Six month baby feeding
6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule: A Doctor-Recommended PlanShare on Pinterest
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6-month-old feeding schedule
If your 6-month-old is ready to start solid foods, you may be wondering how to do it. We explain the what, the when, and the how for feeding your 6-month-old.
First of all, remember that at that age, breast milk or formula is still the prime source of nutrition for your infant.
Solid food is just a supplement at that age, and you should still feed your baby plenty of breast milk or formula.
Purchase formula for your baby online.
Often, the first food is baby cereal, like rice or oatmeal. Some babies won’t take cereal, and that’s OK.
There’s no harm in your baby skipping the cereal stage and going straight to pureed foods, but we do suggest trying cereal first. It has added iron, which your baby needs at this age.
Plus, it’s a nice bridge from the pure liquid diet of breast milk or formula to more solid food.
Here’s a selection of baby cereals to try.
Don’t put cereal in the bottle. Mix it with formula or water and give it with a spoon.
If you’re breastfeeding, don’t mix your breast milk with the cereal for the first few attempts at eating. Until your baby shows that they really will eat it, most of the cereal will wind up somewhere else besides their stomach, like on the floor, their head, or the tray.
Your breast milk is too valuable to throw away, so mix the cereal with a little water at first. When your infant is taking it well, then you can mix it with your breast milk.
Make the cereal a little runny at first, closer to the consistency of a liquid. If your baby is taking this well, gradually thicken it to the consistency of oatmeal.
Start by offering just a few spoonfuls at a time. When your baby has gotten the hang of it and seems to want more, work up to about 3 to 4 tablespoons per feeding.
Once your baby has been taking cereal reliably once a day for a week or two, try twice a day feedings. Once they’ve done that reliably for a week or two, then you can start pureed foods.
When your baby’s ready, start them on pureed baby foods like these.
Traditionally, orange and yellow vegetables have been the first foods to give a baby, but other good foods to try first are bananas or avocado.
When giving a food your baby hasn’t had before, give it at least three days in a row before trying another new food. This is to help identify which foods your baby may be allergic or intolerant to.
Also, be aware that many of your child’s later dietary habits often have their beginning in infancy. One study in 2014 found that babies who didn’t eat many fruits or vegetables in the 6- to 12-month period probably wouldn’t eat many fruits or vegetables as older children.
There are only a few foods you should not give your baby at this stage:
This can cause botulism in an infant. Wait until 12 months to give your child honey.
Babies shouldn’t be drinking cow’s milk at 6 months. But once they’re a little more advanced with solids, they can have some yogurt or soft cheese.
They may not be able to digest it properly, and it may cause microscopic bleeding into their stool.
You can give your baby pureed or soft, cooked carrots, but not a big, round, chunk of carrot that they might choke on. This is true even if the food is not hard, such as whole grapes.
Certain types of fish in excess
Avoid giving your baby certain types of fish that contain higher amounts of mercury more than once a month. This includes some forms of tuna and a few others.
Whitefish, salmon, and light canned tuna are usually safe to give more often. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure of which kinds of fish are safe for your baby.
Unless there’s a very good reason — sometimes there are medical reasons to do so — it’s best to avoid giving your child juice at this age.
Even 100 percent natural fruit juice has a lot of sugar in it. Excessive sugar intake at this age has been linked to problems later on in life. Intake of sugar-sweetened drinks in infancy has been associated with double the risk of obesity at 6 years old.
You will notice that there are very few foods to avoid. Notably absent from the list are foods like eggs, peanut products, and strawberries.
Traditionally, pediatricians told parents to delay these foods, in hopes of preventing food allergies. But new research has shown that early introduction of these foods may actually help prevent allergies.
Remember, the foods need to be in a form that’s not a choking hazard. A tiny smidgen of creamy peanut butter on a banana, for example, is appropriate — but not a whole peanut.
Talk with your doctor if you’re worried about potential allergies due to a family history, or if your child may be having an allergic reaction (signs include a rash, vomiting, or diarrhea).
Call 911 immediately if your child is having severe symptoms such as trouble breathing.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends delaying solids until 6 months old.
Starting on solids much earlier may cause your baby to breastfeed less, causing your breast milk to dry up sooner. Starting too early may also lead to a diet that’s low in protein, fat, and other nutrients.
On the other hand, don’t start solids much later than 6 months, as waiting too long can cause some problems with eating.
For some children, there’s a window of opportunity. If you wait too long to start solids, they don’t seem to “get it,” and may need a speech or occupational therapist to help them learn how to eat solids.
