There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to feeding an infant.
Some infants are robust eaters, while others are picky eaters! Some
babies are more active than others, abd some have a higher metabolism.
I have posted a BMI calculator further down in this post, allowing you
to see if your son's height and weight are in the expected range.
Check with your pediatrician to see if s/he thinks your son is at his
expected weight if you are concerned"
"Please let your baby guide you in determining quantities. As long as
you are giving the types of foods outlined above (and not puddings,
desserts, etc.), it is really impossible for you to overfeed your
baby. Try to give solid foods first and then follow with breast-milk
or a bottle. Breast-fed babies are generally down to 3-4 feedings
per day by 9 months and formula intake should be down to the 24-32 oz
range on average, but depending on your baby's size and metabolic
rate, he or she may vary from this range."
East Tennessee Children's Hospital publishes this guidline chart (It
can be slow to load)
Earth's Best also publishes this chart:
"Your baby is at an age where you can be moving into a three meal a
day schedule with a snack in between. Allow him his formula in a
bottle in the early am and before bed and as snacks. At breakfast,
lunch and dinner serve the solid food first, and serve liquid in a
baby cup. When the meal is all over, you may offer him a bottle. If
you allow him to drink more than 16 to 24 ounces of milk a day, you
will begin to crowd out other foods and the important nutrients they
Be sure that he gets a good source of iron everyday, either with an
iron fortified formula or with an iron fortified baby cereal. If he
refuses to be fed the cereal, allow him to help feed himself, even if
it means him getting his hands in it! Babies at that age do not eat
much food. One tablespoon of a fruit or a vegetable, for example, is a
normal serving size."
"Babies and toddlers go through stages when they eat. They are adept
at adjusting the amount they eat to their needs. During periods of
rapid growth (kids seem to grow in spurts rather than on a steady
continuum) they eat more, and then between those spurts it often seems
as if they eat nothing at all. Allow your baby to stay in touch with
his hunger cues by not forcing or bribing and this will serve him well
for a lifetime."
" To help you get a better sense of your child's nutritional needs,
check out these daily requirements. On average, a one-year-old needs
? 6 servings of grains (one serving = 1/4 slice bread, 1/4 muffin, 2
crackers, 1/4 cup dry cereal, 1/4 cup hot cereal)
? 1 serving of a vitamin-C-rich fruit or veggie (one serving = 1/3 cup
juice, 1/4 cup chopped fruit or veggie)
? 1 serving green or orange fruit or veggie for vitamin A (one serving
= 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice, 1/4 cup chopped fruit/veggie)
? 3 or more servings of other fruits or vegetables, including potatoes
(1 serving = 1/4 of a whole fruit/veggie, 1/4 cup chopped, raw or
? 3 servings of milk, yogurt or cheese (one serving = 1/2 cup
milk/yogurt, 1/2 ounce cheese)
? 2 servings of protein (one serving = 1+ tablespoon chopped meat,
fish or poultry, 1 egg)"
Calculate your son's BMI using this chart
"How Much Should My Baby Eat?
Some babies' appetites slow down around this age. This is normal -
they are not growing as rapidly, and there seem to be so many more
interesting things to do than eat. As long as your baby is still
getting in some good breast-feeding or bottle-feeding each day (about
24 ounces is average) and is showing some curiosity about familiar
foods and tasting new ones, don't be alarmed. Feed her right before
family mealtimes, then give her some fun finger foods to play with
while you eat. If you notice a significant weight change (gain or
loss) or if your baby seems sluggish or listless, call your child's
Does My Baby Weigh Too Much or Too Little?
There is a wide range of normal sizes for infants, babies, and
toddlers. Your child's doctor will plot your baby's growth on a chart
and compare it with the average. Even if your baby's weight falls at
the top or bottom of the charts, chances are she is still healthy and
normal. If your baby seems lethargic or listless, if she doesn't seem
to be developing well in other areas, or if you have concerns about
her gaining weight too quickly or too slowly, talk to your child's
"In fact, you might not expect her to cut back until she is 8-9 months
old, or maybe not until you switch her to whole cow's milk when she is
12 months old.
