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Introduction to Solids


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Introduction to Solids

Baby’s Nutrition in the First Year

Read our summary first, Infant Nutrition -Your Baby’s First foods.

Infant Nutrition –Your Baby’s First Foods

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 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 day1-4 tablespoons (tbsp) dry cereal mixed with breast milk or formula twice per day. Fruits, vegetables, and meats can be introduced as first complementary foods instead of cereal. Eggs, peanutbutter (if at safe consistency) can also be introduced and may lower risk of food allergy later. However, carefully evaluate your child for any reaction. 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 the 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. However, there is no recommened order.

8-10 months

Demonstrates the pincer 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 day¼ – ½ cup per day¼ cup meat per day

¼ – ½ cup vegetables per day

¼ – ½ cup fruit per day

Foods to offer your child: Well-cooked pastaSoft  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.

Updated 1/2017

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About the Author

Jennifer is a clinical Registered Dietitian in the Philadelphia area and a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition.

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