Remember that you’re slowly introducing solids to your baby, so there’s no need to move too fast.
Your infant is probably drinking breast milk or formula six to eight times a day at this stage. The goal, by age 1, is to get them to eat about six times a day:
- midmorning snack
- midafternoon snack
- pre-bedtime snack
Parents typically feed their child solids in the morning in the beginning, then add solids to the evening meal a little later. But, of course, you can feed your baby whenever you want.
We do recommend that if you’re giving a food for the first time, that you give it earlier in the day so you can see any reaction the child may have.
And don’t start the solids when the baby is famished and crying. If they’re in that state, feed them the breast milk or formula, but maybe not a whole feeding.
You want them to still have some room for the cereal. Then after the cereal, give them the rest of the breast milk or formula.
You can also try feeding them a little bit before their breast or bottle, at a time when they might be hungry enough to try solids, but not too hungry to be fussy.
There’s no wrong way to do this, so experiment, and see what your baby likes better.
When giving your baby solids, make sure they’re sitting upright in the high chair, belted in place. Make sure the tray is secure.
When giving cereal or pureed foods, put a little on the spoon, and put the spoon to the baby’s mouth. Many babies will eagerly open their mouths and take the spoon. Some may need a little coaxing.
If they don’t open their mouth, put the spoon to their lips and see if they respond. Don’t ever force the spoon into their mouth.
Mealtimes should be pleasant, so don’t force your baby to eat if they don’t want to. If they refuse at first, it may be a sign that they’re not ready.
If they’ve been eating solids for a while and then refuse something, it may be that they don’t like that food or just aren’t interested. So follow their cues.
Talk to your doctor if your baby does not have an interest in taking solids after trying for a few weeks, or if they’re having problems with feeding such as choking, gagging, or vomiting.
Try to have the whole family eat together, as this has been shown to have positive effects on a child’s development and bonding with the family.
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.
- 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.
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diet for a 6-month-old baby with breast and artificial feeding, an approximate menu for a week in the table, a diet for a day
Reading time: 4 min.
Number of reads: 173129
Author of the article: Ponomareva Yuliya Vladimirovna
Pediatrician, Candidate of Medical Sciences, allergist-immunologist
Changes in a child in the first year of life are very rapid, and each month is not like another. The 6-month milestone is very important, it is largely evaluative and transitional. By this age, most babies have doubled their birth weight, are about 15 cm tall, and some babies have already erupted their teeth. The age of 6 months is also transitional in terms of nutrition. Breast milk or an adapted formula is still the basis of the diet, but with the beginning of the second half of life, all children, without exception, should begin to receive complementary foods. Despite the general graph of growth and weight gain and indicators of psychomotor development, the status and diet of children at 6 months can be very different.
- The first feeding of 6 months
- The start of complementary foods at 4-5 months
- The second half of the life
- for a week for a child at 6 months
The first feeding of
If the baby is healthy and breastfed, and his mother eats a full and varied diet, exclusive breastfeeding is possible until this age. Cereal complementary foods in this case are preferable to start. This is due to the high energy and nutritional value of cereals, the ability to significantly enrich the baby's diet with a delayed start of the introduction of complementary foods.
However, the rate of expansion of the child's diet in this situation will be accelerated. Before the 8th month of life, it is necessary to introduce all basic food groups into the baby’s menu, since in the second half of the year the need for additional intake of nutrients and micronutrients is very high. Another reason explaining the importance of the rapid introduction of complementary foods is the formation of immunity of the immune cells of the intestine to ordinary food. If a child is introduced to these foods at the age of 4-8 months, the risk of developing food allergies has been proven to be reduced.
Complementary feeding starts at 4-5 months
In today's life, the nutrition of a nursing mother, unfortunately, is not always complete. Therefore, for most breastfed babies, complementary foods already need to be introduced from 5 months in order to prevent deficient conditions.
If a child is bottle-fed, then by the 4th month of life, the baby will not have enough adapted formula alone, and in this group of children, the timing of the introduction of complementary foods usually shifts a month earlier than in breast-fed babies. Accordingly, by 6 months, children will have vegetable puree and gluten-free porridge (buckwheat, corn and rice) in their diet. In the first half of life, monocomponent meals are used (that is, from one type of grain and vegetables), prepared on the basis of water, breast milk or an adapted mixture.
Fruit puree and juice can be another possible complementary food for children under 6 months of age without allergy symptoms. In a child with a risk of developing or manifesting allergies, the timing of the introduction of fruit complementary foods is shifted to the 8th month.
Second six months of life
Children over 6 months of age can supplement their diet with cereals containing gluten. First of all, these are oatmeal and wheat porridge, and then multi-cereal dishes with the addition of other cereals (millet, barley, rye). If the child does not have any manifestations of allergies, milk porridge can be included in the menu at this age. Bebi Premium industrial baby food products include specially prepared milk that is safe to use in healthy babies in the first year of life.
From the age of 6 months, the baby's diet is expanded with such important products as meat and cottage cheese. These products are a source of high-quality protein, fats, and are also rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. Pediatricians and nutritionists recommend introducing meat and cottage cheese as part of combined dishes based on a fruit and vegetable and / or grain component in a ratio of 1 (cottage cheese / meat): 4–5 (fruits / vegetables / cereals).
To enrich the diet with polyunsaturated fatty acids in the second half of the year, the menu includes vegetable oil in the amount of 3–5 grams per day, which can be added to the complementary food dish. The volume of each feeding is approximately 150-170 ml, and the child can already stand up to 3.5 hours between meals.
In the table below, we offer a menu of 6 months for a week for a child who started receiving complementary foods at the age of 4-5 months, and by the time the second half of life begins, dairy-free gluten-free cereals, vegetable and fruit purees have already been introduced into his diet.
|Lunch (12.30)||vegetable soup with beef, olive oil||100/30/3||compot of drocked 9006, 9006 9|
|Afternoon snack (16.00)||Plum puree with cottage cheese||60/40|
|Breast milk/formula||60 062|
|Early morning||breast milk/mixture||150||Milki||& Bashas Breakfast (09 cherry Bebi Premium»||100|
|0065 Breast milk/mixture||150|
|children's soluble cookies "BEBIKI" Classic|
|GRUSHERS with rice and Claus||GRUSHIOUS WITH RISE and CRETURE 30|
|Bebi Premium Kids Instant Herbal Tea||50|
|Bedtime 065 Breast milk/formula||150|
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Diet for a child aged 4
Your baby is already 4 months old. He has noticeably grown up, become more active, is interested in objects that fall into his field of vision, carefully examines and reaches for them. The emotional reactions of the child have become much richer: he joyfully smiles at all the people whom he often sees more and more often, makes various sounds.
You are still breastfeeding your baby or have had to switch to formula or formula feeding. The child is actively growing, and only with breast milk or infant formula, he can no longer always get all the necessary nutrients. And that means it's time to think about complementary foods.
The optimal time to start its introduction is between 4 and 6 months, whether the baby is receiving breast milk or formula. This is the time when children respond best to new foods. Up to 4 months, the child is not yet ready to perceive and digest any other food. And with the late introduction of complementary foods - after 6 months, children already have significant deficiencies of individual nutrients and, first of all, micronutrients (minerals, vitamins, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, etc.). In addition, toddlers at this age often refuse new foods, they have delayed development of chewing skills for thick foods, and inadequate eating habits are formed. It is important to know that, no matter how strange it may seem at first glance, with a delayed appointment of complementary foods, allergic reactions more often occur on them.
When is it advisable to introduce complementary foods as early as 4 months, and when can you wait until 5.5 or even 6 months? To resolve this issue, be sure to consult a pediatrician.
The optimal time to start introducing complementary foods to a healthy baby is between 5 and 5.5 months of age.
The World Health Organization recommends that breastfed babies should be introduced to complementary foods from 6 months of age. From the point of view of domestic pediatricians, which is based on the big
practical experience and scientific research, this is possible only in cases where the child was born at term, without malnutrition (because in these cases the mineral reserves are very small), he is healthy, grows and develops well. In addition, the mother should also be healthy, eat well and use either specialized enriched foods for pregnant and lactating women, or vitamin and mineral complexes in courses. Such restrictions are associated with the depletion of iron stores even in a completely healthy child by 5-5.5 months of age and a significant increase in the risk of anemia in the absence of complementary foods rich or fortified with iron. There are other deficits as well.
The first food product can be vegetable puree or porridge, it is better to give fruit puree to the baby later - after tasty sweet fruits, children usually eat vegetable puree and cereals worse, often refuse them altogether.
Where is the best place to start? In cases where the child has a tendency to constipation or he puts on weight too quickly, preference should be given to vegetables. With a high probability of developing anemia, unstable stools and small weight gains - from baby cereals enriched with micronutrients. And if you started introducing complementary foods with cereals, then the second product will be vegetables and vice versa.
