After the baby gets used to vegetable purees, you can try to give fruit purees and, if desired, juices, which should be diluted with water. There has been a lot of negative talk about juice lately. There is no fiber in them, but there are a lot of acids, which may not be completely safe for the stomach and have a high sugar content. So consult a pediatrician and think carefully about whether to give the baby juices or still prefer mashed potatoes and compotes. An excellent alternative to juices is children's herbal teas. Start introducing your baby to fruits with apples (preferably green varieties), bananas, and pears. The baby's menu is replenished with a new product - meat. Rabbit meat, turkey meat are best suited. Chicken and veal are also considered a good option. Low-fat pulp without streaks is taken. It is boiled or brought to readiness for a couple, then crushed in a blender or meat grinder. Meat with a gradual increase in its quantity is given as part of vegetable purees. Also at 7 months, it's time to give the baby a pumpkin.
An important moment in the introduction of complementary foods during artificial and breastfeeding occurs exactly at 8 months. It's time to give the baby a yolk. Watch the reaction of the body very carefully: if there are any manifestations of allergies. In case of a negative reaction of the body to chicken yolk, exclude it from the menu and try quail. It is best to give this product in the morning feeding from 9 to 11 hours. Along with vegetable and butter, gluten cereals are also introduced: oatmeal, millet, barley, pearl barley. It's time to give your child a taste of light vegetable soups. The components of the dish should be familiar to the child. Do not experiment by introducing dishes into the diet even with one unknown ingredient. Meatballs, boiled or steamed, are added to the meat in the form of mashed potatoes.
At this age, the baby should be introduced to the diet of low-fat fish: pollock, hake, perch, cod. For these purposes, fillets are taken and steamed, stewed or boiled. For the first time, fish are given in very small quantities. Start with once a week, gradually increasing to two. Remember that either fish or meat is given on the same day, without mixing these 2 products. If at the age of 8 months there were no prunes on the menu of the child, it's time to fix it. Dried fruit compote is also an excellent option, which at first is best diluted with water. However, you definitely shouldn’t get carried away with dried apricots, it’s better to wait until the baby reaches the age of one.
The diet typical for this period is characterized by an increase in portions to their maximum values indicated in the scheme. Also, it is at this age that the last feeding is gradually replaced by milk or kefir.
Now that you've come across a set of essential recommendations, you're ready to start weaning. Once again, consult with a specialist, be patient, not forgetting to listen to the baby's body. We are confident that you will succeed. The main thing here, as in any other business, is a positive attitude. It all depends on you and your desire to raise a healthy and happy baby with competent eating behavior. Don't stop if you fail and don't get frustrated if things don't go according to plan. Everything will definitely work out.