How much should i feed baby solids
Balancing introducing solids with milk feeds
At around 6 months of age babies need to start having solid foods as well as breastmilk or formula. Find out how to get started with solid foods and what are the best foods to start with.
When to introduce solids?
At 6 months, your baby will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula.
As you introduce solid foods, continue feeding with breastmilk or formula until at least 12 months of age.
Start to introduce solid foods at around 6 months of age when:
- your baby can sit up with support and has good head control
- your baby starts to show interest in food such as watching and reaching out when they see food
Even though some babies show these signs from an earlier age, continue to offer your baby breastmilk or formula if they appear hungry. This is usually all they need until around 6 months. It’s recommended that you don’t introduce solids before 4 months.
How to introduce solid foods into your baby’s diet
Start feeding your baby solids once a day. Your baby will take only small amounts of solid foods at first. Try one teaspoon at first of pureed vegetable, fruit, or rice cereal in between milk feeds.
From 6 to 9 months continue to give your baby breastmilk or formula first, then try solids after the milk.
From 9 months you can try to give solids first, then breastmilk or formula. This allows for your baby to naturally transition to solids by around 12 months.
At around 8 to 9 months try giving your baby solids as part of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Continue breastmilk or formula through the first year of life while foods are being introduced. From around 6 months you can try small amounts of cooled boiled water out of a sippy cup.
Which foods first?
From 6 months of age baby’s first foods should contain iron. Foods that have iron, include:
- iron-fortified baby cereals
- legumes - lentils, beans, or chickpeas
Guidelines recommend that you can introduce foods in any order and at a pace that suits your baby, family, and cultural backgrounds, as long as some foods servings contain iron.
Your baby’s first foods can be smooth, mashed or have soft lumps.
Choose from the 5 food groups.
Vegetables and legumes
Give your baby cooked and pureed:
- sweet potato
Over time puree them less so the texture gets lumpier.
Then introduce vegetables that are cooked but not pureed.
Give your baby stewed and pureed:
Your baby might also like to try mashed ripe banana.
Gradually introduce pieces of cooked fruit, banana, peach and grated raw apple.
Avoid larger pieces of raw apple; babies can choke on them.
Grains and cereals
Give your baby fortified infant cereals (e.g. rice cereal) to start.
Move to cooked rolled oats, wholegrain breakfast biscuits (Weetbix, Vita Brits) or thick infant cereals.
Don’t add sugar or honey or offer cereals with chocolate or added sugar.
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, tofu
Meat, fish, poultry eggs, legumes, tofu should always be pureed when you start introducing solids.
When your baby accepts this, offer them bite size pieces of:
- minced meat
- flaked fresh or canned fish (in spring water)
- mashed tofu
- mashed legumes
- scrambled or mashed boiled eggs
Don’t add salt. Also avoid processed meats as they have a lot of salt.
Milk, cheese, yoghurt
Formula should be used only until your baby is 12 months old. Then small amounts of milk can be added to foods like porridge. Breast feeding is recommended to continue until the age of 2 or longer.
Grated cheese is good in mashed vegetables.
Choose yoghurt without added sugar. Add fruit for extra flavour
What drinks should I be giving my baby?
After 12 months of age breastmilk, water (clean tap water or bottled water) and full fat cow’s milk should be the main drinks you offer your baby.
Keep breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby like.
Switch from formula to full fat ordinary cow’s milk after 12 months. Your child doesn’t need toddler milk products. Offer your baby a cup to drink from rather than a bottle. Your one-year-old should be exclusively drinking from a toddler cup.
From about 12 months, you can try rice milk and oat milk (fortified with at least 100mg calcium/100mL) if you want. But these drinks don’t have enough protein and vitamin B12. Your baby will need to have plenty of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, yoghurt, or cheese to make up for what they’re not getting from cow’s milk.
How much should I feed my baby?
Your baby will grow at different rates at different times. Their appetite can vary, even from day to day.
Babies don’t know what to eat but they know how much. Provide wholesome, healthy unprocessed food choices. Take your cue from your baby. Babies tend to turn away or lose interest when they’ve had enough to eat.
