Feeding Your Baby

When should you introduce solids? And how much should you give your little one? Use our chart as a guide

If your child is 4 months old and can hold her head up, the time may be right to introduce solids. Use this chart as a guide, but remember that until age 1, food should supplement breast milk or formula, not replace it.

Age 4-6 Months
What to start?
Rice cereal. It's
the least likely to cause allergies, and it provides
a valuable source of iron.

How Much?
Mix 1 tsp. of cereal
with 1 Tbs. of breast milk or formula. (Over
time, you can make the cereal thicker and servings
larger.) Aim for one or two solid feedings a
day in addition to his usual diet.

Tips for Success
Start with feedings
in the morning, when babies are typically more
relaxed. Wait four days before introducing another
grain, such as barley. This will help you identify
an allergy.

Age 4-8 Months
What to start?

Fruits and veggies. These can be
introduced either before or after cereal at each
meal. Try anything from peas to pears, but offer
new foods a few days apart so you can watch for

How Much?
To start, serve 2 to 3 tsp. once
a day. Work up to 1 to 2 Tbs. two or three times
a day.

Tips for Success

Introduce vegetables first, before
your baby develops a preference for the sweet
taste of fruit, and wait until she's 1 before
feeding her citrus fruits -- their high acid
content can upset her stomach.

Age 8-12 Months
What to start?

Soft foods. Oatmeal, mashed sweet
potatoes, and yogurt are all easy for a baby
to eat. A child this age also needs additional
sources of iron, so try pureed meats like beef
or turkey.

How Much?
Gradually work up to 1 to 2 Tbs.
of soft foods and 2 Tbs. of pureed meat each
day. Babies can get overwhelmed, so offer only
two or three foods at one time.
Tips for Success
To interest your child, try placing
small amounts of new foods next to favorites.
Age 9-12 Months
What to start?

Finger foods. Your
baby has developed his superior pincer grasp
and is eager to try feeding himself. Offer cooked
pasta, soft bits of fruit, and dried cereals.
How Much?

One or two finger foods (about 1 to 2 Tbs. of each)at
each meal, in addition to several servings of the
foods above.

Tips for Success
Make sure all pieces
are smaller than the width of your child's pinkie.
Continue to feed him with a spoon to make sure
he's getting enough to eat each day.

Age 12-24 Months
What to start?
Table foods. If you're no longer giving your baby breast
milk or formula, be sure she's getting all of
the calories and nutrients she needs by offering
her a wide variety of healthy foods.

How Much?
Total servings per day (serving sizes in parentheses):
4 grains (1/2 slice bread, 1/4 to 1/2 cup cereal
or pasta); 4 fruit/veggie (1 to 2 Tbs., or
3 oz. juice); 2 protein (1 oz. meat or 1 egg);
4 dairy (4 to 6 oz. whole milk, 1/3 cup yogurt,
or 1/3 oz. cheese).

Tips for Success
Entice your child to eat a varied diet by always providing different
textures, colors, and flavors at mealtime.

Once your baby hits the four-month mark, she may be ready to start solids. Learn what kinds of food to try and how much she should be eating.

Parents Magazine


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