Feeding your baby: 6–12 months

In short:

  • After age of 6 months, breast-milk is your baby’s main source of energy and nutrients. You can add solid foods.
  • Your baby has a small stomach and needs to eat small amounts of soft nutritious food.
  • Feed your baby with animal-based foods, fruits, and vegetables – every day.

At the age of 6 months, breast-milk is a vital source of nutrition; but it’s not enough. You need to introduce your baby to solid foods besides breast-milk, to keep up with his growing needs.

Make sure you give your baby his first foods after he has breastfed, or between nursing sessions. This way your baby will will continue breast- feeding through the transition. 

When you start to feed your baby solid foods, make sure that he doesn’t become sick . As he crawls and explores, germs can spread from his hands to his mouth. Wash your baby’s hands and yours before preparing food and before every feeding.

Your baby's first foods

When your baby is 6 months old, he’s learning how to chew. His first foods should be soft so they’re easier to swallow. You should feed your baby with porridge or well-mashed fruits and vegetables. When porridge becomes too watery, it doesn’t have as many nutrients? To make it more nutritious, cook it until it’s thick enough and not too runny. 

Feed your baby when you see he’s giving signs of hunger like putting his hands to his mouth. After washing hands, start by giving your baby two to three spoonfuls of soft food, two times a day. At this age, he can only eat small amounts of food at each meal.

Your baby might be surprised by the taste of new food. Give him time to get used to new foods and flavors.  Watch for signs that he’s full and then stop feeding him.

As your baby grows, his stomach will also grows and he’ll eat more food with each meal.

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Feeding your baby: 6–8 months old

From 6–8 months old, feed your baby half a cup of soft food two to three times a day. Your baby can eat anything except for honey.
Start by adding a healthy snack, like mashed fruit, in between meals. As your baby gets increasing amounts of solid foods, he should get the same amount of breast-milk.

Feeding your baby: 9–11 months old

From 9–11 months old, your baby can take half a cup of food three to four times a day, plus a healthy snack. Now you can start cutting up soft food into small pieces instead of mashing them. Your baby may start feeding himself using his fingers. Encourage him to do so. Continue breast-feeding whenever your baby is hungry.

Each meal needs to be easy for your baby to eat and nutritious – Make every bite count.

Foods need to be rich in energy and nutrients.
Make sure your baby eats the following every single day:
– Grain
-Vegetables and fruits
-Legumes and seeds
– Little energy-rich oil or fat
-Animal-based foods – dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry

Eating a variety of foods every day gives your baby the best chance of getting all the nutrients he needs.

If your baby refuses a new food or spits it out, don’t force it. Try again a few days later. Another option is to mix the unwanted food with another food that your baby likes.

Feeding non-breastfed babies

If you’re not breastfeeding your baby, he’ll need to eat more meals every day. He’ll also need to rely on other foods and milk products, to get all the nutrition his body needs.

  • Start to giving your baby solid foods at 6 months of age. Start with two to three spoonfuls of soft and mashed foods four times a day. That’ll give him the nutrients he needs.
  • From 6–8 months old, he’ll need a half a cup of soft foods four times a day, plus a healthy snack.
  • From 9–11 months old, he’ll need half a cup of food four to five times a day, plus two healthy snacks.

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