During the first 3 months of life, breast milk or formula provides all the nutrients newborn baby needs. The following summarizes the generally accepted guidelines for introducing new foods to babies under one year of age. It should be noted, however, that all babies are different; consequently, the timing varies considerably from one baby to another.
If giving breast milk, enough for weight gain and to yield regular soft stools and 6 or more
wet diapers a day. If giving formula, 2-4 oz (60-120ml) per feeding (every 2 to 4 hours).
4-5 oz (120-150ml) each feeding; six feeding a day.
Total intake: About 30-40 oz (900-1200ml) of breast milk or formula per day, plus small amounts of new foods (starting 1-2 teaspoons and work up) a two or three feedings a day.
- Milk and dairy. 5-6oz (150-180ml) breast milk or formula feeding five or six times a day.
- Cereals and other starchy foods. Iron-fortified cereals—rice first, then barley, oat, and finally mixed cereal.
- Vegetables and fruits. At 6 months: Plain, cooked pureed vegetables, plain, soft pureed fruits.
- Occasional foods and foods to avoid. Avoid honey in the first year due to its link to botulism in infants, and egg white to reduce risk of egg allergy.
Total intake: 24-32 oz (720-960ml) of breast milk or formula; 2-4 oz (60-120ml) of cereal and/or pureed baby food should be given at each of the baby’s three meals.
- Milk and dairy. For breast milk, continue or wean to bottle. Give five or six feedings per day. For formula, 6-8 oz (180-240 ml) per feeding four or five times each day.
- Cereals and other starchy foods. Toast, dry unsweetened cereals, crackers. Daily intake: 1/4 to 1/2 cup starchy food over three meals.
- Vegetables and fruits. Plain, cooked mashed vegetables; plain, soft mashed fruits. Daily intake: Four 1/4 to 1/2 cup servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Meat and meat alternatives. Plain, pureed, minced, or finely chopped meat, poultry, fish; cooked egg yolk; mashed legumes, lentils, and tofu. Daily intake: Two 1/2 to 1/4 oz (14-21 g) portions.
- Occasional foods and foods to avoid. Limited amount of unsweetened fruit juice in child-size cup. Citrus fruit juices tend to irritate the baby’s skin and make stool acidic, so it is advisable to wait until at least 6 to 9 months.
Total intake: 24-32 oz (720-960 ml) of breast milk or formula; 750 to 900 total calories needed per day divided into three meals and two snacks.
- Milk and dairy. Yogurt; cheese; cottage cheese; pasteurized cow’s milk. (Pasteurized whole cow’s milk can be offered around 12 months of age and continued until age 2.)
- Cereals and other starchy foods. Soft breads; plain muffins; other grains such a pasta and rice. Daily intake: 1/2 to 1/4 cup total a day.
- Vegetables and fruits. Soft bite-size pieces of vegetables; mashed potatoes; soft, ripe, peeled fruit or canned fruits. Daily intake: Six 1/4 cup serving a day.
- Meat and meat alternatives. Strips of lean tender meats; soft, whole legumes or lentils; diced tofu. Daily intake: Total of 2 oz (60g) of meat a day.
- Occasional foods and foods to avoid. May use moderate amounts of butter (unsalted) and small amounts of jam on bread, toast, and crackers. Do not give peanut butter, which can cause choking.