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Introduction to Solids

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Baby’s Nutrition in the First Year

By: Jennifer Autodore, RD, LDN

Age (months)

Readiness Signals

Recommended Foods

Portion Size

Motherly Advice

0-4 months

1 Extrusion reflex
2 Rooting reflex
Sucking reflex
Swallowing reflex

3 Human Milk
(breast milk)
Iron fortified infant formula

Infant should feed on demand

4 8-12 feedings per day to supply 18-32 ounces (oz)daily

Newborns usually drink 2-3 oz per pound of body weight

Timing for breastfeeding varies with each infant.  Newborns often need to nurse on each breast.

Before transitioning to single breastfeeding, speak with a lacta­tion consultant. A general guide­line is 10-15 minutes on each breast.


4-6 months*

Important Note: SuperKids Nutrition Inc. as a general recommendation suggests waiting until 6 months to start solids as earlier feeding is associated with increased risk for childhood obesity. However, there are individual circumstances where recommendations may vary. Work with your pediatrician and dietitian as indicated.

Birth weight has doubled

Can sit with support

Good head control

Ready for highchair

Swallows better

Drools less

Increased hunger

Can close mouth around age appropriate soft spoon

Can move food from front to back of mouth

Disappearance of extrusion reflex

Able to grasp objects voluntarily

Learning to reach mouth with hands

Human milk or formula

At 6 Months Formula Fed Infants:
5 Iron fortified infant rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. 

At 6 Months Breast Fed Infants: Introduce iron-fortified cereals (rice, oatmeal) mixed with breast milk first. Some practitioners  recommend pureed meats first as this will provide the additional amounts of zinc and iron that your baby needs. There remains a debate amongst health care professionals as there is limited research to support either argument.

4 4-6 ounces (oz) breast milk or formula per feeding to provide 27-45 oz per day

1-4 tablespoons (tbsp) dry cereal mixed with breast milk or formula twice per day.

Texture of solid foods should be runny. 

Feed with a soft baby spoon.

Do not mix baby cereal with fruit juice.

No honey for the entire first year.

No cow’s milk to drink first year.

Age (months)

Readiness Signals

Recommended Foods

Portion Size

Motherly Advice

6-8 months

Able to clear the spoon with upper lip

Sits independently

Independently picks up and holds objects in hand

Human milk or formula

Iron-fortified infant cereal

Strained, pureed, or mashed soft fruit (no skin)

Strained, pureed, mashed soft vegetables (no skin)

Strained, pureed meat

24-32 ounces (oz)  per day

2-3 servings per day (1-2 tablespoons (tbsp)counts as one serving)

2 tbsp of vegetables and/or fruit twice daily

1-3 tbsp. meat or other protein source (ex. Tofu, egg)  once daily

Allow 2-3 days in between introducing a new food. 

Begin with single grain cereals and advance to mixed grain as tolerated and accepted. 

Avoid meat combination meals until you are sure there are no food allergies.

Breast Fed Infants: Some health care providers say to introduce iron fortified cereals first (rice, oatmeal) or pureed meats because of their iron stores. Then second, pureed vegetables followed by fruit. There is not a consistent recommendation.

Formula Fed Infants:  You can introduce infant cereals first (rice, oatmeal) or pureed fruits & vegetables first, followed by pureed meats, egg.

8-10 months

Demonstrates the 7pincer grasp

Holds bottle without help

Holds spoon with or without help

May drink from a sippy cup with help

Beginning to use jaw to mash food

Begins to finger feed

Human milk or formula

Infant cereal


Soft, cooked skin-free vegetables

Soft, skin free fruits


24-32 ounces (oz)  per day

¼ – ½ cup per day

¼ cup meat per day

¼ – ½ cup vegetables per day

¼ – ½ cup fruit per day

Foods to offer your child:

Well-cooked pasta

Soft  cheese

Pea sized pieces of bread or pancake


Whole milk based yogurt

Cottage cheese

10-12 months

Picks up food and feeds self

Drinks from sippy cup

Begins to use spoon and fork

Human milk or infant formula; Whole milk at 12 months

Yogurt, cheese

Whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, brown rice

Meat, fish, eggs, tofu, re-fried beans

Soft, skin free fruits &  vegetables

18-24 ounces (oz)  per day

Offer whole grains 2-3 times per day.

½ – 1 oz protein source twice daily

¼  – ½ c fruits & vegetables twice daily

Serve no more than 24 ounces (oz) of milk per day at 12 months of age.  This will promote an increase in the amount of food your baby eats. 

Too much breast milk and too little food can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

Avoid using the bottle after a 12 -14 months of age and introduce a cup to avoid tooth decay.

1 The extrusion reflex is also referred to as the “tongue thrust”.  The infant’s tongue automatically pushes forward and outside of the mouth when her lips are touched.  This reflex helps the infant feed from the breast or the bottle, but inhibits spoon feeding.

2 The rooting reflex is also referred to as the “search reflex”.  This reflex occurs when the infant’s cheek is stroked, causing the infant to turn to the side touched, open her mouth, and seek nourishment via sucking. 

3 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for a minimum of 4 months but preferably the first 6 months of life.

4 Suggested feedings per day & total volume (ounces/day) are estimated intake amounts.  Please listen & follow your baby’s hunger and fullness cues.

5 The DRI for iron for full term infants between the ages of 0 and 6 months is 0.27 mg per day or approximately 1 mg/kg/day.  Exclusively breast fed infants are at risk for developing iron deficiency anemia by 6 months of age.  An average of 2 servings (1/2 ounce or 15 grams of dry infant cereal per serving) is needed to meet this daily iron requirement. 

6 One serving size is equivalent to 1-2 tablespoons.

7 Pincer Grasp: Uses thumb and index finger to pick up objects.

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