Food For Dolls

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I love food. Dolls, food and photography. I am constantly on the hunt for new ways to cook and take pictures of the cute little things that I make for family and friends. I hope that you enjoy my adventures!

Food For Dolls

For the first 4 to 6 months, breast milk or formula is the only food your baby needs. After that, you can start solid foods when your baby show signs of readiness. At first your little one will keep it simple with just a few teaspoons of a one-ingredient food (like a pureed fruit, veggie, or meat) every day. Within a few months, your baby will be ready for a variety of foods and one to two meals a day. By 8 to 12 months old, you may have an enthusiastic eater who enjoys plenty of soft finger foods and wants three meals plus snacks every day.

girl being fed from a plastic spoon

Photo credit: Thinkstock

  • Age: Birth to 4 months
  • Age: 4 to 6 months
  • Age: 6 to 8 months
  • Age: 8 to 12 months

Use this baby feeding guide to find out what and how much to feed your child in the first year. The amounts are general recommendations only, so don’t worry if your little one eats a bit more or less than suggested. It’s always a good idea to discuss your plan for starting solids with your child’s doctor before getting started.

Also, you don’t have to introduce foods to your child in any special order. If you want to give your baby a taste of tofu at age 6 months, go ahead, even though it’s not listed on our chart until age 8 months. And while baby cereal is a traditional first food in the United States, it’s fine to start with pureed fruits, vegetables, or meat instead. For ideas, check out these best first foods for babies, see our roundup of adventurous first foods, and learn about baby-led weaning (an alternative feeding approach).


Age: Birth to 4 months

Feeding behavior

  • Rooting reflex helps your baby turn toward a nipple to find nourishment.

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula only

How much per day

  • How to tell if your baby’s getting enough breast milk
  • How to tell how much formula your baby needs

Feeding tip

  • Your baby’s digestive tract is still developing, so solid food is off-limits for now.

Age: 4 to 6 months

Signs of readiness for solid food

Your child is likely ready to try solids when they:

  • Can hold their head up and sit upright in a highchair
  • Shows significant weight gain (doubled birth weight) and weighs at least 13 pounds
  • Can close their mouth around a spoon
  • Can move food from the front to the back of their mouth

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, plus
  • Pureed vegetables (peas, squash)
  • Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, peaches)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal (avoid rice cereal; instead choose a cereal made with oats or barley)
  • Small amounts of unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk until age 1)

How much per day

  • Breastfeeding or formula: 4 to 6 feedings (breastfeeding, or 4- to 6-ounce bottles)
  • When starting solids, begin with a very small amount of a single-ingredient pureed food (about 1 to 2 teaspoons).
  • Gradually increase to 1 to 2 tablespoons. If you’re giving cereal, mix it with breast milk or formula so the consistency isn’t too thick.

How to introduce new foods to your baby

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Find tips on how to introduce solids safely and effectively, from recommended first foods to sticking to a schedule.

Feeding tips

  • If your baby won’t eat what you offer the first time, try again in a few days.
  • Some doctors recommend that you introduce new foods one at a time. Wait three to five days, if possible, before offering another new food. (If your baby or family has a history of allergies, talk to your baby’s doctor about specific timing.) It’s also a good idea to write down the foods your baby samples. If they have an adverse reaction, a food log will make it easier to pinpoint the cause.
  • Unsafe levels of toxic heavy metals – arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury – have been found in store-bought baby food (including in organic brands). Learn how to avoid heavy metals in baby food.
  • Get more detailed tips on how to introduce solids.
  • See which foods aren’t safe for your baby.