As for how much solid food to give her, there are no definite
guidelines. Instead, watch your baby for signs that she is still
hungry or not satisfied, and then begin to offer more. If she gobbles
down that tablespoon of carrots and seems eager to eat more, then
maybe give another tablespoon or two. If after a tablespoon she has
already lost interest and turns away from the baby spoon, then she
likely isn't ready for more.
Once you get up to 3-4 tablespoons of cereal and a fruit and vegetable
at one meal, then it is usually time to introduce another meal during
the day, with the goal of 3 regular meals by the time your baby is
about 7-8 months old."
Some simple guidelines from Mohave County, AZ
Also from Mohave County for an 8month old:
"Breast milk or iron-fortified formula; iron-fortified cereal. Begin
trying junior foods (half jar) or mashed and chopped table foods (4
tablespoons or more per day), such as meat, poultry, potato, and
well-cooked pieces of vegetable. Chopped canned fruit may replace
strained fruit. Offer 1 to 2 small servings of bread, crackers or
"At about 6 months old, when she has a little more experience with
solid foods, she may eat three or four tablespoons at a meal. Even
then, the majority of her nutrition will come from breast milk or
As babies transition to solid foods, it can be tough to ensure they're
getting the nutrition they really need. Research has shown that about
half of babies between the ages of 1 and 2 years are not getting the
Recommended Dietary Allowance of iron and calcium. Every baby is
different. You'll be able to tell if your baby is regularly getting
enough, too little or too much to eat by his weight at check-ups. Your
doctor can tell you if your baby's weight gain is in an acceptable
Now is the time to teach good eating habits that will carry into later
life. Your baby will tell you when he's had enough. Do not encourage
him to eat more than he wants to."
"Dairy should be introduced in small amounts as part of a solid food,
such as yogurt and fruit, or macaroni and cheese. He is not ready to
be switching from formula or breast milk to cow's milk. That is
because the protein content is different, and Nick's kidneys still
need to develop a little more before he can handle it. Also, he still
needs the nutrients supplied by formula and breast milk.
However, dairy products as part of his solids diet provide a great
source of protein and calcium as well as vitamin D. Also, the later
you introduce cow's milk, the less apt he is to be allergic to it.
About one year of age is a great time to begin the transition to cow's
milk in a cup.
Meats are fine to be introducing now, but only if they are finely
ground and easy to gum. Meats tend to be tough, and so often are one
of the last solids to introduce. The meat in baby food has been broken
down enough that Nick will do fine with it. In a couple of months you
may want to serve fine flaked fish. That is much easier to chew than
meat. Also, at that time, you can begin to serve small pieces of
ground meat. Try gumming it yourself first just to be sure.
"When you begin, offer smooth foods without lumps, and gradually make
the texture coarser until baby can manage lumps by about 8-9 months.
Around this time he will start to pick up food and try to feed himself
- messy, but a very important part of learning to eat."
By about twelve months there should be lots of variety, with baby
eating most foods the family eats. Commercial baby foods can be used
with family food as part of a balanced diet. There should be cereals,
bread, fruits and vegetables, and legumes along with milk, meat and
fish. Breast milk or formula should be used until at least 12 months.
A range of whole foods including wholegrain cereals and fruits and
vegetables will provide all the fibre needed without the need for
fibre supplements. Extra fibre is very filling and takes away appetite
for other foods. It can also prevent absorption of some minerals.
Babies generally know how much they need to eat, and at this age
appetites are generally well-adjusted to need. Responding to baby?s
appetite by giving more when baby is hungry, and by not pushing extra
on the days when appetite is a little less, encourages appetite to
work properly. Parents need to be aware of how much food is enough and
set limits. Being active goes with healthy eating to set the
background for a healthy weight."
"Six to nine months -- chunkier chews: If starting solids now, begin
slowly, offering pureed foods first (see above). If he has been eating
solids, he is ready for, and needs, thicker, chunkier foods. Soft
mashed, but not strained, food should be offered to him. When you
offer finger foods, the shape of the food is important. Teething
biscuits, toast, bagels and crackers are easiest for him to hold. (Do
not offer if your baby is sensitive to wheat). By the end of this
stage his grasp will be more digital and he'll be able to better
manipulate little things like Cheerios and green peas.Once your baby
seems to be getting more and more of his nutrition from solids and
less from breastmilk or formula, it becomes important to replace the
nutrients they are no longer receiving from those liquids. Food to
introduce now should offer some protein and calcium."
