Introducing food to baby timeline

When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition

For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old.  Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.

Your child:

  • Sits up alone or with support.
  • Is able to control head and neck.
  • Opens the mouth when food is offered.
  • Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
  • Brings objects to the mouth.
  • Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
  • Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.

How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?

Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.

Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.

Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.

Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.

How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?

At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.

Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.

Here are some tips for preparing foods:

  • Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
  • Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
  • Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
  • Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
  • Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
  • Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
  • Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
  • Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.

Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.

Top of Page

Starting Baby on Solids (Timeline & Age Breakdown)

Every parent longs to witness their child’s first meal.

If we’re well-prepared, the process of exploring food can be a magical moment between our child and us. While there’s plenty of information out there, the one person who will guide you through this adventure is your baby. They’ll lead the way and you’ll follow.

When is the right time for solid foods? We have collected all the necessary information to take the thinking out of it and make starting your baby on solids stress-free and fun.

Table of Contents

  • Why Wait Before Starting Baby on Solids?
  • Signs Baby Is Ready for Solids
  • Which Solids Should Baby Start First?
  • Starting Solids: A Month-by-Month Schedule
  • Introducing Allergenic Foods
  • Balancing Solids With Breastfeeding or Bottle-Feeding
  • FAQs
  • Other Tips for Feeding Babies Solids
  • Food For Thought

Why Wait Before Starting Baby on Solids?

You should wait until about the four- to six-month mark before introducing solid food into a baby’s diet and only breastfeed or use baby formula before that (1).

While some children show signs of readiness earlier, starting a baby on solids before the fourth month postpartum has been shown to pose a risk of particles going down the airway, causing aspiration.

It can also increase the risk of obesity, and prevent the baby from receiving the right amount of nutrients and calories.

But deciding when to start is a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to start too early, but you also shouldn’t start too late. Studies have shown that starting too late may cause iron deficiency, delay oral motor function, and slow the baby’s growth (2).

The wisest thing to do to avoid stress and anxiety is to wait until the sixth month and look for signs that the baby has developed enough to transition to a different meal plan.

Signs Baby Is Ready for Solids

At about six months old, a baby starts showing signs of being ready for solid foods.

Here are the cues to look for:

  • Sitting up: Your baby should be able to sit up straight with a bit of support.
  • Increased neck control: This is the key to preventing choking.
  • Diminished tongue-thrust reflex: No more pushing food out of their mouths when offered, meaning the baby is learning to control the tongue-thrust reflex.
  • Responsive lips: Your baby closes lips around the spoon when fed puree and keeps it in their mouth.
  • Interest in food: They try to take a piece of finger food and bring it to their mouth when you give it to them.

There are plenty of myths about signs of readiness that can give first-time moms a headache. Here’s the reality: Just because the baby is watching you eat, it doesn’t mean that they’re ready for solids.

We’re simply the baby’s closest reference to the human experience, and they have no choice but to be amazed by everything we do.

Pro Tip

Don’t factor your baby’s weight into your decision. Your baby’s average weight and size might be smaller or larger than the norm. These anomalies don’t automatically mean that they need solids if smaller, or are ready for them if bigger.

Which Solids Should Baby Start First?

While there isn’t a set order, the most natural strategy is beginning with thin, runny or pureed food. Then you’ll move on to more textured options and finally introduce them to solid foods.

Once the baby is in the mood to explore, and all of the cardinal signs are in check, you’re both ready to start your discovery.

So you don’t hurt your baby’s gums, pick bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, and boneless meat as a base. Anything soft will do. All prepared food — most of it has to be at this stage — should be tender.

Keep It Simple

There’s no need to season the baby’s food — it might even irritate the stomach.

Wheat-based meals should only have one ingredient and always be mixed with water, mom’s milk, or formula.

Start with tiny bites of only one type of food, and, as you follow their cues, increase the amount. Just make sure you’re always supervising them, as at this age, there’s still a chance of choking.

Starting Solids: A Month-by-Month Schedule

Family mealtimes and quiet times are both great occasions to start. You can also use this moment as an opportunity to begin a ritual of washing the baby’s hands before placing them in their high chair.

It may sound like a lot, making sure iron-rich foods and colorful fruit and vegetables are present in each day’s menu. You’ll also be introducing meat and moving from puree to more textured food at the appropriate moment. Still, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are some meal plans recommended for each developmental stage.

0 to 6 months

At this stage, all the baby needs for healthy development is breastmilk or formula, many times per day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns us that during these first months, optimal nutrition is necessary, and poor nutrition is certainly harmful.

