6 Months Old Baby Food Ideas

Congratulations, your baby has hit the half-year milestone. In the first six months, she has gained all the nutrients from breast milk. It is now time for your baby to start tasting solids and relish them.

Video: Food Ideas for 6 Months Old Baby

Nutrient Requirements of a 6-Month-Old Infant

Here are the nutritional components that 6-month-old baby food should have:

  1. Calcium: Calcium is essential for bone and teeth development.
  2. Iron: Iron helps to carry oxygenated blood to developing parts of the body.
  3. Zinc: Zinc improves cell repair and growth.
  4. Fat: Fat insulates the baby and stimulates brain development.
  5. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy for doing day-to-day activities.
  6. Protein: Proteins act as building blocks for cells.
  7. Vitamins: Different vitamins contribute differently to a baby’s growth. Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K are essential to a baby.
  8. Minerals: Minerals like sodium and potassium directly influence the growth of a baby.

How Much Food Should Your Baby Eat?

A six-month-old baby is primarily breastfed or formula-fed. However, solid food can be introduced for breakfast or lunch. Introduce only one fruit or vegetable and feed it to your baby for at least three days. If she responds well and does not show any signs of allergy, then you can continue with that fruit or vegetable and also try other foods.

Best Foods for a 6-Month-Old Baby

Best Foods for Six-Month-Old Baby

Expert paediatricians recommend avoiding salt and sugar until the age of one, as it puts unwanted stress on the kidneys.

Some healthy food options for 6 months+ babies include:

  • Fruits Puree: Fruits should be steamed, and mashed or pureed while introducing for the first time. Fruits like apples, bananas, pear, avocado, chikoo and peaches can be given.
  • Vegetable Puree: Vegetables such sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, sweet pumpkin, french beans, etc. can be steamed and given either as finger foods or as a puree.
  • Pulses Soup: A variety of pulses, especially dals, can be boiled with water and the soup can be given to babies.
  • Rice Porridge: Rice is a good source of carbohydrates and vitamins for babies. Broken rice, made with breast milk or formula milk can be given as porridge.
  • Cereal Porridge: Porridge can also be made from a variety of single grain cereals like wheat, millet, barley, oats, etc. These cereals can be dried and powdered together or separately, to make gruel.
  • Vegetable Soup: A variety of vegetables can be boiled in water, and the stock can be given as soup.
  • Yoghurt: Although cow’s milk is not recommended until the age of one, unsweetened yoghurt can be given in moderate amounts as an alternative to purees.

What If Your Baby Is Allergic to Particular Foods?

An allergic reaction can occur in the form of diarrhoea, vomiting, rashes, constipation or pain in the stomach and is a cause for concern. If there is an allergic reaction, stop the food that you have been giving the baby immediately. If the allergic reaction persists, seek medical assistance. You can retry it after a few months if your paediatrician gives the go-ahead.

6-Month-Old Baby Food Chart/Meal Plan

You can prepare a meal plan or chart for your baby’s meals and follow it as much as possible. The chart below can help you design your own 6-month-old baby food schedule according to your baby’s preferences.

Diet for a 6-month-old – Week 1

Meals

Early morning

Breakfast

Mid-morning

Lunch

Evening

Dinner

Day 1

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 2

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 3

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 4

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Moong dal (yellow split gram) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 5

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Moong dal (yellow split gram) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 6

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Moong dal (yellow split gram) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 7

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed pear

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Dal (lentil) -spinach soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Diet for a 6-month-old – Week 2

Meals

Early morning

Breakfast

Mid-morning

Lunch

Evening

Dinner

Day 1

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed pear

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Dal (lentil) -spinach soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 2

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Spinach-pumpkin puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 3

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Spinach-pumpkin puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed pear

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 4

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Spinach-pumpkin puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 5

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 6

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mashed potato

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 7

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mashed potato

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Dal (lentil) -spinach soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Diet for a 6-month-old – Week 3

Meals

Early morning

Breakfast

Mid-morning

Lunch

Evening

Dinner

Day 1

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed pear

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge with mashed carrot

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 2

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Spinach-pumpkin puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge with mashed carrot

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 3

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed apple

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge with mashed carrot

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 4

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Carrot-beetroot puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Spinach-pumpkin puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 5

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Carrot-beetroot puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Dal (lentil) -spinach soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 6

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Carrot-beetroot puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Stewed pear

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 7

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge with mashed carrot

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Lauki (bottle gourd)- moong dal (green gram split) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Diet for a 6-month-old – Week 4

Meals

Early morning

Breakfast

Mid-morning

Lunch

Evening

Dinner

Day 1

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mashed potato

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Lauki (bottle gourd) moong dal ( green gram split) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 2

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Sweet potato + poha flattened rice) powder

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Tomato- pumpkin soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 3

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Sweet potato + poha (flattened rice) powder

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Lauki (bottle gourd) rice

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 4

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Sweet potato + poha (flattened rice) powder

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Rice porridge with mashed carrot

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 5

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Dal (lentil) -spinach soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Palak (spinach)khichdi

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 6

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mashed potato

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Ragi (finger millet) – moong dal (green gram split) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Day 7

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Spinach-pumpkin puree

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Ragi (finger millet) – moong dal (green gram split) soup

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Mother’s milk /formula feed

Video: 6 Month Old Baby Food Recipes

Food Recipes for 6-Month-Old Baby

Here are some interesting Indian baby food recipes thaty your baby can try.

