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Sample Menus

For an idea of "how" to include the suggested food groups into baby's diet, here are some sample menus:

NOTE: a “Serving” for infants begins with tablespoon and increases to max of 1/3 cup of food/solid until baby is closer to a year. As baby approaches a year, the amounts per "meal" may increase to about a cup of food. The sample menus allow mother to decide how much baby will consume, but are not meant to suggest that babies will consume ALL of the foods suggested at one “meal” or snack. Many babies are still having one small meal a day at 9 or 10 mo, and that's perfectly fine.

For example, 1 -3 tablespoons of veggies and 1 – 3 tablespoons of fruits do not mean baby should consume 6 tablespoons of food at one sitting, but rather baby can have say 1 tablespoon of veggies, 1 tablespoon of fruits, and 1 tablespoon of meats for a total intake of 3 tablespoons of food, or not more than 1/3 cup of solids at one time.

Remember that while babies vary greatly in the amounts they will eat, they DO have tiny tummies and “more” is not always “better” for them. At one year of age a baby’s tummy can comfortably hold about ONE CUP total of solid food. (as per Dr Wm Sears).

See Food Pyramid Information and Beginning Solids

For Babies 6 + months of age (“Introducing Solids”):

Many experts recommend offering solids once a day, at most.  It is fine to begin by offering solids once every few days and gradually work up to one "meal" a day.  

  • How much breastmilk should my baby be getting?
    At 6 months - at least 5 nursings in 24 hr period
  • Early morning: breastmilk (nursing)
  • Breakfast: At least one hour after nursing,
    1-2 tbsp infant cereal or whole grain cooked oatmeal, sweet potato, or other age-appropriate food of choice (avocado, or banana, for example)
    top off with cup (oz or two) of breastmilk, water, or nurse again if desired.
  • Rest of day: nurse as normal


For Babies 7 to 9 months of age:

Watch baby's cues, but be careful not to go "too fast" with too many solids. Some babies will do fine with a little "meal" every few days, every other day, or every day, for weeks after beginning solids. This is fine. Other babies may increase to daily solids pretty quickly.

  • How much breastmilk should my baby be getting?
    At 7 to 8 months, at least 5 nursings in 24 hr period;
  • Early morning: breastmilk (nursing)
  • Breakfast: At least one hour after nursing;
    1-2 tbsp infant cereal or whole grain cooked oatmeal,
    top off with cup (oz or two) of breastmilk, water, or nurse again if desired.
  • Midmorning: Nurse, then half an hour or hour later,
    can offer 1/4 cup unsweetened fruit juice, 
    Snack ideas may include a 1/4 slice dry toast or 1 cracker, hand full of dry cheerios, or a graham cracker.

For Babies 9 + Months of Age:

By 9 mo many babies are ready for, or have gradually increased to a max of 2 "meals" per day. Again, watch your baby's cues - some babies are just really starting to get an interest in solids and may still be "taste testing" or having 1 "meal" a day - and this is fine.  Remember, solids are meant to compliment the breastmilk diet (as per AAP recommendations).

  • How much breastmilk should my baby be getting? At 9 to 10 months, at least 4 nursings in 24 hr period
  • Early morning: breastmilk (nursing)
  • Breakfast:
    2-3 tbsp infant cereal or whole grain cooked oatmeal,
    2-3 tbsp fruit, (if offering 1 tbsp cereal, may mix with 2 tablespoons fruit, for example - total intake may reach up to 4 oz per "meal")
    and then top off with cup (oz or two) of breastmilk, water, or nurse again if desired.
  • Midmorning: Nurse, then half an hour or hour later,
    can offer 1/4 cup unsweetened fruit juice,
    1/4 slice dry toast or 1 cracker, hand full of dry cheerios, or a graham cracker.
  • Nurse again between midmorning and lunch (about one hour before lunch)
  • Lunch:
    1-3 tbsp vegetable,
    1-3 tbsp fruit,
    1-3 tbsp meat or meat alternative,
    1 cracker or dry cheerios,
    may offer sippy cup with water or breastmilk if desired (couple oz)