Human breast milk, or baby formula, is sufficient to start the gastrointestinal tract, aid in brain development, and meet the baby’s crucial nutritional needs (3).

4 to 6 Months

At six months, milk stops being enough to nourish the baby, and your little one is then ready for complimentary food (4).

In addition to the milk or formula, you start introducing one type of solid food per meal.

It’s an exciting new stage. Food becomes mashed and coarsely pureed, and the opportunity for variety opens up.

For breakfast, this can be iron-fortified infant cereal, mixed with breast milk or formula. After the sixth month, the baby’s requirements include an increase in iron.

Later during the day, the baby can snack on a soft mashed fruit or a cooked pear and taste full-fat yogurt.

For lunch, you want to cook and mash some pumpkin, carrot, or zucchini separately. Because of how nutritiously-dense fruit and vegetables are, they’re a key component to a healthy diet.

Starting the baby on them early during these first months of complimentary nutrition cultivates their acceptance of this type of food at a later age (5).

Before sleep, it’s still best to stick to milk. Remember, no solid food is going to make your child sleep better at this stage.

6 to 8 Months

From six to eight months, the baby gets to experience more texture and separately chopped bites as they transition to finger foods.

At this stage, babies can not only move around the whole house, and everywhere they shouldn’t, but also recognize how to put anything that interests them in their mouths. This is because their senses and their motor skills start working together— texture becomes a great source of entertainment.

It’s fine to keep giving them the same type of food, but you can go one step further and finely chop them, as the baby can now fully attempt that. Why not also introduce bits of toast? They go great with a bit of cheese for lunch as a late snack.

9 to 12 Months

Both the pincer grasp and their chewing skills are well-developed now, so nine to 12 months is a good time to move from finger foods to a “grown-up” menu (6).

For a snack, you can enjoy a thinly-sliced apple, skinless, and finely cut grapes, pear, kiwi, and cheese. For lunch, you can mix well-shredded chicken into a small plate of risotto.

At this stage, the foods that you enjoy, they can also enjoy, as long as they remain unseasoned and carefully cut (7).

Introducing Allergenic Foods

You might think avoiding foods like peanut products, fish, wheat, eggs, and soy is a good idea when introducing solids to a baby because of their commonly known allergenic nature. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) says differently.

Research shows that including such products in a baby’s diet — specifically between the ages of 4 and 6 months — can be beneficial for the prevention of any food allergies of that nature.

The trick to easing the products into the baby’s diet (while also being careful not to attack their immunological defenses) is, as imagined, by doing it gradually.

Traditional and accessible foods should be introduced at first (think cereal, meats, pureed veggies, and fruit) — then, following the child’s responses, include one or two allergenic products.

Be Safe

Speak to your baby’s doctor first before introducing potential allergen foods, especially is there is a history of allergies in your family.

Although some babies do need several safety measures when it comes to potential allergies, there are many products designed specifically to introduce allergens to a child’s immune system. These products might come in the form of finger foods or stir-in powders that contain a blend of allergenic protein.

The following are indicators of potential allergies (8).

  • The baby has close direct relatives with food allergies (a sibling with a peanut allergy).
  • Any levels of eczema (from moderate to severe) that persist after treatment.
  • Any food allergies already previously detected on the baby — or a positive result for an allergy test.

Signs of a Food Allergy

It’s usually during this period of development that most allergies get identified. Commonly, babies tend to be allergic to the same food groups as their parents. Or they may develop allergies that their parents don’t have.

In infants, signs show up shortly after consuming the food, and the foods most associated with allergic reactions are milk, eggs, and peanuts (9).

The most common signs of a food allergy to look out for are:

  • Swelling of the lip, tongue, or face.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Coughing and wheezing.
  • Hives or welts.
  • Rashes and flushed skin.
  • A child who starts scratching their mouth.

You must pay attention to allergic reactions. In cases of swelling, severe vomiting, or difficulty breathing after eating, call an emergency number immediately. In less alarming cases, such as a rash or redness, inform your general practitioner or your child’s pediatrician.

Balancing Solids With Breastfeeding or Bottle-Feeding

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics and contrary to what it may seem, the introduction of solids shouldn’t be synonymous with the end of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The gradual inclusion of food intake is a part of the child’s maturity development, and it’s essential to increase their autonomy.

The gradual introduction of solids is especially beneficial for both the parent and the child — that is, considering how a baby’s independence also means less need for constant care.

