Baby's First Foods
How much do I feed my baby?
As your baby grows, she will want more solid foods. Each baby is different. Use her cues to let you know if she wants more or if she is full. If she opens her mouth and is interested in the food, feed her more. If she turns her head, refuses to open her mouth, or throws the food on the floor - she is probably done with feeding time. As you and your baby work together, you will pick up on her natural cues.
What's on the Menu
Breastmilk and/or formula
Breastmilk or formula mixed with single grain rice or oatmeal baby cereal
Pureed meats, fruits, and veggies
At around 6 months old,* babies are usually ready to start eating solid foods. These first foods will help them learn how to eat. Most of their nutrition will still come from breast milk or infant formula.
Start with one feeding a day when baby is getting hungry but not unhappy. You can then add another meal over time. Soon, you can work your way to three meals a day. Remember to try only ONE new food at a time, then wait a few days before trying another new one. This will help narrow down a food that may cause an allergy or intolerance.
What offering first foods will look like...
At first, the food will be very soupy. You can make it thicker as she learns how to eat.
She won’t eat much at first. Most of the food will probably end up all over her.
The point here is practicing HOW to eat.
Most of her nutrition will still come from breastmilk or formula.
Once she is able to eat a thicker cereal, you can start to introduce pureed meats, fruits, and veggies.
You can add these to the cereal along with the formula or breastmilk to thin or thicken to your preference.
Getting your baby ready for solid foods...
Before you begin, make sure your baby shows she is ready by sitting up without support while holding her head steady, showing interest in food, and being able to keep food in her mouth without her tongue pushing it out.
It is helpful to use a small rubber spoon, a bib (maybe even one for yourself!), a highchair or a place for baby to safely sit upright, and a small bowl to hold the food.
Use about a teaspoon of cereal mixed with 4 or 5 teaspoons of formula or breastmilk.
Bringing food to room temperature might be helpful too. This is not necessary though.
Soon your baby will begin to actually eat more than she spits out.
Keep a food journal to keep track of when you introduce new foods. This will be great to use if your baby shows signs of a food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance of any kind. Introduce new foods every three days or so. This will allow your baby's body enough time to show any reaction to a new food. Using your food journal, you can narrow down any problem foods.
To see the signs your baby will show you when she is ready to start eating solid foods, view this post!
* Each child will be ready for solid foods, and new textures, at their own pace. Add solid foods and new textures as your baby shows she is ready, not necessarily based on specific time frames. The foods listed in this resource are foods babies are typically ready for at around 6 months.