For Babies 10 - 11 Months of Age:

  • How much breastmilk should my baby be getting? At 10 to 11 months, at least 4x in 24 hr period (many babies are nursing more often than this, and that's fine)
  • Early morning: breastmilk (nursing)
  • Breakfast:
    2-3 tbsp infant cereal or whole grain cooked oatmeal,
    2-3 tbsp fruit,
    and then top off with cup (oz or two) of breastmilk, water, or nurse again if desired.
  • Midmorning: Nurse, then half an hour or hour later,
    can offer 1/4 cup unsweetened fruit juice,
    1/4 slice dry toast or crackers, hand full of dry cheerios, or graham crackers.
    soft cheese cubes or yogurt
  • Nurse again between midmorning and lunch (about one hour before lunch)
  • Lunch:
    2 - 3 tbsp vegetable,
    2 - 3 tbsp fruit,
    1 - 3 tbsp meat or meat alternative,
    1 cracker or dry cheerios,
    may offer sippy cup with water or breastmilk if desired (couple oz)
  • Mid-afternoon: nurse, then 1/2 hr to hour later,
    offer cracker (regular or graham), or dry cereal such as cheerios, or teething biscuit.
    soft cheese cubes or plain yogurt

For Babies 12+ Months of Age:

  • How much breastmilk should my baby be getting? At 12+ months, baby may vary in number of nursings in 24 hr period. Some bf babies are still nursing 6+ x per 24 hrs, and this is fine. Some babies are nursing only 4 x per 24hrs. This is fine too.  Follow baby's cues as to nursing patterns. 
  • Early morning: breastmilk (nursing)
  • Breakfast:
    2-4 tbsp infant cereal or whole grain cooked oatmeal,
    2-3 tbsp fruit,
    and then top off with cup (oz or two) of breastmilk, water, or nurse again if desired.
  • Midmorning: Nurse, then half an hour or hour later,
    can offer 1/4 cup unsweetened fruit juice,
    1/4 slice dry toast or crackers, hand full of dry cheerios, or graham crackers.
    soft cheese cubes or yogurt
  • Nurse again between midmorning and lunch (about one hour before lunch)
  • Lunch:
    2 - 4 tbsp vegetable,
    2 - 4 tbsp fruit,
    1-3 tbsp meat or meat alternative,
    1 cracker or dry cheerios,
    may offer sippy cup with water or breastmilk if desired (couple oz)
  • Mid-afternoon: nurse, then 1/2 hr to hour later,
    offer cracker (regular or graham), or dry cereal such as cheerios, or teething biscuit.
    soft cheese cubes or plain yogurt
  • Dinner: (begin with 1 - 2 tablespoons, then gradually increase the amount offered per meal)
    1-2 tbsp vegetables,
    or 1 tbsp each of fruits and veggies,
    1 tbsp pasta,
    and also may offer 1-2 tbsp infant cereal if desired
  • Nurse normally during evening hours.
  • Can offer "finger foods" throughout the day, but it's always good to nurse first, then offer snacks at least 1/2 hr later.

Additional Resources:

Feeding At A Glance - Dr William Sears

Getting Started With Solids

Making Your Own Baby Food - Dr William Sears

Wholesome Baby Food

Made with Mom's Milk

Recommended Reading:

My Child Won't Eat! How To Prevent and Solve The Problem by Carlos Gonzalez MD

The Family Nutrition Book by William Sears MD and Martha Sears RN

Healthy Snacks for Kids by Penny Warner

 

 

 

Copyright © 2000 - 2006  Jim Yount

Send email to Paula Yount for any questions or comments about this site.

Disclaimer:  The pages contained herein are meant purely for informational purposes and every effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information. This information, however, is not meant to take the place of your doctor, nor should the information contained on this web site be considered specific medical advice with respect to any specific person and/or any specific condition. The author, therefore respectfully but specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk - personal or otherwise - that is, or may be, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from use or application of any of the information provided on this web site.