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When my baby starts eating solids, should I give her less breast milk or formula?

No. Her servings of solids aren’t large enough to replace her regular liquid feedings. At this stage, solids are “extras”. They provide supplemental nutrition like iron and are more important for helping your baby master the oral motor skills she needs to chew and swallow. While she’s transitioning to solid foods, breast milk and/or formula will remain your baby’s primary source of nutrition. Of course, as the months pass and meals get larger, breastfed babies may drink less. And formula fed babies may not always finish their bottles.
Your baby's 6-12 month feeding milestones.
You and your baby are about to embark on an exciting journey as she explores solid foods— a whole new world of tastes, textures and colours.

The Q&As in this section offer information and tips to help you and baby navigate the journey.

Feeding milestones at 6 months

When she’s ready for solids, where should I start?

At 6 months, you can start introducing iron rich foods such as finely minced meats or fish, well-cooked, mashed legumes such as beans or mashed, cooked eggs. Most parents begin with single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal because it’s easy. If it comes back out your baby’s mouth, or she only eats a bite or two, don’t worry. Give her time to get the hang of it. Later, you can progress to a varied diet including vegetables and fruits, grain products and protein sources.

When can my baby start drinking juice?

If your toddler seems thirsty, water should be the beverage of choice. Limit fruit juice and other sweetened beverages and do not provide before 6 months of age. Young toddlers have small stomachs and large quantities of these beverages may replace breast milk, infant formula and nutritious foods. If you wish to offer juice, choose 100% fruit juice, not a sweetened fruit drink. Make it part of a meal or snack, no more than once or twice per day and don’t give her more than 125-175 mL (4-5 ounces) per day.
Baby bites
What to serve now
Iron-fortified rice, barley, oat, or mixed-grain cereal
Well pureed meat or jarred meat
Well cooked legumes
Pureed squash, sweet potato, peas, and well cooked carrots
Unsweetened applesauce
Pureed peaches, plums, or pears
Mashed ripe banana
Mashed ripe avocado
Your baby’s first “solids” will be nearly liquid, but as the weeks and months pass, you’ll start to offer him more chunky meals. To keep him from choking, avoid nuts, raw carrots, string cheese, popcorn, marshmallows, hard, sticky, or round candy, raisins and other small dried fruit, hot dogs and grapes (unless they’re seedless and cut into quarters). Also, always keep a watchful eye on your baby during meals, and don’t let him eat in a moving car.
How to make your own baby food
Feeding milestones at 7 to 8 months
Sometime between the ages of 7 and 10 months, your baby will develop the pincer grasp, which is the ability to pick up small items between his thumb and forefinger. This is big news: being able to pick up food puts him on the road to independent self-feeding.

How should I increase the variety of his diet?

Mix up the flavours and textures. If he loves oatmeal mixed with peaches, that’s great—but broaden his horizons by offering him mild-flavoured pureed squash and stronger-flavoured mashed peas. Or let him sink his fingers into a small bowl of mashed potatoes. If he turns up his nose when you offer him something new, keep trying; often it takes several exposures to a new food before a baby will take it. The more variety you introduce now, the more likely he’ll grow up to be an adventurous eater.

My 8 month old is eating like a champ. Is he ready for cow’s milk?

Not yet. Wait until he’s 9 to 12 months old, and then introduce him to whole cow’s milk. Milk does not provide all the nutrition young babies need. It’s low in iron, vitamin C and vitamin E. Formula, on the other hand, does contain nutrients for normal growth and development. For these reasons, breast milk or formula should continue to be the main source of nutrition for your baby until he’s at least 9 months old. If you’re using formula, consider switching now to a next stage formula such as Enfamil A+ 2, which has DHA, a type of Omega-3 fat and a brain nourishing nutrient, plus age-appropriate levels of iron, calcium and protein.
Baby bites
What to serve now
Soft cooked pasta (elbows and spirals are easiest to pick up)
Mashed veggies or fruit (banana, peach, pear, mango, and melon)
Small bits of toast
Teething biscuits
Mashed potatoes or bits of soft cooked sweet potato
Toasted oat cereal
Baby bites
What to serve now
Bite size pieces of pancakes or soft French toast
Bite size pieces of grilled cheese
Hard cooked egg
Yogurt
Bits of meatloaf
Soft cooked chopped vegetables and soft fruits
Pasta and rice
Time to switch to a next stage formula?
If you’re formula feeding, think about switching now to a next stage formula like Enfamil A 2. Why? Because Enfamil A+ 2 is designed to help nourish your baby’s growing brain and body. It has age-appropriate levels of iron and calcium and contains DHA, a type of Omega-3 fat and a brain-nourishing nutrient.

Feeding Milestones at 9 to 12 Months

Your baby may begin to use a sippy cup, finger feed and try to use a spoon. His grasp will be stronger as well.

If he’s eating 3 meals of solids a day, should he still be nursing or drinking formula?

Yes. He may be eating more kinds of foods now, in larger quantities, but babies have tiny tummies and he still needs nutrition from breast milk or formula. If he’s drinking formula, by now it could be a next stage formula, like Enfamil A+® 2, designed to meet his changing nutritional needs.

What kinds of foods should he be eating now?

Offer him cottage cheese and yogurt and soft combination foods like casseroles and macaroni and cheese. He’ll probably enjoy the increased variety in flavour and texture. If you’re using jarred food, move on to chunkier, less pureed varieties. Give him lots of practice chewing—or gumming—his food. He can eat just about anything you can, though some foods may need to go through a blender or food processor. Expect a mess—it’s an inevitable part of learning to eat on his own.

If I delay introducing certain foods, like fish and shellfish, will he be less likely to develop allergies?

Experts such as the Canadian Paediatric Society recommend that you not delay introducing potentially allergic foods, such as peanuts, fish or eggs, to your baby because doing so will not lower his risk of developing food allergies.
Learn more about making the transition to solids
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Feeding Milestones

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