During the baby’s first six months, specialists recommend breastfeeding as the only source of nutrients. The same applies for the subsequent six months as well, with the gradual addition of solids (10).

Iron-fortified solids and cereal work well when paired with breast milk, but the following specifics might help you through the process:

  • 0 to 4 months: Stick to exclusively breast milk or formula. You can expect your baby to drink 2 to 4 ounces, and you’ll feed them whenever they appear hungry.
  • 4 to 6 months: You’re still sticking to breast milk or formula. Your baby will need anywhere from 6 to 10 feeding per day, and will likely want 3 to 6 ounces per feeding.
  • 6 to 7 months: Most recommendations are that a daily intake of solids is not necessary in the beginning, making it an “every few days” frequency. Continue with breast milk or formula — 5 to 9 feedings per day at 4 to 6 ounces per feeding.
  • 7 to 9 months: According to the expressed interest by the baby, solids should be added daily. A maximum of two meals a day is the recommended amount, and if a parent is considering adding juice, it’s best when diluted with water and no more than three to four ounces a day. Breast milk or formula should be given 5 to 8 times per day, generally at 4 to 6 ounces each time.
  • 9 to 12 months: Solids should increase and babies should start feeding themselves with their solid intake. By their first birthday, they should even be ready to start drinking cow’s milk (11). Until then, expect 4 to 6 feedings of breast milk or formula per day, at 4 to 8 ounces each feeding.


When we’re dealing with babies, nothing is guaranteed.

Find out what happens if there’s a hitch in the process and what you need to know.

What If My Baby Hates Solids?

Your baby not loving the idea of solids right away is not only possible, but it’s also normal and expected.

Transitioning to solid food is not an instant process, and every baby is on their own timeline. Rejection of food might be due to teething, being full, tired, or because they’re not ready yet for the amounts you’re currently giving them (12).

As you attune yourself to their cues and remain patient, they will inevitably develop their taste palate and make you aware of it.

What If My Baby Hates Certain Foods?

Most babies go through a period of not liking a particular food, no need to worry — it may take a couple of tries before they can appreciate it. In the meantime, you can always make them a pureed version of a meal you know they love, and wait until the next meal to try again.

One more thing — your baby will show you when they don’t want anymore. Don’t force-feed the baby, even by “playing airplane,” distracting or tricking them into eating more. Once they become more interested in their surroundings, stop opening their mouth, or spitting bites out, they have finished their meal.

It’s usually due to benign reasons that babies reject food, but if you’re worried, you can always speak to your pediatrician.

Is Juice Okay for Babies?

It’s completely normal to want your child to try the foods and drinks that you love. If your personal choice is juice and you want the baby to try it, you can let them have up to 4 ounces a day, but only if it’s 100 percent fruit juice.

Juice is best kept for after the child turns one, as it causes weight issues, diarrhea, and tooth decay. It’s better to stick to breast milk or infant formula for the time being.

Can I Prepare Baby Food at Home?

Yes! Making baby food at home can significantly align with your budgeting goals and decrease food waste — two prominent concepts in a new mom’s life. While buying prepackaged purees is also excellent, a food processor or a blender in the first months of solids can be of great help (13).

Other bonuses of food prep include knowing everything that goes into a meal, and having the option to create new flavor. Plus, you can allow the baby to feel more involved in the meals that the rest of the family is having.

Keep In Mind

Always be mindful of the risks that come with buying ingredients from mainstream stores and don’t get discouraged from seeking clean produce from reputable sources.

Tips for Preparing Homemade Baby Food

To preserve the nutrients and the sanitary environment for the baby, you should prepare the food thoroughly and choose the right cooking methods (14).

You don’t have to waste food by throwing it out every time there are leftovers from a meal. Eggs aside, you can freeze and refrigerate almost anything, as long as you separate by food groups and have already cooled it off.

It’s vital to prepare, cook, and keep food separately as this ensures the bacteria from one type of food doesn’t transport to the others. The flora of a baby’s stomach is sensitive, and you want to take care of it properly.


Produce needs to be rinsed, peeled, and, if necessary, pitted. Vegetables or hard fruits must not be served raw. Baking or steaming them before placing them on the table makes them not only safe for consumption but tasty, and it preserves their nutritional properties.


Meat is an excellent source of iron but does not contain as much fiber as produce, which is why you should always serve it boneless and tenderized. Doing so ensures it’s easy for the child to digest.

Cooking well (no lower than 165 degrees Fahrenheit) for chicken is a must (15).


