Babies often hit one of their growth spurts at six months. Around this time, it may seem that your little one just can't eat enough, and you may be wondering if now is the time to add some solid food. Here are some guidelines for knowing when your baby is ready for solid foods and how to introduce them.
A baby's growth from 5-8 months will allow for many changes in food intake. Breast milk or iron-fortified formula still needs to be the main part of a baby's diet. Solids may be started at this time.
Not Too Soon...
Solids do not help young infants sleep through the night. Starting solids too soon can:
Just the Right Time
To find out if your baby is ready for solid foods, look for these signs:
To help your child learn to eat solid foods, remember the following:
Other key points:
|Age||Food and Daily Amount|
Breast milk: on demand—Your baby may need an iron supplement (given as drops) until starts getting enough iron from food sources. A vitamin D supplement may be needed, as well.|
Iron-fortified formula: 4-5 feedings of 6-8 ounces each—If your baby is not eating enough vitamin D fortified formula, may need a supplement.
Infant cereal: 2-4 tablespoons
|starting at 6 months||
Fruits/vegetables: 2-4 tablespoons, twice daily
Breast milk: 3-5 feedings, or on demand
Iron-fortified formula: 3-5 feedings of 6-8 ounces each
Infant cereal: 4-6 tablespoons
Infant juice: 2-4 ounces (from cup only)
Fruits: 1-2 tablespoons
Vegetables: 5-7 tablespoons
Meats: 1-2 tablespoons
Finger foods: One small serving of toast, crackers, teething biscuits, or plain dry cereal
When giving your baby finger foods, watch your baby carefully for choking. Be extremely careful or avoid foods that may increase the chances of choking, like hot dogs, hard candy, grapes, seeds, popcorn, and nuts.
|Fruits and vegetables|
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Paediatric Society
Dietitians of Canada
Baby food and infant formula. FoodSafety.gov—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/babyfood/index.html. Accessed May 13, 2014.
Fruit juice and your child's diet. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Fruit-Juice-and-Your-Childs-Diet.aspx. Updated May 11, 2013. Accessed May 13, 2014.
Guidelines for feeding healthy infants. USDA WIC Works website. Available at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/wicworks/WIC_Learning_Online/support/job_aids/guide.pdf. Published 2007. Accessed May 13, 2014.
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed May 13, 2014.
Steps to infant feeding. South Dakota Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.healthysd.gov/Documents/NUT071-InfantFeeding-GeneralTips.pdf. Published March 2008. Accessed May 13, 2014.
4/2/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Saki N, Nikakhlagh S, Rahim F, Abshirini H. Foreign body aspirations in infancy: a 20-year experience. Int J Med Sci. 2009;6(6):322-328.
10/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Baker R, Greer F, the Committee on Nutrition. Clinical report—diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (0-3 years of age). American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2010-2576v1. Published October 5, 2010. Accessed May 13, 2014.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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