0 to 4 months: Breastmilk or Infant Formula ONLY
Feed whenever baby is hungry
Signs that baby is hungry:
- Sucking motions with mouth;
- Sucking on fist
Newborns will eat 8 to 12 times per day; 3 to 6 month olds will eat at least 6 times/day.
You know your baby is getting enough if:
- He has 5- 6 wet diapers per day
- Poops at least once per day, AND poops are soft
- Constipation in infants is a sign of NOT eating enough
Breast fed babies need vitamin D supplements from birth and iron supplements from 4 months of age
- 200 IU to 400 IU vitamin D/day
- 5 to 10 mg Iron/day
- Ask your doctor about a fluoride supplement!
4 to 6 months: Begin to Introduce Solid Foods
Signs that Baby is ready for solid foods:
- Holds her head up well
- Sits with little support
- Transfers toys/objects from hand to hand; Acts interested in your food
- Iron fortified cereal mixed with breast milk or formula
- Pureed fruit or vegetable—commercial baby foods are unnecessary.
- Blend/grind foods in blender or food mill or mash well with a fork.
- Start with single foods and add a new food every 3 to 5 days.
- If signs of allergy—rash, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, respiratory symptoms–stop the new food and wait 3 to 6 months before introducing it again
6 to 12 months Introduce Finger Foods:
Signs that Baby is ready for Finger Foods
- Baby is eating foods with texture (e.g. mashed table foods)
- Baby is putting “everything” in her mouth.
- Teeth are not necessary for finger foods!
First Finger Foods—Foods that easily “squish” between your fingers or dissolve in saliva
- Soft cooked vegetables
- Soft fresh fruits (e.g. banana, ripe pear)
- Moist meats/poultry/fish, finely chopped or ground
- Soft cooked rice, cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams
- Soft cooked macaroni
- Soft cooked beans, split peas, lentils (no skins)
- Teething biscuits, arrowroot crackers
- Cheerios, Kix, other unsweetened cereals that dissolve in saliva
Foods to AVOID
- Whole grapes, whole peas, raisins, nuts, popcorn, chips, graham crackers, hot dogs, raw vegetables
- Any food that does not “squish” between two fingers or dissolve in saliva..
- Sweets and sweet drinks (including fruit juice, ice cream, flavored yogurt)
- Honey (due to risk of botulism)
Gradually increase the variety of foods you give baby. By one year of age, she can eat most of the foods you and your family eats.