Solid food recommendations for babies

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.

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Sample Menu for a Baby 8 to 12 Months Old

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Now that your baby is eating solid foods, planning meals can be more challenging. At this age, your baby needs between 750 and 900 calories each day, of which about 400 to 500 should come from breast milk or formula (if you are not breastfeeding)—roughly 24 ounces (720 mL) a day. Breast milk and formula contain vitamins, minerals, and other important components for brain growth.

At about eight months, you may want to introduce foods that are slightly coarser than strained pureed foods. They require more chewing than baby foods. You can expand your baby's diet to include soft foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, mashed banana, mashed potatoes, or even thicker or lumpy pureed vegetables. Eggs (including scrambled) are an excellent source of protein, as are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and avocado.

Sample menu ideas for an 8- to 12-month-old baby:

1 cup = 8 ounces = 240 ml
¾ cup = 6 ounces = 180 ml
½ cup = 4 ounces = 120 ml
¼ cup = 2 ounces = 60 ml


  • 2 to 4 ounces cereal, or 1 mashed or scrambled egg

  • 2 to 4 ounces mashed or diced fruit

  • Breastmilk or 4 to 6 ounces formula



  • 2 to 4 ounces yogurt or cottage cheese, or pureed or diced beans or meat

  • 2 to 4 ounces cooked pureed or diced yellow or orange vegetables

  • Breastmilk or 4 to 6 ounces formula



  • 2 to 4 ounces diced diced poultry, meat, or tofu

  • 2 to 4 ounces cooked green vegetables

  • 2 to 4 ounces cooked soft-whole grain pasta or potato

  • 2 to 4 ounces diced or mashed fruit

  • Breastmilk or 4 to 6 ounces formula

Before bedtime

Breastmilk or 6 to 8 ounces formula, or water. (If breastmilk or formula, follow with water or brush teeth afterward).

More information

  • Sample Menu for a One-Year-Old
  • Starting Solid Foods
  • Breastfeeding Mealtime Milestones
  • Ask the Pediatrician: Is it OK to make my own baby food?
Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 7th Edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Solid food: practical advice on administration

Submitted by Mironova Irina on Wed, 12/29/2021 - 04:56 PM

Feeding Timing: Tips for Introducing Solid Foods

When introducing solid foods to a baby's diet, schedules and menus can be quite flexible. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Choose a time of day when you and your child are calm, relaxed and not in a hurry.
  • Wash hands, spoons, bowls and plates before eating or preparing food; sterilization is not necessary.
  • Sit your baby in a high chair or safe place and spoon feed.
  • Give your baby a spoon to try on his own. A method may work when both you and the child have a spoon.
  • Give your baby soft food to try on his own.

When is the best time to start introducing solid foods? When you notice signs of readiness in a child. As a rule, this happens at the age of about six months, but not before four months.

Tips for getting your baby interested in solid foods

By the time your baby is 12 months old, they should be eating the same healthy foods as the rest of the family. Here are some ideas for getting your toddler interested in new foods after he has started eating solid foods:

  • Offer foods that your child is interested in, that is, those that he is reaching for or looking at.
  • Talk to your baby about the food he eats: say what it is, what color it is, how it tastes, where it grows and how you cooked it.
  • Invite your child to taste what is on your plate to introduce him to the taste of home cooking. This is a good time to think about what you eat and enjoy healthy food as a family.
  • When your baby starts to eat more solid food, if possible, feed him at a time when others are also at the table. Children tend to be more interested in food when other family members are also eating.
  • Should be guided by the level of interest and appetite of the child. Your baby's appetite changes from day to day - this is normal.
  • If your child refuses a new food, simply offer it the next day. Sometimes babies and children older need to try new food more than 10 times before they accept it.

It is normal for a child to make faces when trying new foods. When a child makes faces, this does not mean that he does not like the food offered.

Games and mess during meals: how to deal with them

It is natural that the child eats very slowly and creates some confusion. This is because eating is a skill that toddlers need to learn. They also learn how to bring food to their mouths. In addition, by touching new food and playing with it, children learn about the world around them.

Here are a few ideas to help you make the best use of mealtime and deal with messy eating:

  • Encourage your child to "explore" food with their hands. This forms skills in other areas of development, in particular fine motor skills and thinking.
  • Try to remain calm and patient with the mess your baby has made. So he will get pleasure from food.
  • Make cleaning easier by placing newspaper or polyethylene under the high chair and have a washcloth handy when your baby is eating.

Starting solid food is much more than just eating. Once a child has started eating solid food, table time turns into family gatherings where you can talk, listen and interact with each other.

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Philips AVENT - Starting solids

Between the ages of 4 and 6 months, milk alone is no longer enough for your baby, and he begins to show interest in "adult" foods. This is a sure sign that it's time to introduce complementary foods.

Purchasing and preparing fresh solid foods for your baby is the best way to retain as many nutrients as possible. By preparing food yourself, you will know exactly what this or that dish is made of.

The foods themselves, how they are stored, how they are prepared and prepared also affect their nutritional properties, so we have put together a few tips for you to help prepare the most healthy food for your baby.

Steam cooking

Steam cooking is one of the best cooking methods that preserves the nutritional quality of food. Cooking with the Philips AVENT Steamer Blender preserves the nutrients as the juices released during steaming can then be mixed with food using a blender.

Preparing and storing