Finger foods and self-feeding
By 9 to 12 months, most babies like finger foods. Finger foods are foods they can hold themselves.
Some also like to hold their own spoon at that age. It will be messy! But learning to feed themselves is important.
By 12 months, your baby can eat the same healthy food you serve your family.
Foods to limit or avoid when introducing solids
There are some foods and drinks you should limit or avoid:
- coffee and tea, herbal drinks are not recommended
- fruit juice
- honey until 12 months (to prevent botulism)
- processed foods
- raw or runny eggs (bacteria in raw eggs can be harmful to babies)
- sugar sweetened drinks
- unpasteurised milks
Low-fat milks are not recommended in the first 2 years of life. Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, soy milk, coconut milk and almond milk should also be avoided before the age of 2 unless your doctor recommends them.
Avoid small hard foods such as whole nuts and uncooked vegetables until 3 years. These can be choking hazards.
If your family doesn’t use animal products, your baby may need a vitamin B12 supplement. Discuss this with your doctor.
Seek help from your health care professional if you are worried about your baby’s eating or development.
Fruit — give your baby stewed and pureed apples, pears, peaches, apricots and berries, or mashed ripe banana. Gradually introduce pieces of cooked fruit, banana, peach and grated raw apple. Avoid larger pieces of raw apple; babies can choke on them.
Grains and cereals — give your baby fortified infant cereals (e.g. rice cereal) to start. Move to cooked rolled oats, wholegrain breakfast biscuits (Weetbix, Vita Brits) or thick infant cereals. Don’t add sugar or honey and don’t use cereals with chocolate or added sugar.
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, tofu — make them pureed at the start. When your baby accepts this, offer them pieces of chicken, minced meat, flaked fresh or canned fish (in spring water), mashed tofu, mashed legumes, scrambled or mashed boiled eggs. Don’t add salt and avoid processed meats as they also have a lot of salts.
Milk, cheese, yoghurt — breast milk or formula should be used for up to 12 months, then small amounts of milk can be added to foods like porridge. Grated cheese is good in mashed vegetables. Choose yoghurt without added sugar. Add fruit for extra flavour.
Babies grow at different rates at different times. Their appetite can vary even from day to day.
Babies don’t know what to eat but they know how much. Take your cue from your baby. Healthy babies turn away or lose interest when they’ve had enough.
Finger foods and self-feeding
By 9 to 12 months, most babies like finger foods.
Some also like their own spoon at that age. It will be messy, but learning to feed themselves is important.
By 12 months, serve the same healthy food you serve your family, but without hot spices.
Encourage infants to feed themselves.
If you have stopped breastfeeding, switch to ordinary cow’s milk after 12 months. Use a cup rather than a bottle. Limit the amount of cow’s milk to around 500ml per day. Under health professional supervision, you can use full fat rice milk or oat milk with at least 100mg calcium per 100mL if you want, as long as other sources of protein are included (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes or nut butters).
Your child doesn’t need toddler milk products.
If your family doesn’t use animal products, your baby may need a vitamin B12 supplement. Discuss this with your doctor.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Feeding your baby: 6–12 months
At 6 months of age, breastmilk continues to be a vital source of nutrition; but it’s not enough by itself. You need to now introduce your baby to solid food, in addition to breastmilk, to keep up with her growing needs.
Be sure you give your baby her first foods after she has breastfed, or between nursing sessions, so that your baby continues to breastfeed as much as possible.
When you start to feed your baby solid food, take extra care that she doesn’t become sick. As she crawls about and explores, germs can spread from her hands to her mouth. Protect your baby from getting sick by washing your and her hands with soap before preparing food and before every feeding.
Your baby's first foods
When your baby is 6 months old, she is just learning to chew. Her first foods need to be soft so they’re very easy to swallow, such as porridge or well mashed fruits and vegetables. Did you know that when porridge is too watery, it doesn't have as many nutrients? To make it more nutritious, cook it until it’s thick enough not to run off the spoon.
