Guidelines for Starting Your Infant on Solid Foods

Breast milk or iron-fortified formula is all that is usually needed for healthy growth and development in your baby, but most experts suggest adding solid foods to your infant's diet around 6 months of age. Before feeding your baby solid foods, make sure he/she is able to:

  • Swallow semi-solid foods
  • Sit up well
  • Control neck and head movement
  • Open mouth and move tongue and lips around

Assuring your child can complete these tasks will make for a safe transition to solid foods. If you are unsure when to start feeding your child solid foods, consult your pediatrician for additional information.

Month(s) New Food Suggestions
0 - 5 Feed breast milk or formula
  • If using formula, start feeding infant iron-fortified formula from months 4 - 5
  • Continue until after the 11th month
6 - 7

Add iron-fortified cereals: rice, barley, oats

  • Avoid fruit flavored or mixed grain cereals
  • Start with rice

Start feeding pureed single vegetables, fruits, and protein foods

  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, squash
  • Fruits: bananas, pears, peaches, apples
  • Protein: chicken, pork, beef, tofu, beans
8 Add mixed-grain and iron-fortified cereals, rice, spiral pasta, bread strips, and teething crackers
9 - 10 Begin feeding:
  • Cooked vegetables: mashed or chopped
  • Canned or soft fresh fruits: mashed or chopped
  • Cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, and boneless fish
11 - 12 Try feeding your baby:
  • Bite-sized soft and cooked vegetables, soft fruits, and single meats.
  • Whole milk from a cup (at 12 months)