Eggs are an excellent source of protein. When starting, babies should begin by only eating the cooked yolk. The yolk is the safest part of the egg, as there are fewer allergens in it.

Serve the egg immediately or shortly after preparing it and don’t give the baby leftover eggs.

When pureeing, mixing formula or breastmilk with the food is going to help you achieve a nice texture that will go easy on the baby’s tract and make them more receptive to a taste they recognize.

How Many Times a Day Should Babies Eat Solids?

The amount and frequency of feeding the baby depend on their age. As the baby begins eating solid food, how much and how often is necessary and doable will increase as they get older. To start, feed the baby 1 to 2 tablespoons of food twice a day and amp that up naturally as they grow older, always only until full (16).

For the period between the fourth and the sixth months, only serve solids as a snack. Later, when purees, chopped, and finger food become the main dish, breast milk and formula are just a side but still required.

Will Eating Solids Help My Baby Sleep Better?

Solid food does not help the baby sleep better. Calorie-wise, the initial intake of solids is not sufficient to create a feeling of fullness.

If the baby starts waking up more frequently than usual, it’s safer to give them more formula or breast milk than to introduce them to solids prematurely.

Other Tips for Feeding Babies Solids

As your journey into the world of solids begins, things can get quite messy — literally.

That’s why feeding the baby with a spoon will not only minimize your cleaning time but also help your baby start learning about the way they’ll be eating when they grow older.

For extra attention, you can give the baby another spoon to hold in their other hand. Bringing a spoonful of every first solid food to the baby’s mouth, and being there with him for the taste (approval sounds!) can build a magical experience.

Start by introducing solids at one meal a day, then slowly work your way up. The morning is an excellent time to start since the baby is often hungriest at that time.

While your baby is by now old enough to hold their head and neck still, there’s still some risk of choking. To avoid choking, bear in mind these tips:

  • No bottled solids: Don’t give oats or solids to your child in a milk bottle.
  • Soft is safe: Always make sure that food is soft, chopped into small pieces, and easy to swallow.
  • Avoid unsafe foods: Don’t offer the baby nuts, popcorn, candy, and hard foods that you can not introduce safely.
  • Keep baby stable: Keep the child in the chair sitting upright with the safety straps on to help keep them stable.

Also, keep a no-expectations mindset for the first time introducing a portion of solid food. Pushing away or entirely ignoring what’s in the spoon are normal reactions.

Food For Thought

Moving from an exclusive breast milk or formula diet to a solids-based one is a long process.

It’s also a fascinating new phase for your child.

Every month, new and different foods are needed, so it’s a good idea to go back to this guide whenever it becomes overwhelming.

And remember, you were once just as tiny as your baby, and you had no teeth to help you out. Be patient and stay calm, knowing that in their own time, your baby will become a fully grown-up eater.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?

Thank You For Your Feedback!

Thank You For Your Feedback!

What Did You Like?

What Went Wrong?

Russian Union of Pediatricians

Introduction of complementary foods

How to introduce complementary foods correctly is one of the most pressing issues that concern parents.

In the first months of life, the main food for the baby is breast milk or an adapted milk formula, however, as the child grows and develops, this becomes insufficient and it is necessary to think about the introduction of complementary foods.

Your baby is over 4 months old. He has noticeably grown up, become more active, is interested in objects that fall into his field of vision, carefully examines them and reaches for them. The child's emotional reactions have become much richer: he smiles happily at all people, makes various sounds. Perhaps you notice that the child looks into your plate with interest, closely monitors what and how you eat, does this mean that it is time to introduce complementary foods? And where is the best place to start? Let's figure it out!

When should complementary foods be started?

According to the Program for optimizing the feeding of infants in the first year of life in the Russian Federation (2019), the recommended age for the introduction of complementary foods is in the range from 4 to 6 months.

The following points will help determine the readiness of the baby for the introduction of complementary foods:

1. Food interest - you can check its presence as follows: during your meal, give the baby an empty spoon or fork, and if he plays with it, licks it, then there is no food interest yet; but if the child is dissatisfied with the fact that the spoon is empty, food interest has probably appeared. “But how does a child understand that there should be food in a spoon?” Parents often ask. The answer is quite simple: take your baby to the table with you so that he can see how you eat!

2. The child can sit alone or with support. It is unacceptable to feed the child lying down, because he may choke.

3. Extinction of the “pushing out” reflex - when the baby pushes out of the mouth both the offered food and the pacifier, etc.

Why is it not recommended to introduce complementary foods before 4 and after 6 months of life?

