Nancy Dell: What kinds of solid food should I feed my baby?

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I started giving my baby food at 6 months.  He is now 8 months old. How much do I give him?
– Stacey, Internet

At 6 months, your baby would eat solid food just once a day. By 7 months, your baby can eat solid foods at two meals a day and by 8 months he should be eating solid foods three times day. When you introduce a new food, start with just 1 teaspoon and gradually increase it to 2 or 3 tablespoons each time he eats.

But listen to your baby’s signals.  When he is full he may lean back in his chair, turn his head away, play with the spoon or just refuse to open his mouth. Introduce a new food just once every three days so you can watch for any adverse reactions. Do not give your baby cow’s milk, soy milk or honey before he is one year old. So at eight months, over the course of a day, you baby may eat:

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup plain yogurt or cheese (No cow’s milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal (no rice cereal)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup fruit
  • 3/4 to 1 cup vegetables
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons pureed poultry, lentils, tofu, meat

Should the baby still get formula or breast milk?

Yes. Solid foods cannot replace all the nutrients in breast milk or formula for the first year. You can breast feed for snacks or in conjunction with meals.