By the time your baby is six months old, you should start weaning him from breastmilk. At this stage, your baby requires both solid food and breast milk for their overall growth. But, exactly how many times a day should I feed solids to my 6 month old?!
Most parents are confused about the number of times they should feed solid to their six-month-old. Since a six-month-old has just started with solids, it is best to feed them once a day with solid food. You can start with a time when your milk supply is low and slowly start weaning to other times of the day. Once the baby is around 12 months you should be feeding three times meal per day.
How Many Times A Day Should I Feed Solids To My 6 Month Old?
A six-month-old baby is new to solid food.
Thus, it takes time to adjust to the new routine. As such, you should start feeding them once a day with solid food.
You should introduce a very small quantity of solids like a teaspoon.
Once the baby is comfortable taking one teaspoon, you can slowly increase the quantity. You should continue breastfeeding the baby at other times.
There is no fixed time to feed solids to the baby. It depends on your convenience. But generally, most mothers start at noontime.
This is because most babies will be bright after a nap, and ready for their new feeding adventure.
Once the baby is comfortable with the noontime feed, you can start weaning during the morning time.
How Much Should A Baby Be Eating At 6 Months?
For six-month-old baby, breastmilk or formula milk continues to be the main source of food. In addition, you can start feeding solids in very small quantities.
1-2 teaspoons of pureed and mashed food is the right quantity to start with.
Once the baby is comfortable taking this quantity and shows more interest in food, you can slowly increase the quantity to 1-2 tablespoons in the coming weeks.
While feeding the baby, you should ensure that there is no force feeding.
If the baby turns the head while feeding, it means that he is full and does not require more. You should then stop feeding the baby.
What Is The Right Meal Plan For A 6 Month Old Baby?
You should always start feeding a six-month-old with thin and pureed food items that the baby can swallow easily.
Once the baby is comfortable with the food, you can make it a little thicker.
Similarly, the texture of the food should also change from a very smooth one to a lumpy and mashed texture.
The ideal meal plan for a six-month-old should consist of the below food items.
- Rice or wheat-based cereals.
- Quinoa cereal puree.
- Pureed fruits like apple, pear, peach, apricot, mango and banana.
- Full-fat yoghurt
Always remember to cook and pure hard fruits like apples so that it is easy to digest.
- Cooked and pureed root vegetables like carrot and potato.
- Steamed and pureed leafy vegetables like spinach
- Fish, poultry and meat
- Cooked and pureed turkey, and chicken.
- Steamed and pureed fish like salmon.
- Cooked and mashed rice.
- Unsweetened yoghurt
- Quinoa cereal
- Cooked and pureed fruit like blueberry, pear, banana, and avocado.
- Cooked and pureed vegetables like potato, broccoli, peas and carrot.
- Baby muesli and cereals.
- Cooked and mashed brown rice.
It is best to avoid meat products during dinner as it require more time for digestion.
Similarly, cow’s milk should be introduced only after one year as the baby’s digestive system is not fully developed.
While feeding the baby for the first time, you should feed only one type of food at a time. You should wait for a few days before introducing other food items.
This way you can check whether there is any allergic reaction to a particular food item.
What Size Portion Should A 6-Month-Old Have?
The food requirements of babies differ. Some babies need more food whereas other need less.
They are capable of self-regulating their food intake based on their requirement. Ideally, you should start with 1-2 teaspoon of food for a 6 month old.
This should consist of a mix of fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses. Once the baby get used to the taste you can increase it to 1-2 tablespoons.
Here is a general guide for selecting the portion size for a 6 month old.
Vegetables – 2-3 tablespoons
Fruits – 2-3 tablespoons
Meat – 1-2 tablespoons
Cereals -¼ cup
Yoghurt – 2 tablespoons
Egg – ½
As the baby grows, you can slowly increase the quantity to meet the growing requirements of the baby.
What Are Good Finger Foods For 6-month-old?
Once your baby is past 6 months, you should start providing finger food.
Finger foods not only helps to introduce the baby to a variety of taste but also improves the hand-mouth co-ordination.
This is key in developing feeding skills in babies.
Below are a few of the finger foods you can provide your 6-month-old.
- Sliced banana
- Sliced papaya
- Sliced watermelon.
- Sliced raspberries and blueberries.
- Steamed broccoli florets
- Steamed carrot sticks.
- Cooked pumpkin pieces.
- Cucumber sticks.
- Thin buttered toast.
- A small piece of bread stick.
- 3-4 cooked pasta.
- Cheese stick like cheddar cheese.
While introducing finger foods, you should start with soft food items that are easy to chew and swallow like banana.
Feeding a baby for the first time brings in some anxious moment for parents.
Am I feeding them the right quantity? Will my baby feel hungry after the feed? These are a few of the questions most parents have.
But you need not worry as babies are capable of self-regulating the food intake as per their requirement.
You can start with 1-2 teaspoon of cooked and pureed food and slowly increase the quantity based on the requirement of the baby.
When you introduce a food for the first time, the baby might refuse it. This is quite natural.
Once the baby get used to the new taste he is sure to relish the delicacies that you feed him.
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