At the 6-month mark, your baby will be ready to start experimenting with pureed foods. But remember that we use foods here as a supplement. Your child’s prime source of nutrition will still be infant formula or breast milk. Most babies start off with cereals, oatmeal, and rice for their first foods. But some skip straight to pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats.
If you want to learn more about feeding schedules along with delicious baby food recipes and tips, continue reading.
What to Feed a 6-Month-Old
When you first start feeding your baby, you don’t want to mix your breast milk with cereal. Most babies end up wasting it which is why it’s a good idea to let them sample first. Mix a bit of water with your cereal and let them taste. If they like it, then slowly add in your breastmilk. Breastmilk mixed with cereals like oats provides a good source of iron for babies. The cereals serve as a nice transition to pureed and other finger foods as well.
If you’re feeding them cereals see if they stick to one feeding for at least two weeks. After that, you can increase it to two feedings and then introduce them to new foods. Orange and yellow vegetables are what kids go for first but some kids prefer bananas and avocados for their first pureed finger foods. Wait for at least three days before giving your child a new food because that will help you pinpoint any food intolerances and allergies.
For your fruits and vegetables, here’s what you can feed them as finger food:
3. Other Food Items
Other food items you can also add to your meal plan for 6-month old baby are:
- Cheese (plant-based)
- Butter (plant-based, in moderation)
- Lentil soups or broths
- Unsweetened yoghurt (lactose-free)
How Much Milk For a 6-Month-Old is Enough
The quantity of milk you’re feeding your child will matter when you feed them breastmilk or formula. Generally speaking, a formula-fed baby feeds for four to five times a day while breastfed babies will be fed five to six times a day. After they get used to that feeding schedule, you can add in solid foods to your 6-month baby food chart. When eating solids, it’s normal to cut down on the breastmilk or quantity of infant formula since your baby may feel too full.
6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule
The key thing about sticking to a feeding guide is to make sure your child feels satisfied after every meal. And being consistent with your feeding times is a good way to stay on track. We’ve listed a few sample schedules and they will also give you an idea about how much solid food to give your baby.
1. Schedule for Formula-Fed Babies
Here is a sample feeding schedule for formula-fed babies for your reference:
|Time||What To Feed|
|7 AM||6 ounces of infant formula|
|10 AM||Breakfast such as mashed fresh fruit or fortified cereals|
|2 PM||Lunch with a bottle of formula and a serving of pureed fruits and vegetables|
|5:30 PM||Two to three servings of fruits and vegetables (mashed or pureed)|
|7 PM||For dinner, only infant formula before bedtime|
2. Schedule for Breastfed Babies
You can use this sample feeding schedule for breastfed babies and alter it as per your child’s needs:
|Time||What To Feed|
|7 AM||Nursing the baby for 20 minutes after wake up|
|8:30 AM||Oatmeal cereal or a similar breakfast along with a portion of fresh fruit|
|12:30 PM||Breastmilk feeding for 20 minutes|
|3 PM –||Lunch with a serving of vegetables (up to 3 ounces)|
|5:30 PM||Breastfeed or a bottle of breastmilk|
|8:15 PM||Dinner which includes two ounces of breastmilk mixed with oatmeal cereal and two ounces of pureed veggies|
Foods to Avoid for a 6-Month-Old Infant
“Can I start feeding my baby solid foods?” The answer to that is yes, but not anytime soon. To be clear, here is a list of foods to avoid when they are just 6 months old:
- Solid foods like big chunks of vegetables or big pieces of carrots, cauliflower florets, or any huge portions that may be a choking hazard
- Raw milk or anything that has lactose since babies can’t digest milk proteins at that age
- Raw honey, because it causes infant botulism
- Special varieties of fish like tuna or the types that have high levels of mercury and heavy metals
- Fruit juices, because of zero fibre and concentrated sugars
Baby Food Recipes for 6-Month-Olds
If you are looking for the best six months baby food recipes, we’re happy to report that they are not just the best but are very simple to make. All it’ll take are a few minutes and a few staple ingredients. These will help you create your customized baby diet planner too.
1. Banana Puree
Banana puree is one of the most popular 6-month old food ideas when it comes to baby food recipes. Be sure not to overdo it though since too much banana can cause constipation. However, a little bit is fine and is okay for a treat.
Here’s what you’ll need for this:
- Ripe bananas
- Breastmilk or infant formula
How to Prepare
Here is how you prepare it.
- Take a banana and a fork.
- Mash the banana and make a puree out of it using that.
- Add in a bit of breast milk or infant formula to thin down the consistency.
- Serve fresh.
2. Avocado Puree
Avocado is good in healthy plant-based fats and promotes proper brain development in kids. Children love the unique and flavourful texture of the puree which is why it’s one of the top foods to give 6-month old babies.
Here is what you will need for this recipe:
- Organic avocados
- Breastmilk or infant formula
How to Prepare
- Get an organic avocado and start by cutting it.
- Mash it into a puree with a metal fork or use a food processor to make this step easier.
- Serve it fresh and thin the consistency by mixing the puree with breastmilk or infant formula.
3. Brown Rice Baby Cereal
If you’re looking for a dinner recipe for your little one, this one is perfect. Let your baby try it out and see the reaction on their faces. They will love it.
You just need two ingredients for this:
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 4 cups of water
How to Prepare
Making this recipe is easy and it’s also very nutritious. Here are the steps:
- Take 1/4 cup of brown rice and run it through a food processor.
- After you turn it into a fine powder, mix water in a pot and add in the rice.
- Bring the mix to a boil and let it simmer in low heat for 20 minutes.
- When it looks pureed enough, take it out, drain and let it cool a bit.
- Serve it to your baby.
Feeding Tips For Parents
If you’re trying to feed your baby, you want to make sure you do it right. We’ll talk about feeding tips and more below.
1. When to Feed
Here’s what to do about when to feed your baby:
- Aim for two feedings a day for breastmilk/formula. Along with pureed and solid foods, they should be getting in six meals a day in total
- Start giving them solid foods slowly. Waiting too long to start can cause feeding problems later on
- Give them solids in the morning and solids again during the evenings. If your baby cries or is famished, don’t give them solids but breast milk instead
- Always look for their behavioural and emotional cues prior to feeding. Experiment with finger foods for snacks and make mealtimes enjoyable
2. How to Feed
Here is what you should do when you start feeding your baby:
- Make sure your baby is seated comfortably and upright. Use a belt to fasten so that they don’t fall off the chair when you’re not watching
- Scoop out your pureed food using a spoon and gently bring it close to their mouth
- See if they taste it. If they’re in the mood to eat, they will eat it
- Don’t wait too long before feeding them because they won’t understand what you’re doing. But push the spoon into their mouth. Place it on their lips and see how they respond
- If they don’t feel like eating, don’t force it and try again later. Feeding times should feel pleasant and natural
- Sit down with your family along with the baby at the dinner table during meal times. It’s a great way to bond and encourage them to eat
Watching your six-month-old baby grow into a healthy child can be a wonderful experience. Be sure to check if they’re gaining weight steadily and take time with your meal prep and planning. By adding a variety of easily digestible foods and following simple but consistent routines, you’ll soon find your baby eating loads and healthy in no time.