Food Plan for the Growing Baby
(Nutrition-Birth to 24 Months)
BIRTH – 12 MONTHS Breast milk and/or formula
4 months ADD Rice cereal mixed with breast milk and/or formula and spoon feed until the baby doesn’t want any more (ex. turning head, refusing to open mouth). A usual starting point is a couple of tablespoons.
~ 4½ months or 2-3 weeks later ADD Fruits (Baby Food Stage 1) as a second feeding a day. Again, spoon feed the baby until baby doesn’t want any more as above. Feed the same fruit 2-3 times in a row to make sure the baby doesn’t develop any rashes and gets use to the taste and texture.
At 5 months ADD Vegetables (Baby Food Stage 1) as a third feeding a day using exactly same procedure as when adding fruit.
6 Months May ADD Creamy table food (ex. squash, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mashed banana). May start Stage 2 baby foods which are chunkier and have dinners with meats. May ADD Baby juice, but I DO NOT recommend juice because it does not add anything but extra sugar. It can be helpful for a constipated infant and can be used purpose even at a few weeks of age.
8 months ADD Cut up table foods including meats, chicken, fruits and vegetables. They should be cut up to the size of a pea. ADD Finger foods like Cheerios and crackers.
MAY then start foods that have higher allergy potential including seafood, eggs and a small, thinly spread amount of peanut butter.(This is a change based on data that notes that if foods with higher allergy potential are given earlier in life, this decreases the chance of the food causing an allergy)
- DO NOT give diary products (ex. milk, yogurt, ice cream)
- DO NOT give anything hard and small (ex. Peanuts, raisin, popcorn)
- DO NOT give anything slippery (ex. Whole grapes, whole hotdogs, but they may be cut up so surfaces are rough and then fed).
12 months – 2 years MAY ADD Whole or 2% Milk. But no more than 16 oz/day. Still no hard and slippery foods noted above and MAY STOP Formula and baby food unless instructed otherwise.
* The Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively until 6 month of age. However, this is impractical for most families. The Academy of Pediatrics is concerned about eczema, asthma and obesity; however, there is no evidence that introducing solids at 4 month increases these problems. However, if one is exclusively breastfeeding and would like to breastfeed only until 6 months, the above 4 months and 4½ months schedule can be pushed back to 6 and 6 ½ months. And the above 6 months schedule can be pushed back to 7 months. If one has questions, please speak with the office.