Feeding your baby the first year is a big task. Below is a guide to what your baby can eat during this important first year.
*Please note, this is just a guide. Consult your physician for specific feeding instructions for your baby.
Feeding Guide-The First Year:
At 0-6 months, your baby can eat the following foods:
- Breast/Bottle (0-13 months)
- Thin Baby Food Cereal (5 months)
- When first trying baby food your child may spit the food out… THIS IS OK. Children must learn how to safely get food out before learning to eat.
- Eating comes FIRST, then comes manners. Exploring and getting messy with food is part of the process of learning to eat.
- Thin Baby Food Puree/Stage 1 Baby Food (6 months)
At 7-9 months, your baby can eat the following foods:
- Thicker Baby Food Cereals AND Thicker Baby Food Smooth Purees/Stage 2 Baby Food (7 months)
- Soft Mashable Table Foods AND Table Food Smooth Purees (8 months)
- Hard Munchables (8 months)
- These are hard textured foods for exploring only- NOT CONSUMPTION.
- Examples: carrot stick, lollipop, hard dried fruit sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper strips,
- Once a child can move her tongue around the munchable, she can transition to textured table food.
- Some children will stick objects in their mouths and will not need hard munchables.
- Hard munchables will help your child practice moving hard solid foods in her mouth, learn awareness of the mouth and become more familiar and comfortable with teeth brushing.
- If children do not put things in their mouth, it can delay teeth eruption.
- Meltable Hard Solids (9 months)
- Melts in the mouth with saliva only (without pressure applied).
- Examples: Gerber puffs, biter biscuits, graham crackers.
- DO NOT USE CHEERIOS- Cheerios will shatter in a child’s mouth instead of melting.
At 10-12 months, your baby can eat the following foods:
- Soft Cubes (10 months)
- Soft exterior but maintains its shape, needs tongue/munching pressure to break it apart.
- Examples: Bananas, avocado, Gerber toddler cubes,
- Soft Mechanical- single texture (11 months)
- Soft exterior but maintains its shape, needs munching/grinding pressure to break it apart.
- These foods will help your child learn how to chew food by using a circular chewing pattern.
- Children need to be able to move food from their tongue to their back teeth to chew textured food.
- Examples: soft lunch meats, pasta, cooked eggs
- Soft Mechanical –Mixed (cube + puree) (12 months)
- More than one of the above textures
- Examples: macaroni and cheese, fish sticks, French fries, spaghetti, chicken nuggets
- Your baby cannot eat a mixed textured food unless she can chew each texture individually.
- Hard Mechanicals
- Harder textured exterior food that needs grinding/rotary chew (circular chewing pattern) to break apart. These foods tend to shatter in the mouth.
- Examples: cheerios, saltines, fritos, steak, fruit leathers
Tips to Remember!
- Eating is the most difficult sensory task that children do!
- It’s hard to be neat when you are learning to eat.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!