" Six to nine months
* Breastmilk or formula (breastmilk on demand; 24 - 32 oz. formula)
* Iron-fortified baby cereal, 1/2 cup a day
* Soft mashed, ripe or soft-cooked fruits or veggies
* Strained meats and combination dinners, tofu (if not sensitive
to soy) Ten to twelve months
* Breastmilk or formula (breastmilk on demand; 16 - 24 oz. formula)
* In addition to cereal, add toast, bagels, crackers, dry cereal,
whole grain bread, pasta, rice, cooked grains, muffins (if not
sensitive to wheat)
* Fresh, peeled ripe, soft-cooked fruits and veggies
* Add egg yolk, yogurt and soft-cooked beans"
How Much Food Does a Baby Need?
"Children need ever-changing amounts of food, influenced by their
activity level and developmental phase, the air temperature and
relative humidity, and perhaps by a virus they might have.
How is a parent supposed to decide how much to feed?
Thankfully, babies are born with a sophisticated internal mechanism
for determining just how much they need to thrive. Healthy babies
given the right selection of healthy foods will tend to eat just the
Our role as parents is to learn to recognize their signals and not to
short-circuit our babies' own sense of how much they need.
Independent toddlers might make it easy for us by saying "all done" or
using hand signals to indicate, "I'm finished!" Before they have those
skills, babies will use their whole bodies to get the message across,
fidgeting in the high chair, or even standing up.
The signals of younger babies are quieter. A newborn may push the
nipple out of the mouth, or just fall asleep. A baby who has entered
the delightful stage of first solids will lean forward or open the
mouth when hungry, and clench the mouth shut, turn aside, or lean back
when satisfied. When babies get better at using their hands, they
might push the spoon away.
When we override these signals and attempt to force a baby to keep
eating, or even to coax them to eat more, they lose trust in their
bodies' own signals.
Too much food creates a bloated feeling. Too little leaves craving.
But just right - the baby feels deeply satisfied. What joy to be able
to give this pleasure to our babies and to watch them grow! After all,
growth is what childhood is all about."
"You may be surprised at how little food you should give your baby at
her first meal--no more than a teaspoon or two. The amount that she
will eat at any meal depends on her age and weight, and how much
liquid she is drinking. The chapter How Much Should My Baby Eat? gives
more information on the amount of food you should feed your baby. The
next section, Baby's Very First Meal, gives explicit directions on how
to begin feeding your baby."
"7 to 9 Months
By about seven months, most babies are ready to increase their variety
of fruits and vegetables as well as their texture. Strained meat or
poultry and food mixtures also may be introduced.
Home prepared foods should be steamed, then mashed with a fork. Never
add honey or corn syrup as these sweeteners may contain botulism
spores, which can be harmful to infants.
At this time, many babies are ready to begin finger foods. Infants
should be able to sit up straight in a high chair, be able to grasp
food with their hands or finger tips, and move the food from their
hands to their mouths. Chopped pieces of ripe banana or dry
unsweetened cereal are good choices."
"We owe it to our children to keep them from being over-fat. The risk
of just about every disease increases in proportion to the extra fat
the body has to lug around, especially the big three killers: cancer,
heart disease, and stroke. The plain fact is: lean people are
healthier and live longer. You will notice that we prefer to use the
terms "fat control" and "over-fat" rather than "weight control" or
"overweight." Fat is the real issue. Many healthy, large-boned,
muscular people are "overweight" according to charts and scales, yet
they are lean. Muscle and bone weigh more than fat, but being overfat
is what harms your health. We don't want you and your family to have
the goal of being thin, but rather we want you to be lean.
Scales and charts do not paint a true picture of health, which is why
we don't stress the concept of weight control, especially in growing
children who naturally must get heavier."
"A fat calorie is heavier than a protein or carb calorie. It's a myth
that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Calories from fat are more
fattening than calories from proteins or carbohydrates. Our bodies
tend to store excess calories from fat as fat more readily than they
do excess calories from carbohydrates or proteins. Not only does the
body store fat calories more easily, it also burns them less readily.
