Healthy Foods 0 - 12 months

Infants

Breast milk and infant formula have all the nutrients babies need for the first 6 months.

Breastfeeding provides babies with the best nutrition. Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed for as long as she and/or the baby chooseā€”the longer she can, the more beneficial it will be for the baby.

Around 4-6 months, solid foods can slowly be introduced

  • The first food given to a baby is smooth and soft in texture and never lumpy, so it is easy to digest.
  • Begin with a small amount of rice cereal. Allow the baby to adapt to the new food, before progressing to other cereals.
  • Gradually add vegetable, meat and fruit purees to the diet. Try carrot, potato, pumpkin, pear, banana, papaya and avocado first, then meat purees.
  • Introduce a new food every three days. This will help determine if there is any allergy to a particular food.
  • Human milk or infant formula is still the main source of nutrition for the baby. But after 6 months other foods are needed along with breast milk or formula to meet the child's needs.

At about 7-8 months, parents can begin to change the texture of foods

  • First purees should be thickened slightly then a child can progress to a more lumpy consistency.
  • Soft finger foods such melon, tortillas, biscuit, or cheese cubes can be given.

At about 9-12 months, mini adult meals and finger foods can be given.

Children with disabilities may progress more slowly through this time line or may always require modifications for eating. Children with disabilities may never advance to eating from the family pot.

Further Reading: