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Solids - When and how much?

Solids - how much?

It is difficult to determine the correct amount an infant will eat, as each baby's appetite differs.  Below is a guideline but many infants will exceed these amounts.  Initially in the first day or so of introducing solids an infant may only take a very small amount (less than a teaspoon) once a day.  Others will readily accept several teaspoons of their new foods.  Remember, in the early stages milk is still baby's main source of most nutrients.

Start with a new food each day: using pre-prepared food frozen into trays can be an excellent measure of a variety of foods (see our freezer tubs or solids starter kits).  As a child demands more, increase the amount offered.  Let baby take the lead.  From six to nine months offer an additional solid feed into the day so that by nine months most children have three solid meals a day.  The pattern of breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks, is generally established around seven/eight months and clearly in process by nine-eleven months.

It generally takes about a month from the time of the first introduced food for babies to work up to taking more than 10 ml a day (just over 2 teaspoons), and a month and half to be able to consume more than 100 ml a day.
Babies who were started on solids at a younger age seem to take longer to get to these amounts; hence introducing solids at 6 months appears to shorten the time.

Parents should not get too hung up on numbers or comparisons to other infants, go with what your child wants, they are the best at regulating the actual amount they require for their energy demands and development - healthy children rarely ever starve themselves.  Below is a rough guide.

Food Quantity and Frequency for introducing solids
Age in months Quantity Frequency
4-6 months 1-2 teaspoons Once a day
6-9 months 1/2-1 cup per meal Working up to three a day
9 months 3/4 - 2 cups per meal Three to five times a day
12 months As per their demand Three meals plus 2 -3 snacks per day made available

Which foods to choose when?  See our article here.