What should an infant be eating?

Birth–4 Months

Give only breast milk or formula.

4–6 Months

During this time, you can start introducing purees; generally speaking, the best foods to use are Stage 1 baby foods. You can make your own in a blender or purchase ready-made food. If you are going to blend your own food, use a Stage 1 jar of food to gauge the right consistency and smoothness.

As far as food types go, you can use meats, rice cereal, fruits, and vegetables. The rule of thumb is to do this systematically so that you can catch any possible food allergies. A good example is to introduce only one new food every few days. (The symptoms of allergies include rash, hives, and swelling.)

Using a high chair is the best way to introduce new foods, as this helps with proper posture, keeps the focus on eating, and concentrates the mess to one area. There are many types of high chairs on the market. The characteristics of a good high chair include:

  • Easy to wipe down (non-fabric seat cover)
  • Sturdy
  • Few or no crevices (for cleaning purposes)
  • No built-in toys (many children tire of toys easily… and at that point, the toy just takes up real estate on the tray)
  • Adjustable back
  • Five-point harness (for extra safety and support)

How Much to Feed:

  • Rice cereal: put 3–5 tablespoons into 4 oz of breast milk or formula
  • Puree: 2–4 oz

Try not to overload the spoon and start out slow by only giving a few baby spoons’ worth. It is also important to pace yourself; don’t go so fast that your child gags, but avoid going so slow that your baby loses interest. As your child becomes more proficient in taking bites, start increasing the volumes.

Keep a feeding log so that you can track allergies and constipation. The log also comes in handy if your child is not gaining enough weight or is gaining it too fast.

6–8 Months

You should still be feeding everything that you have been feeding before, with the addition of:

  • Legumes (beans, chickpeas, edamame, peas, lentils, etc.)
  • Pureed tofu

8–10 Months

Now you can start giving:

  • Small bits of meat
  • Mashed vegetables
  • Cheerios
  • Well-cooked pasta
  • Crackers

10–12 Months

Before advancing to this stage, first make sure that your child has no issues with eating any of the foods listed in the previous stage (8–10 months). Your child should also have a number of teeth.

Start cutting fruits and vegetable into squares and strips. You can also give:

  • Boneless fish
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Finger foods from the baby aisle