Before 4 months of life, the baby is not yet ready to digest food other than breast milk or infant formula. By this age, a number of digestive enzymes mature, a sufficient level of local immunity is formed, which reduces the risk of developing allergic reactions, the child acquires the ability to swallow semi-liquid and thicker food, which is due to the extinction of the “spoon ejection reflex”. The introduction of complementary foods after 6 months can cause a pronounced deficiency of micronutrients (iron, zinc, etc.) and lead to a delay in the formation of chewing skills for thick foods. Too late the introduction of a variety of products increases the risk of allergic reactions. Remember that the timing of the introduction of complementary foods is set individually, taking into account the readiness of the child to accept new foods.

Complementary feeding guidelines:

1. introduce a new product in the first half of the day to track possible reactions to it;

2. cereals, vegetable / fruit / meat purees should be introduced, starting with monocomponent ones, gradually adding other products of this group;

3. start giving a new product with 1/2 teaspoon, gradually increasing the volume to the age norm within a week;

4. It is not recommended to introduce new products during acute infectious diseases or at some special moments (moving to another apartment, leaving the city, on vacation, illness of parents, etc.).

What is the best way to start complementary foods?

The first complementary food can be anything. Often parents worry that if the child first tries the fruit, then because of its sweet taste, he will refuse other foods. We hasten to reassure you: breast milk is also sweet, so babies may like sweet fruits / berries more, but this does not mean at all that he will refuse vegetables or cereal. Traditionally, they begin to introduce complementary foods in the form of mashed potatoes, but if the child shows interest in “pieces”, then, observing the safety rules, you can give them. Also, along with the introduction of complementary foods, you can offer the child water.

With the start of the introduction of complementary foods, the child is gradually transferred to a 5-time feeding regimen. If the baby shows that he is full and no longer wants to eat (for example, leaning back or turning away from food), then you should not continue to force him to feed, because this can lead to eating disorders in the future. Also, do not force the child to eat as much as possible before bedtime in the hope that he will not wake up for nightly feedings.

Traditionally, in our country, complementary foods begin with vegetables or cereals.

Vegetables: zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, etc. If the child did not like the dish, for example, broccoli, do not give up on your plan and continue to offer this vegetable in small quantities daily, you can even not once, but 2-3 times, and after a while (7-14 days) the baby will get used to the new taste. This diversifies his diet, will help form the right taste habits in the child.

As for cereals, it is worth starting with dairy-free gluten-free ones - buckwheat, corn, rice. You can use commercial baby food porridge, which is enriched primarily with iron. In addition, such porridge is already ready to eat, you just need to dilute it with water, which will save you a lot of time.

It is also recommended to add oil to food, for example, vegetable puree to vegetable puree, and butter to porridge.

Of meat products, lean meats, such as mashed turkey or rabbit, are most preferred to start complementary foods. Meat puree contains iron, which is easily absorbed, and adding meat to vegetables improves the absorption of this micronutrient from them. Subsequently, the daily use of children's enriched porridge and mashed meat allows you to meet the needs of babies for iron, zinc and other micronutrients.

When introducing fruit purees (apple, pear, peach, prunes, etc.) into your baby's diet, you should pay special attention to the composition of the product - it is important that it does not contain added sugar.

Fish is a source of easily digestible protein and contains a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the omega-3 class, as well as vitamins B2, B12, and minerals. Preference should be given to oceanic fish, preferably white (cod, hake, pollock, sea bass, etc.), salmon can be recommended from red, and pike perch from river.

Fermented milk products are prepared using a special starter culture that breaks down milk protein, so that the baby can get an indispensable set of amino acids in a well-available form. Some foods have added prebiotics, certain vitamins and minerals. Their regular use favorably affects the functioning of the intestines, increases appetite and the absorption of micronutrients.

Recommendations and timing of the introduction of complementary foods for children at risk of developing food allergies and suffering from food allergies are the same as for healthy children. Delayed introduction of highly allergenic foods has previously been recommended to prevent the development of allergic diseases in children at risk. There is now evidence that this practice may lead to an increase rather than a decrease in the incidence of food allergies. The most common highly allergenic foods include cow's milk, chicken eggs, soybeans, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish. If a child has a high risk of developing allergies or an existing allergic disease, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician, an allergist-immunologist before introducing highly allergenic products.

By the age of 8 months, when all the main food groups have already been introduced and your baby is improving his skills to eat on his own, special attention should be paid to the diversity of the composition of dishes and the change in food consistency - from puree to finely and coarsely ground. Soft foods cut into small pieces (fruits, vegetables, meat, etc.) are perfect for a little gourmet, which diversifies his diet and will contribute to the formation of chewing skills.