The body, plotting to protect itself from starvation, will use up
carbohydrate stores for energy before dipping into the fat reserves.
And the body must use more energy (or calories) to metabolize
carbohydrates and proteins than it uses to burn fats. Fatty foods tend
to pack more calories into a smaller volume than do carbohydrate and
protein foods. Because the stomach takes its cues for fullness based
upon food volume rather than calories, gram for gram fat is less
It's really quite easy to feed an 8 month old. Babies this age love to
feed themselves, and will usually stop eating when full!
"Although healthy infants can vary considerably from one another in
their caloric intake, appetite is likely to be the most efficient way
to determine what an infant needs. Most infants instinctively know how
much food they need and will not undereat or overeat unless pressured.
Babies should be fed when hungry but should not be forced to finish
the last few ounces of formula or food. The baby's physician can check
whether growth and development are progressing normally."
To avoid excessive calories and fat, buy low fat yogurts, but whole
milk and cheese. Don't feed sugared and processed foods. Give your son
nofat-lowfat snacks, such as banana slices, cooked carrot slices,
yogurt. If he likes ice cream, buy frozen yogurt instead.Use whole
grain breads. As he gets older he'll like to feed himself grapes, and
Most pediatricians now believe that children under two need some fat,
and should be given whole milk to drink. I am suggesting low-fat
snacks if you feel you are overfeeding your son.
"Although low-fat and low-cholesterol diets are widely recommended for
adults, they are not appropriate for children under the age of two.
Nutritional requirements are higher during infancy than during any
other period. At the same time, stomach capacity is limited, so food
sources must provide sufficient calories and nutrients in a small
volume. Infants require fat in their diet for normal growth and
"Between six months and one year, baby's mother-provided iron stores
may run out. For this reason, your doctor may check your infant's
hemoglobin levels around the nine and twelve month checkup, especially
if your doctor suspects anemia by baby's dietary history or if baby
"All juices are not created equal ? some are nutritional gems while
others are sugar water. Consider these tips as you make juice part of
your child?s diet.
* Be label savvy. Buy juice labeled ?100 percent fruit juice."
o Beware of words like ?drink,? ?punch,? ?cocktail,?
?beverage? and ?ade.? These are not 100 percent juice ? they?re junk
o Many ?junk fruit beverages? are nutrient-void beverages,
commonly masked as fruit ?juice,? ?drinks? or ?cocktails.? Most
contain 10 percent or less of pure fruit juice, and lots of water,
sugar and additives. Junk fruit beverages have little or no
o Avoid junk fruit beverages that are disguised as juice
?blends? that contain small amounts of various fruits like grape,
apple and pear. Ounce for ounce, these juices don?t have the natural
levels of vital nutrients that 100 percent pure juices like orange
juice provide. Plus, they usually contain added sugars.
Feeding the 7 to 9 month old
"Babies' food preferences and feeding skills go through stages, just
like other developmental skills, and other areas of development
influence how babies attack their food. First came the introducing
solids stage where parents' main goal is to get baby through the
transition from liquids to solids and from sucking to mouthing and
chewing. In this stage, baby gets used to mouthing and swallowing
different tastes and textures. Most beginning eaters only dabble in
solid foods, taking only a couple spoonfuls of a few, select solids.
An important principle of feeding is both the food and the method of
feeding should match. From seven to nine months, babies develop
several developmental skills that make mealtimes more interesting:
* They begin to pick up objects with the thumb and forefinger.
* They develop a fascination with tiny objects, such as morsels of food.
* They want to "do it myself." "
"Schedules are very Darwinian: they tend to evolve over time, and then
change and adapt as the baby grows. During the first few months,
should be allowed to eat on demand -- that is, when they are hungry.
As they get older and begin eating solid foods you can help ease them
Because eating schedules tend to evolve, they shouldn't be strict. In
fact, babies and children often hit growth spurts that appear to make
all the time. In those cases, you may have to let the schedule fall
by the wayside, and then return to it as soon as you can. Schedules
serve a couple of
purposes. For one thing, they are convenient. It makes life easier for
caregivers so they can plan meal preparation. Also, meals will
nutritionally superior: It has been shown that kids who eat at set
meal and snack times are slimmer and do better nutritionally than
those who don't.
