Aug 192005
  • Breast milk is absolutely the most important and perfect food an infant can have.
    • It is especially important during the first six months, but the numerous benefits continue into the second year of the baby’s life and beyond.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding is optimal until six months of age. Breast milk continues to be an important source of nutrition even after solid food is introduced.
  • Introduce new foods one at a time. Avoid combinations of foods until it is known that the baby can tolerate all ingredients.
  • Once solid food is introduced, observe the four-day wait rule (no new foods for four days) and always look for signs of allergic reactions.*
  • Do not repeat the same food more than five days in a row, as the baby may become sensitized to it.
  • Avoid or delay common allergenic foods. The sooner they are introduced, the more likely the child is to become allergic.
    • Dairy, wheat, corn, egg whites, citrus, peanuts
  • Never feed honey or corn syrup to a baby less than one year old due to the danger of botulism.
  • Avoid processed foods and choose fresh, organic produce and grains whenever possible.
    • Babies are especially sensitive to pesticides, and organic produce offers superior nutritional value.
  • Homemade baby food is not difficult to prepare and is a healthier and less expensive alternative to commercially prepared baby food.
  • Preparing food for your baby allows you to know exactly what they are eating. You can be confident that it is fresh, organic, and has no added sugar or preservatives.
  • Avoid excess sugars, especially refined sugar, whenever possible. If you decide to offer juice, use only 100% juice and even then dilute it at least 50% with pure filtered water as it has a high sugar content.
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains and flour whenever possible.
  • Avoid the temptation to feed your child junk food, fast food, and other convenience foods! Once they get their first taste of french fries and cookies, it is difficult to convince them that steamed broccoli and whole grain breads are still yummy.
  • Set a good example and do something positive for yourself at the same time by making healthy food choices for yourself as well.
  • Breastfeeding mom’s should supplement their essential fatty acids (EPA-DHA complex) in order to replenish her own reserves as well as providing this “brain food” for their baby.
  • The food introduction guidelines presented here focus on prevention of food allergies and promotion of optimum health. They may not be consistent with conventional guidelines or current medical views. They are suggestions only, and may not work well for everyone. This is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Every person is unique biochemically and has their own nutritional needs. You should discuss your infants specific dietary needs with your pediatrician.
  • Age


    Preparation and Presentation

    0-6 months +

    Breast milk exclusively

    (goat’s milk formula* or traditional formula only if breast feeding or expressed breast milk are not possible)

    Wait to introduced expressed breast milk in bottles until the breastfeeding relationship is well established to avoid nipple confusion.

    6 months  +

    Fruits: avocado, banana, pears, mango, papaya

    Vegetables: sweet potatoes, winter squash

    First foods should be strained or pureed and mixed with breast milk so that they are runny. Gradually increase the consistency by adding less milk.

    7 months +

    Fruits: peaches

    Vegetables: mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus, green beans, peas, summer squash

    Pureed or mashed

    8 months +

    Fruits: apricot, applesauce, honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, kiwi, plums

    Protein: tahini, ground nuts and seeds

    Pureed, mashed, steamed until soft

    Begin finger foods (soft)

    9 months +

    Fruits: pineapple, blueberries, nectarines

    Vegetables: brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, beets, kale, eggplant, string beans

    Protein: beans, lentils, split peas, tofu

    Keep finger foods small (bite sized), can be firmer texture

    10 months +

    Vegetables: summer squash, carrots, sweet peppers

    Protein: creamy nut butters (almond, cashew), lima beans, pinto beans

    Veggies can be raw if finely grated

    One year +

    Fruits: Fresh berries (cut into small pieces), citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, tomato juice, grape halves

    Cereals: homemade whole grain (brown rice, millet, oat), organic “oh”-type cereals (consider wheat-free alternatives)

    Protein: Hard-boiled organic eggs, cow’s milk and cheese, goat’s milk and cheese, (consider soy, rice and nut alternatives, given on a rotating basis)

    Fish: salmon, tuna (not more than once per week, look for wild salmon)

    Baby can start to use utensils well on his/her own. Mealtimes will get messier!

    13+ months

    Cereals: barley, mixed grain

    14+ months

    Cereals and grains: bulgur cereal, rice pasta, whole grain pasta

    18 months +

    Grains: wheat

    Protein: cow’s yogurt

    24 months +

    Protein: cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, lentils

    Meat: duck

    Nutrients to emphasize:

  • 9 months: zinc
  • 9-12 months: zinc and iron
  • 12 months: zinc and bulk
  • 18-24 months: B vitamins and calcium (take these slowly)

Infant feeding guidelines can be complicated and confusing as sources vary widely in their recommendations. The best approach is to adapt different approaches to your baby and your lifestyle in order to find what will work best for both of you. The most important things you can do to ensure the healthiest start possible for your baby are to breastfeed for at least the entire first year, and consider breastfeeding two years or more. Your baby will continue to benefit from mama’s milk long after the first six months.

Other important points to remember are to pay close attention to the nutritional value, sugar content, and amount of pesticides and additives in your baby’s food, and to watch carefully for any signs of allergic reaction or food intolerance. Allergies most commonly affect babies’ digestive tract, respiratory tract, and skin, so watch for changes in your baby’s skin, stool, sleep patterns, activity level, appearance, or respirations. Some of these changes may come on right away, and some may not be noticed until up to four days after the suspected food.

Specific signs of food allergy:

  • Skin rashes, rashes around mouth or anus, red face or cheeks
  • Diarrhea or mucus stool
  • Hyperactivity or lethargy
  • Frequent infections
  • Runny nose
  • Black rings under eyes

Nutrition is most important in your baby’s first two years, when their brain and body are growing more rapidly than at any other point in their life. The time and energy you invest now to ensure optimal nourishment will benefit your baby throughout his or her lifetime!


Yaron, Ruth. Super Baby Food, 2nd edition. F.J. Roberts Publishing, 2001.

Sweet, O. Robin and Bloom, Thomas A. The Well Fed Baby. William Morrow and Co, 2000.

Lair, Cynthia. Feeding the Whole Family, revised edition. Moon Smile Press, 1997.

Sears, William. “Feeding infants and toddlers.”

Lee, Thomas Sterns. “Schedule for introducing solid foods.”

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.