Solid Foods: How Much & When

A baby drinks the majority of her calories until about 7 to 10 months. So at mealtime, feed breast milk or formula first, before the solid food. At about 9 months, flip-flop the order and begin giving food first. The guidelines below are only suggestions of what to feed when, because all babies grow and develop at different rates.

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Tina Rupp

Breast Milk and Formula: Up to 9 Months

Feed baby 20 to 28 ounces of formula daily, or breast milk every three to four hours.

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Breast Milk and Formula: 9 to 12 Months

Feed baby 16 to 24 ounces of formula daily, or breast milk every four to five hours.

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Cereal and Other Foods: 4 to 6 Months

Feed up to two meals daily (and as little as one every couple of days), each one 2 to 4 tablespoons. Offer foods such as iron-fortified single-grain baby cereal, and pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats.

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Bryan McCay

Cereal and Other Foods: Around 6 to 9 Months

Offer finger foods. (These should start to dominate at about 9 months.) Use this as an opportunity to introduce fruits and vegetables, like bananas and avocados. Some ideas from Alan Greene, MD, author of Feeding Baby Green white or sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes and slightly steamed or microwaved; they're firm enough to pick up while also soft and mushy enough for baby to eat.

You can also shred an apple or cheese, or slice strawberries or grapes. Babies like to play with their food, so try yogurt or oatmeal as a dip for vegetables or for whole-grain crackers. Just remember to chop or dice foods and to avoid those that are small, round, hard, or the size of a child's airway.

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Cereal and Other Foods: 7 to 12 Months

Feed three meals daily, each about the size of your baby's fist. Introduce foods such as mixtures of strained vegetables; and fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, and casseroles.

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Cereal and Other Foods: 7 Months

Introduce casseroles. "One of the things I really like about casseroles is that if the child likes the base flavor, you can add a bunch of other vegetables to it, and he's often fine with it," says Alan Greene, MD, author of Feeding Baby Green, who makes a pasta casserole in red sauce for his family. Sometimes he adds broccoli; other times he throws in asparagus or peas.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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