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 for this purpose.
START peanut butter (2 teaspoons mixed in with baby food three times a week) unless severe eczema and the doctor tells you not to start this.
MAY then start foods that have higher allergy potential including Seafood and eggs (This change based on data that notes that if foods, ie peanuts with higher allergy potential, are given earlier in life, this decreases the chance of the food causing an allergy)
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.
- 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. If one has questions, please speak with the office.