By 9-12 months, most babies have the dexterity to drink from a cup (holding with both hands) and to eat foods prepared for other family members. This behavior needs to be encouraged, but combined with regular feeding to meet energy and nutrient requirements.

It is advisable to use industrial products that are designed specifically for young children after a year.

What should not be given to the baby?

It is not recommended to add salt or sugar to food to enhance the taste.

Drinks that should be avoided include fruit juices, whole cow and goat milk (whole milk is not recommended for children under one year old, and even longer, due to a high risk of developing iron deficiency and increased kidney stress), sweet fruit drinks, compotes and carbonated drinks.

Also, some foods should be excluded from the diet of infants: solid round foods (for example, nuts, grapes, raw carrots, raisins, peas, etc.), due to the fact that the child can choke on them.

It is not recommended to eat products with added sugar, for example, confectionery (marshmallow, marshmallow, marmalade, jam, jam, cookies, waffles, etc.), etc.

You should not give your child the meat of large predatory fish (shark, bigeye tuna, king mackerel, swordfish): these types of fish accumulate more harmful substances than others.

It is forbidden to give honey to children under one year old due to the fact that it may contain spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which in the still immature digestive system of babies are able to multiply, produce toxins directly inside the intestines and, thus, cause infant botulism, which can be fatal. outcome.

Do not give babies raw meat, fish, eggs, caviar, salted fish, soft pickled cheeses because of the risk of intestinal infections.

If you follow all these simple rules, your baby will grow up healthy and happy!

Diets for different ages


1. Methodological recommendations. The program for optimizing the feeding of children in the first year of life in the Russian Federation. [Internet]. - M.: Union of Pediatricians of Russia, 2019. [Methodicheskie rekomendaczii. Programma optimizaczii vskarmlivaniya detej pervogo goda zhizni v Rossijskoj Federaczii. [Internet]. – Moscow: Soyuz pediatrov Rossii, 2019. (In Russ.).] Available: Link active as of 20.04.2020

2. Duryea T.K. Introducing solid foods and vitamin and mineral supplementation during infancy. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate . Waltham, Mass.: UpToDate; 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020.

3.Fleischer D.M. Introducing highly allergenic foods to infants and children. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate . Waltham, Mass.: UpToDate; 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020.

Union of Pediatricians of Russia

Nutrition for children from 1 to 3 years of age

The period from 1 to 3 years of life is a crucial stage in the transition to an adult type of nutrition, which has certain features. In order to ensure that all the necessary nutrients enter the child's body and at the same time prevent an excess of individual nutrients, nutrition should be balanced and varied.

The daily amount of food for children aged 1 to 1.5 years should be 1000-1200 g, from 1.5 to 3 years - 1200-1500 g, the amount of food in one feeding should not exceed 300-350 ml. The diet consists of three main meals per day and two snacks. It is considered optimal when breakfast is 25% of the total energy density of the diet, lunch is 30–35%, dinner is 20%, and additional meals are about 10%. In general, the child can eat the same food as the rest of the family.

In the diet of a child of 1–3 years of age , must be present daily: meat of animals or poultry, dairy and sour-milk products, vegetables, fruits, bread, cereals, vegetable and butter; fish and eggs are included in the diet 2-3 times a week.

Cereal products: bread - 2-3 servings per day, cereals and side dishes - 1 time per day
Fruit and/or vegetables: at least 5 times a day
Dairy products: at least 3 servings per day (including those used to make cereals, yoghurts, fermented milk drinks, cottage cheese, infant formula or breast milk).

Domestic pediatricians recommend, when compiling a diet for children aged 1–3 years, preference should be given to specialized children's dairy products of industrial production that meet high quality requirements and safety indicators for this age. Most children's dairy products are additionally enriched with vitamins and/or minerals and other biologically active components, taking into account the physiological needs of children of this age. At the same time, in foreign recommendations, children over 1 year old are offered the gradual introduction of whole cow's milk, which is rich in fats necessary for proper growth and development, the absorption of vitamins A and D, the development of the child's brain and nervous system.

Meat dishes: 2-3 times a day
Fish dishes: 2-3 servings per week
Eggs: 2-3 per week
Dietary fats: 3-4 teaspoons of butter and/or vegetable oils per day

When cooking, use the minimum amount of salt and sugar, and do not add them to industrial products.

Learn more