"Grazing," eating small amounts of food all day long, is also a
nutritionally superior way to go, but only if the person pays careful
attention to it as soon as you can"
How Much Milk?
" During the first few weeks, formula-fed babies need to drink between
two and a half to three ounces of formula per pound daily. For
example, a 10 pound baby will need to drink about 25 to 30 ounces of
formula per day. In addition, during this time, your baby will need to
drink quite frequently; during the first week, your baby may have 6 to
10 feeds per 24 hour period, 6 to 8 per day by one month, 5 to 6 per
day by 3 months, 4 to 5 per day between 3 to 7 months, and 3 per day
after 8 months of age."
Grandma Crabcakes Says:
As a grandmother who helped raise my grandchildren, I was concerend
with nutrition a great deal. These are nutrition tips I learned and
1) No soda pop for kids
2) Get your child accustomed to drinking water
3) Water down natural juice, at least one part water to one part
juice. Most kids drink too much juice.
4) Low-fat cheese sticks make great snacks
5) Don't feed sugared foods or drinks
6) Don't feed child processed foods like Pop Tarts, Cheetos or chips
7) Some days babies will eat like they have never done so before, and
other days the same baby may not eat much at all. This is OK!
8) Babies and toddlers get cranky when hungry!
Here is a sample menu of how I fed "my babies" at your son's age:
Breakfast: Old fashioned cooked oatmeal, with a very light sprinkling
of brown sugar and milk, banana slices, or part of a boiled egg and
some fruit. Maybe a few bites of toast. Watered down juice.
Before nap: Several spoons of yogurt, or piece of cheese. Dannon makes
drinkable yogurt (Half a bottle would do as a snack for an 8 month
Lunch: I would often put a small amount of left over chicken from our
dinner into the blender, making dry crumbly chicken "crumbs", and mix
them with mashed cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, or white potatoes,
small noodles. Small pieces of well cooked broccoli florets, and/or
soft fruits. Or some small curd cottage cheese and fruit.
Afternoon snack: Dry Cheerios and applesauce (the unsweetened kind). I
would microwave a piece of apple and scoop out the soft apple flesh
for baby to eat. Melba toast spread with strained fruit.
Dinner: My babies loved the Gerber meat sticks they could hold
themselves. 2-3 meatsticks, some cooked carrot slices, some mashed
potatoes, small slightly mashed pieces of watermelon.
Before bed or dessert: I would offer homemade puddings with lowfat
milk and less sugar than the recipe called for, or some fruit or
I also followed the "Ice Cube" Method, found on this link:
"What to Do with the Leftovers
If leftover food has come in contact with your baby's saliva, because
the spoon from your baby's mouth has been dipped into it, throw the
food away. The enzymes in your baby's saliva will continue digesting
the food in the bowl, breaking down the vital nutrients and causing it
to begin to spoil. Please read more about handling baby's food and
leftovers on page 153.
WARNING: Do not keep baby food, either opened commercial jars or
homemade, in the refrigerator for more than 2 days. Baby food can be
spoiled without necessarily smelling bad.
If you are using avocado or banana as baby's first food, you will have
plenty of leftovers. You can always eat the rest of the banana
yourself, but even an adult has trouble finishing a whole avocado
minus one teaspoon!
One method that will help prevent leftovers and food waste is the
Frozen Food Cube Method. The method is explained in detail in Part II
of this book, but very briefly you would: puree or fork-mash a very
ripe avocado, spoon portions into the cubes of an ice cube tray, cover
with aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn and nutrient loss, freeze
until solid, and transfer the frozen food cubes into a plastic freezer
bag. When mealtime comes, thaw a food cube or two in the microwave
(following the precautions in Part II) and feed it to your baby. The
Food Cube Method can be used for cooked pureed sweet potatoes and
almost all other Super Baby Foods
This Calorie Calulator won't help you now, as it starts at age 2, but
it can give you an idea, or be used in another 16 months!
Food Pyramid for two year olds
See Page 4
Feeding the 9-12 month old
I hope this helps you determine how to feed your son. Again, if you
are concerned your child is overeating, discuss his size with the
pediatrician. Happy Dining!
If any part of my answer is unclear, please request an Answer
Clarification, before rating. This will allow me to assist you
further, if possible.
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