Feeding Your Baby: The First Year

Child with food

At what age can you start introducing new foods to your baby? Find out in this helpful guide. Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons.

Having a child is the most rewarding experience any person can have in their lifetime. Bringing a mini person into the world is incredible and it is ridiculously exciting… It can also be very scary.

Knowing what to do with you baby now that there are no more prenatal classes and experts to guide you can be challenging, and knowing what to feed your baby can be even more difficult. Here is a guide on what ages you can start introducing different foods into your baby’s diet.

Age: Birth to 4 months

At this stage of life, your baby has a rooting reflex which helps them turn toward a nipple to find nourishment. It is an innate skill found in all mammals. As your baby is still developing at this point, you want to steer clear of solid foods.

What Can They Eat?

Age: 4 to 6 months

Your baby at this point will begin to show signs that they are ready for solids. You’ll be able to see the signs and then try them out on something new. Some of the ones to look out for are that the child can hold their head upright when sitting in a highchair; they can close their mouth around a spoon; and they begin to gain weight and reach at least 13 pounds.

This is the point where you can start trying to introduce new foods. You can do so by holding a spoon to your baby’s mouth and trying to get them to eat it. If they don’t, wait and try again in a few days. Take your time and only introduce one new food at a time.

What Can They Eat?

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Pureed vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash)
  • Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, peaches)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)

Age: 6 to 8 months

Again, take it slow and introduce new foods one at a time and wait a few days before the next one. Try and keep a record of the things your baby tries, what they like and what they don’t.

What Can They Eat?

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Fruits (pureed or strained)
  • Vegetables (pureed or strained)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Pureed tofu
  • Unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk until age 1)
  • Pureed legumes (black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, kidney beans)
  • Oats

Age: 8 to 10 months

At this stage of your baby’s life, they will exhibit willingness to start eating finger foods as well as solids. You will be able to tell their readiness by reading the signals they give, such as the child picking things up with their forefinger and thumb, transferring items from one hand to the other, and moving their jaw in a chewing motion. It is at this stage you can start experimenting more with food choices.

What Can They Eat?

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Pasteurized cheese, cottage cheese, and unsweetened yogurt
  • Mashed vegetables
  • Mashed fruits
  • Finger foods (scrambled eggs, well-cooked potato, well-cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, bagel)
  • Protein (meat, poultry, boneless fish, tofu, split peas, pintos, or black beans)
  • Iron-fortified cereal (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

Age: 10 to 12 months

Your child will now be well on their way to eating a fully diverse diet, however they will not be able to eat everything until they are toddler. You child will now start to show even more signs of their readiness for foods, such as the ability to swallow much more easily than before, the presence of more teeth for easy chewing of foods, and your baby trying to use a spoon.

What Can They Eat?

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Fruit mashed, diced or sliced finely
  • Bite-size, soft-cooked vegetables (peas, carrots)
  • Macaroni and cheese, casserole, and other soft pasta bakes
  • Protein (meat, poultry, boneless fish, tofu, well-cooked beans)
  • Finger foods (scrambled eggs, well-cooked pieces of potato, well-cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, small pieces of bagel)
  • Iron-fortified cereals (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

Once you’ve managed to guide you child through their first year of eating, things will become much easier moving forward, and your child will grow and develop into a healthy young person. You can find more information about what to feed your toddler here: https://www.kidspot.com.au/kitchen/galleries/kid-friendly-recipe-ideas/11-easy-toddler-meals-theyll-actually-eat and don’t worry if the timelines vary a little bit as every single child is unique and will go at their own pace.

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22 thoughts on “Feeding Your Baby: The First Year

  1. Pingback: Feeding Your Baby: The First Year – The Militant Negro™

  2. How much has changed since 15 years ago!!! My babies have been so hungry just on breast milk and now you can feed them food at 4 months. Wow. Christy, you should have blogged then, too :))))))

  3. Pingback: Embracing Motherhood | When Women Inspire

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