If the first complementary foods are introduced at 6 months, it must be baby porridge enriched with iron and other minerals and vitamins, the intake of which with breast milk is no longer enough.
Another important complementary food product is mashed meat. It contains iron, which is easily absorbed. And adding meat to vegetables improves the absorption of iron from them. It is advisable to introduce meat puree to a child at the age of 6 months. Only the daily use of children's enriched porridge and meat puree can satisfy the needs of babies in iron, zinc and other micronutrients.
But it is better to introduce juices later, when the child already receives the main complementary foods - vegetables, cereals, meat and fruits. After all, complementary foods are needed so that the baby receives all the substances necessary for growth and development, and there are very few in their juices, including vitamins and minerals.
Juices should not be given between feedings, but after the child has eaten porridge or vegetables with meat puree, as well as for an afternoon snack. The habit of drinking juice between meals leads to frequent snacking in the future, a love of sweets is instilled, children have more tooth decay and an increased risk of obesity.
With the start of the introduction of complementary foods, the child is gradually transferred to the 5-time feeding regimen.
Complementary feeding rules:
- Preference should be given to baby products of industrial production, they are made from environmentally friendly raw materials, have a guaranteed composition and degree of grinding
- Complementary foods should be offered to the baby by spoon at the start of feeding, before breastfeeding (formula feeding)
- the volume of the product increases gradually, starting with ½ - 1 spoon, and in 7 - 10 days we bring it to the age norm, subsequent products within the same group (cereals from other cereals or new vegetables) can be introduced faster, in 5 - 7 days
- start introduction with monocomponent products
- it is undesirable to give a new product in the afternoon, it is important to follow how the child reacts to it
- do not introduce new products in the event of acute illnesses, as well as before and immediately after prophylactic vaccination (should be abstained for several days)
When introducing a new type of complementary food, first try one product, gradually increasing its amount, and then gradually "dilute" this product with a new one. For example, vegetable complementary foods can be started with a teaspoon of zucchini puree. During the week, give the baby only this product, gradually increasing its volume. After a week, add a teaspoon of mashed broccoli or cauliflower to the zucchini puree and continue to increase the total volume every day. Vegetable puree from three types of vegetables will be optimal. The portion should correspond to the age norm. Over time, you can replace the introduced vegetables with others faster.
After the introduction of one vegetable (bringing its volume to the required amount), you can proceed to the intake of porridge, and diversify the vegetable diet later.
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 a small amount - 1-2 spoons daily, you can even not just once, but 2-3 times before meals, and after 7 - 10, and sometimes 15 days, the baby will get used to the new taste. This diversifies the diet, will help to form the right taste habits in the baby.
Spoon-feed with patience and care. Forced feeding is unacceptable!
In the diet of healthy children, porridge is usually introduced after vegetables (with the exception of healthy breastfed children, when complementary foods are introduced from 6 months). It is better to start with dairy-free gluten-free cereals - buckwheat, corn, rice. At the same time, it is important to use porridge for baby food of industrial production, which contains a complex of vitamins and minerals. In addition, it is already ready for use, you just need to dilute it with breast milk or the mixture that the baby receives.
Children suffering from food allergies are introduced complementary foods at 5-5.5 months. The rules for the introduction of products are the same as for healthy children, in all cases it is introduced slowly and begins with hypoallergenic products. Be sure to take into account individual tolerance. The difference is only in the correction of the diet, taking into account the identified allergens. From meat products, preference should first be given to mashed turkey and rabbit.
Diets for different age periods
explain how to make a diet, it is better on several examples that will help to navigate the menu for your child.
From 5 months, the volume of one feeding is on average 200 ml.
Breast milk or VHI*
Supplementation with breast milk or VHI*
Meat puree Vegetable oil
Breast milk supplement or VHI*
5 - 30 g
Breast milk or VHI*
Breast milk or VHI*
* - Children's dairy mixture (VHI)
** - diluted with breast milk or VHI
9000 baby 6 months, if complementary foods were introduced from 4 - 5 months:
Breast milk or VHI*
Breast milk or VHI*
* - Children's dairy mixture
** - diluted with breast milk or VHI
An approximate daily diet for a baby at 6.5 months on breastfeeding, if complementary foods began to be administered from 6 months:
** - diluted with breast milk
Up to 7 months, increase the volume of porridge and vegetable puree to 150 g and introduce fruit puree.