Feed your baby when you see her give signs that she's hungry – such as putting her hands to her mouth. After washing hands, start by giving your baby just two to three spoonfuls of soft food, twice a day. At this age, her stomach is small so she can only eat small amounts at each meal.
The taste of a new food may surprise your baby. Give her time to get used to these new foods and flavours. Be patient and don’t force your baby to eat. Watch for signs that she is full and stop feeding her then.
As your baby grows, her stomach also grows and she can eat more food with each meal.
Feeding your baby: 6–8 months old
From 6–8 months old, feed your baby half a cup of soft food two to three times a day. Your baby can eat anything except honey, which she shouldn't eat until she is a year old. You can start to add a healthy snack, like mashed fruit, between meals. As your baby gets increasing amounts of solid foods, she should continue to get the same amount of breastmilk.
Feeding your baby: 9–11 months old
From 9–11 months old, your baby can take half a cup of food three to four times a day, plus a healthy snack. Now you can start to chop up soft food into small pieces instead of mashing it. Your baby may even start to eat food herself with her fingers. Continue to breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry.
Each meal needs to be both easy for your baby to eat and packed with nutrition. Make every bite count.
Foods need to be rich in energy and nutrients. In addition to grains and potatoes, be sure your baby has vegetables and fruits, legumes and seeds, a little energy-rich oil or fat, and – especially – animal foods (dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry) every day. Eating a variety of foods every day gives your baby the best chance of getting all the nutrients he needs.
If your baby refuses a new food or spits it out, don’t force it. Try again a few days later. You can also try mixing it with another food that your baby likes or squeezing a little breastmilk on top.
Feeding non-breastfed babies
If you're not breastfeeding your baby, she’ll need to eat more often. She'll also need to rely on other foods, including milk products, to get all the nutrition her body needs.
- Start to give your baby solid foods at 6 months of age, just as a breastfed baby would need. Begin with two to three spoonfuls of soft and mashed food four times a day, which will give her the nutrients she needs without breastmilk.
- From 6–8 months old, she’ll need half a cup of soft food four times a day, plus a healthy snack.
- From 9–11 months old, she’ll need half a cup of food four to five times a day, plus two healthy snacks.
how and when to introduce solid food to a childSolid food: how and when to introduce solid food to a child
Expecting new skills from the baby, do not rush things. It is necessary to acquaint the child with solid food no earlier than 6-7 months. At this time, the desire to scratch the gums, ready for the appearance of the first teeth, will coincide with the interest in adult food.
Dry initial milk formula adapted by Valio Baby 1 NutriValio for feeding children from birth to 6 months Read more
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Children are born with a vital, unconditioned reflex - sucking. They are ready to suck on their mother's breasts, but all solid objects that have fallen into their mouths are automatically pushed out so as not to choke (a protective reflex is triggered). Therefore, parents are not recommended to accustom the baby to solid foods too early. This will cause not only rejection, but sometimes vomiting. The ideal time is considered to be the start of complementary foods. When the first teeth begin to grow in the child, you can replace the homogenized puree with food with the addition of soft fibers. They will be to the taste of the baby, as they will massage itchy gums. An important clue for parents is also the child's interest in adult food. If the baby looks into your plate, tries not to suck on mashed potatoes in a spoon, but to remove it with his upper lip and chew - it's time to introduce more solid food into the children's menu. First, at the tip of the spoon, offer the baby vegetable and cereal side dishes, closer to 9months you can give pieces of well-boiled meat. The kid does not immediately learn to chew them, and the food will come out with a stool almost in its original form. It's not scary, over time the child will learn everything. It is important not to ignore his desire, you will have to pay for the pedagogical miscalculation and literally teach the child to chew.#PROMO_BLOCK#
Of course, not everything can go according to plan. The most common reasons why a child refuses solid food:nine0014
The pieces of food are too big.
You are using the wrong feeding technique.
The spoon is big for a child.
The child has unpleasant associations - perhaps you gave him medicine from this spoon. Do not use everyday baby utensils for unpleasant procedures.nine0018
The child is in a bad mood or does not feel well.
