MS, RDN, CDN
Allison is a registered dietitian who holds a Master’s in Nutrition and Physical Fitness. She also loves helping families get creative with their wellness choices.
Starting solid foods is an exciting time for you and your baby. Research shows that it is most beneficial to introduce solid foods around 6 months of age (but never before 4 months!). Check out our signs of readiness article and speak with pediatrician to help determine when your little one is ready to start solids.
During this time, you will continue to provide the essential nutrition and hydration needed from breast milk or formula, while also exposing your baby to a new world of diverse flavors and nutrients. In fact, this is one of the most influential periods in your baby’s taste development. Your baby will most readily try and accept all kinds of foods at this age so it’s important to offer a variety of different flavors from meal to meal.
The below meal plan for 6 month old baby, snack and recipe ideas will help you as you begin the fun journey into solid foods, while maximizing your baby’s taste development through varying tastes and flavors. Check out our How to maximize healthy taste development from first foods through toddlerhood article.
Remember, eating solids at this age is mostly about letting your baby explore new flavors and textures. Breast milk or formula will still remain your baby’s primary nutrition source for the first year, so continue to give breast milk and/or formula just as you were before starting solids.
At around 6 months old, offering a few tablespoons of food a 1-3 times a day is sufficient. It’s important to advance texture once your baby is comfortable. Start with thin, pureed foods. Next, move to lumpy, mashed foods, followed by finely chopped foods. Also, introduce one single-ingredient new food at a time, allow 2-3 days to make sure your baby allergic or intolerant to these foods. Foods most often associated with allergies are cow’s milk (not recommended before 12 months), eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and seeds, wheat, fish, shellfish. Check out our Introducing major food allergens article.
By 9 months of age, your baby should be eating foods from all food groups and be able to handle small soft pieces of finger foods. Check out our Introducing Solids: First foods and advancing textures article. Pay attention to your baby’s cues, have fun and let your baby set the pace while offering your baby healthy foods that contain important nutrients to set the standard for healthy eating patterns. If you have questions about advancing textures, reach out to our team of registered dietitians for free! They are here to help on our free live chat from Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm (EST )and Sat-Sun, 8am-4pm (EST).
First food sources are often cereal, mashed fruits and veggies. While breastmilk or formula is providing your baby with all the important nutrients they need at this time, keep in mind the following info on some key nutrients such as iron, protein, calcium, DHA, folate and choline; why they are important and in what foods they can be found.
Remember, while your baby is under 1 year it’s all about introducing a variety of flavors and textures and keeping it fun!
Our meal plans offer recipe and meal suggestions for your child. They are not designed to replace your doctor’s recommendations, nor do they take into account special nutritional needs, including allergies and intolerances. The meal plans suggest serving sizes that may or may not be appropriate for your child. Please consult your doctor to determine what is best for your child.
We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond. Our Happy Mama Mentors are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitians certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too, which means they’ve been there and seen that. They’re here to help on our free, live chat platform Mon-Fri 8am-8pm (EST), and Sat-Sun 8am-4pm (EST). Chat Now!
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Our Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler is chock-full of yummy, easy-to-prepare meals your whole family will love.