Feeding Guidelines




Birth to 4 mos.

Breast milk or formula, ad. lib. *  Try to wait two hours between feedings, otherwise no regulation in amount or timing.  All babies need fluoride supplementation after 6 months of age, either through fluoridated town water or prescribed supplements.  Nursing infants should also start iron (iron fortified baby cereal) and vitamin D  (400 IU) supplements at that time.


4 mos.

Fruit and cereal.  Mix strained fruit with cereal until pasty.  Start with one tablespoon of mixture, increase to about two ounces, once, then twice daily at the beginning of meals, then finish with bottle or breast.  Start with oat cereal and applesauce- mix approximately 2 TBS of strained fruit with 2 tsp oat cereal.  Next- mashed ripe banana, peaches, pears.  Later, try other cereals:  barley (less binding), wheat, mixed cereals.  In general, wait 3 days before trying a new food.


5 mos.

Water is preferable to juices.  Yellow vegetables:  carrots, squash, mixed, sweet potatoes.  After 2-3 weeks of these, babies may develop a harmless, faintly yellow (“carotenemic”) appearance that will gradually fade away.


6 mos.

Strained meats:  first, chicken, turkey, then, veal, beef and pork.  Mixed dinners are fine.  Plain yogurt mixed with strained fruit provides an alternative.  The “Yo Baby” brand is excellent.   By now your baby may wish solids three times a day.  One possible feeding routine is:  fruit and cereal, a.m.; yogurt and fruit, noon;  meat, vegetable and fruit for dessert, evenings.  Avoid custards and cobblers which are too sugary.



7 mos.

Green vegetables (if baby likes them), in addition to, or instead of yellow vegetables.


8 mos.

Lumpier foods.  Try scrambled eggs.  Let baby feed self, if able.  Cottage cheese, orange juice, “step 3″ foods, breakfast cereals.


9+ mos.

Gradually increase trials of table foods as tolerated. Fish is a favorite for some (not shellfish, but try fish sticks, fish balls, broiled white filets). Pastas, pancakes, french toast, waffles, fruit chunks are popular. You can try cheese or meat spreads on crackers or bread.  Wait on peanut butter and honey until age one.  Most babies do better with ground beef after the first-year molars erupt (average age, 16 mos).


* Baby should stay on breast milk or formula until taking table foods, or meats and vegetables well.  This generally occurs between 9 and 12 mos. of age.  Use 2% or whole milk.  A guideline for cows’ milk intake is 8-24 ounces/day, or the equivalent in cows milk products.


Foods to avoid:

(ask your doctor about these)

Peanut butter until age 1

Honey until age 1

Peanuts and popcorn until age 3 (choking risk)

Shellfish until age 1

Tuna, Swordfish, Shark, Native Salmon (high mercury)