In no case do not force the baby to eat if he refuses. Gently try again and again. Set an example - eat the first spoon yourself, showing the crumbs how tasty his food is. If the child still cannot cope with solid food, it is worth contacting a pediatric osteopath. The baby may have a non-standard structure of the maxillofacial system, subluxation of the jaw associated with birth trauma, problems with muscle tone. The timely introduction of solid food is very important not only for the full nutrition of the child, it affects his future speech activity. Breastfeeding is a good prevention of speech therapy problems. In order to suck milk from the breast, the child needs to make more efforts than when feeding from a bottle - this is a good (and what is valuable - natural) training of the jaws and muscles of the tongue, and it must be continued by introducing the crumbs to solid food in time. Of course, a baby with a piece of an apple in his hands (and in his mouth) must be looked after so that he does not choke. By the way, for the development of the chewing and speech apparatus, it is useful to grimace with the baby during the game - this strengthens the facial muscles well. nine0003
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How to choose milk formula for a baby
Breast milk is the best food for a newborn baby. It contains all the necessary nutritional components that fully meet the needs of the child and are necessary for his healthy and harmonious development. nine0003
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Teaching a child to solid food
The introduction of adult food is carried out gradually. It is necessary to accustom the child first to one product, then to others. Also, do not immediately take solid food - puree will be enough. If you are not in a hurry, if you are attentive enough to your child, there will be no problems. In this article, we will not talk about the introduction of complementary foods as such, but about the beginning of the use of solid foods. Chewing, swallowing are completely new skills for yesterday's baby. Someone masters them once or twice, other children need more time. nine0003
The structure of the maxillofacial system of the child is the main problem of all causes with chewing. The baby needs to make unusual efforts for him, carefully chew food.
The correct procedure for parents when introducing complementary foods:
• 4 months - liquid puree is introduced;
• 6 months - can start to use puree with fibers or thick;
• 9 months - soft foods with chunks are fine.
After a year, you can give solid food - an apple, a pear, a cucumber, a piece of boiled chicken, etc. If 6-8 teeth grow earlier, these dates can be shifted. Some parents are guided by complementary feeding calendars, others are waiting for the child to ask for a certain product (usually from the parent's table). nine0003
Different types of mashed potatoes
There are qualitatively different types of products among the presented range of canned food. Manufacturers take into account the child's ability to digest a particular product and the adaptation of the gastrointestinal tract for a particular type of food. The liquid puree is similar in consistency to pancake dough. If you dip a spoon into it, and then take it out, the puree will slowly drain. There is a thick puree - it retains its shape in a spoon, since there is not much liquid in the product. We are talking about the consistency of thick sour cream, but without dietary fiber. Fibrous purees have a similar consistency to thick purees, plus they often contain lumps and fibers. nine0003
Very thick puree may be diluted. For these purposes, breast milk, vegetable broth, or a mixture are usually used.
When the child is familiar with different types of purees, it will be possible to introduce solid food. They do this strictly according to the schedule - ordinary liquid purees are introduced after six months for naturalists, sometimes a little earlier for artificialists. Solid food will come in handy closer to a year old and later. Watch the baby's reaction - not only in terms of well-being, lack of allergies, but also in relation to personal tastes and preferences. Some children refuse certain foods completely - no need to force them. nine0003
To grind or not - see for yourself, but whole pieces are usually not given to children under one year old. There are babies who are ready to chew a piece of chicken breast for a long time, but there are not so many of them. If the food is smeared, use a nibbler - it will not have a banana on all the walls and furniture. Shredded food includes a product grated on a medium grater, but not turned into a thick or liquid puree. These include an apple from a blender, meat from a meat grinder, etc.
Soft foods like boiled vermicelli, boiled eggs, steamed rice porridge require chewing, but without much effort. Many parents begin after a year to give their child food from an adult table, this is a good option, the main thing is to cook diet meals. But the transition from formula and breast milk to adult food should be smooth. nine0003
Chewing difficulties: how not to choke
There is no universal recipe - you need to chew carefully, calmly, swallow one piece at a time. But this is all in theory - in practice, the parent sees how the child chewed and chewed a piece of food, began to swallow, and he got stuck.