1. Apple Stew With Cinnamon

Ingredients:

  • Apple – 1
  • Water
  • Cinnamon powder

How To Prepare:

  • Cook the peeled and diced apple slices in boiling water.
  • Alternatively, you can also cook them in a pressure cooker for two to three whistles.
  • Take the steamed apples and blend them in a mixer jar. You can also sieve it to thin the consistency of the stew.
  • To this, add a pinch of cinnamon powder and mix well.
  • Apple stew is ready.

2. Mango Puree

Ingredients:

How To Prepare:

  • Peel and remove the mango pulp.
  • Blend the pulp to a paste or sieve it.
  • As the fruit has natural sugars, serve without any added sweetners.

3. Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • Powdered Oats – 1 cup
  • Water
  • Breast milk or formula milk – as per requirement
  • Banana – 1/2

How To Prepare:

  • In a pan, boil 2 cups of water.
  • Once the water starts boiling, add the cup of powdered oats slowly to the water and stir continuously to avoid forming lumps.
  • Once the oats are cooked, add 2 tablespoons of milk.
  • You can add the banana paste to give a nice flavour to the dish.

4. Sweet Pumpkin Puree

Sweet Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients:

  • Sweet pumpkin – 1/4
  • Water

How To Prepare:

  • Deseed a small pumpkin and remove the pulp. Dice it into small cubes.
  • Boil 2 cups of water and add the pumpkin cubes to it. Cover the lid and let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Mash or blend the cooked pumpkin to a fine paste and feed your baby. The natural sweetness of the vegetable gives a good taste to the dish.

5. Rice Porridge

Ingredients:

  • Powdered rice – 1 cup
  • Water
  • Breastmilk/formula milk – as per requirement

How To Prepare:

  • Take water and boil it in a pan.
  • Slowly, add the powdered rice and cook it well.
  • Take care to avoid formation of lumps.
  • Top up the cooked rice with 2 tablespoons of milk and stir well.

6. Potato Puree

Ingredients:

  • Potato – 2
  • Breast milk/formula milk – as per requirement

How To Prepare:

  • Select potatoes that doesn’t have soft spots or cracks.
  • Wash them and peel the skin off. Dice it into small cubes.
  • To a cooker half-filled with water, add the potato cubes and cook for 1-2 whistles.
  • Transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl and mash them with a spoon.
  • Add breast milk or formula milk.
  • Delicious potato puree is ready.

7. Bottle Gourd (Lauki) Puree

Ingredients:

  • Bottle gourd – 1/2
  • Moong dal – 1 tbsp
  • Jeera powder – a pinch

How To Prepare:

  • Wash and peel the lauki. Cut it into small cubes.
  • Add the lauki cubes and moong dal to a pressure cooker with 50 ml of water.
  • Cook for 2 whistles on medium flame.
  • Mash or blend it after it cools down. Add jeera powder (optional) and serve.

Feeding Tips

Feeding babies can be a daunting task for mothers. Here are some tips to make your baby’s mealtime happy and stress-free.

  • Always start with just one or two spoons and give more only if your baby likes the taste.
  • Introduce only one new fruit or vegetable at a time and observe her reaction to it, before starting with another foodstuff.
  • Follow the 3-day rule and note down all the new dishes and ingredients you’ve fed your baby. This makes troubleshooting easier if she has an allergic reaction.
  • Do not lumpy foods or finger foods to babies as small as six months. It can sometimes cause gagging and even choking.
  • Decide on a calm and quiet place for feeding like the living room or the kitchen.
  • Avoid distraction feeding, i.e. don’t feed your baby by getting her to watch something on a TV or mobile screen.
  • Prepare and store baby food in sterilised steel or glass bowls instead of plastic containers.
  • Give only homemade food as your baby’s digestive system is still underdeveloped.

Introducing solid foods to babies can be tricky, and mothers may feel confused as to what food is right for their baby. Most of the time, babies love to eat foods that are of varying tastes, textures and colours. A little effort towards tingling their taste buds can go a long way in successful feeding.

Disclaimer:

  1. Each child is different and so use these meal plans as a trusted guide as per your discretion. You can modify the meals according to your child’s preferences / requirements.
  2. Never force-feed a child.
  3. While preparing formula, please follow the instructions on the box and use the measuring spoon provided with it.
  4. While introducing solid food to a baby, initially, one needs to prepare watery gruels/soups. As a child gets older, the caretaker/ mother has to increase the thickness of the liquids slowly according to the child’s capacity to swallow. Foods that are too thick can cause stomach upset/ unnecessary load; while excessively watery food might cause the child to remain hungry.
  5. Some kids may eat less on some days and that is absolutely alright. However, if a child eats less for more than 3-4 consecutive days, please visit a doctor to guide further.
  6. A child may eat less during the teething phase or if he/she may not be feeling well. You could increase breast milk /formula feeds on those days. Re-introduce the foods once the child is back to normal.
  7. Don’t stop feeding if the child is suffering from diarrhoea.
  8. You can alter the taste of the food by adding some natural flavours like cinnamon, jeera powder, lemon juice, curry leaves etc. if the child doesn’t accept the food initially.
  9. If your child suffers from an allergy to nuts, gluten or eggs, please consult your doctor before feeding him/her any foods that may contain them.

Also Read: Food Ideas for 7 Months Old Baby