Age: 6 to 8 months

Signs of readiness for solid food

  • Same as 4 to 6 months

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, plus
  • Pureed or strained fruits (banana, pears, applesauce, peaches, avocado)
  • Pureed or strained vegetables (well-cooked carrots, squash, sweet potato)
  • Pureed or mashed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Pureed or mashed tofu
  • Small amounts of pureed or soft pasteurized cheese, cottage cheese, or unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk until age 1)
  • Pureed or mashed legumes (black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, kidney beans)
  • Iron-fortified cereal (oats, barley); small pieces of bread and crackers

How much per day

  • Breastfeeding or formula: 3 to 5 feedings (breastfeeding, or 6- to 8-ounce bottles)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fruit, gradually increasing to 4 to 8 tablespoons
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetables, gradually increasing to 4 to 8 tablespoons
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grain products, gradually increasing to 2 to 4 tablespoons
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons protein-rich foods, gradually increasing to 2 to 4 tablespoons

Feeding tips

  • As your baby gets more comfortable with eating, you can start to add a variety of foods and increase the frequency of meals. By 8 months, it’s typical for your baby to be eating one to two meals a day.
  • Whenever you introduce a new food, start with a very small amount (a teaspoon or two) to allow your baby to get used to a new flavor and texture.

Age: 8 to 12 months

Signs of readiness for solid and soft finger foods

  • Same as 6 to 8 months, plus
  • Picks up objects with thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp)
  • Can transfer items from one hand to the other
  • Moves jaw in a chewing motion
  • Swallows food more easily
  • No longer pushes food out of mouth with tongue
  • Tries to use a spoon

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, plus
  • Soft pasteurized cheese, cottage cheese, and unsweetened yogurt
  • Bite-size, soft-cooked vegetables (carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes)
  • Fruit mashed or cut into soft cubes or strips (bananas, peaches, pears, avocados)
  • Finger foods (O-shaped cereal, small bits of scrambled eggs, well-cooked pieces of potato, well-cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, small pieces of bagel)
  • Protein-rich foods (small bits of meat, poultry, boneless fish, tofu, and well-cooked beans, like lentils, split peas, pintos, or black beans)
  • Iron-fortified cereal and other grains (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

How much per day

  • Breastfeeding or formula: 3 to 4 feedings (breastfeeding, or 7- to 8-ounce bottles)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fruit
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetables
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grain products
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup protein-rich foods

Feeding tips

  • By 8 months or so, babies often have three meals and start adding snacks.
  • Continue to offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein-rich foods. As your baby’s eating skills improve, gradually introduce more textures and soft finger foods.
  • It’s fine to serve your baby what the rest of the family is eating – just watch out for added sugars, which aren’t recommended for children under 2. Check the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, and try to steer clear of foods that list 1 gram or more of “Added Sugars.”

Introducing Baby Food? Here are Things to Feed Your Infant

Baby in high chair eating
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

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When to Start Baby Food

Baby Girl Eating in High Chair
MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGES/SHUTTERSTOCK

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says you should introduce solids between 4 and 6 months, but the answer depends on your baby. He might be ready if he exhibits the following signs:

  • Sitting upright and holding up his head
  • Looking around himself curiously
  • Ability to swallow and loss of “tongue thrust” reflex (this prevents you from putting solid objects into your baby’s mouth)
  • Seeming dissatisfied from milk alone

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Berries

handful of strawberries
ROCK AND WASP/SHUTTERSTOCK

Babies eat with their eyes, just as grown-ups do, and what’s more beautiful than bright red strawberries or dusky blueberries? Serve small or chopped berries as finger foods, or blend them for a scrumptious puree that’s as good spread on toast as it is off a spoon.

  • RELATED: Baby’s First Foods: The Complete Guide to Starting Solids

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Salmon

Babies’ growing brains crave DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential to cognitive development—and salmon is packed with the stuff. Mash some cooked, flaked fish into a puree, or bread it and bake it for salmon nuggets.

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Peanuts

Glass jar of peanut butter
CHRISTIAN JUNG/SHUTTERSTOCK

Recent guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), says that introducing babies to peanuts around 4 to 6 months could actually prevent peanut allergies, especially if they’re at a high risk of developing them. Instead of giving your baby whole peanuts or a spoonful of peanut butter (both of which are choking hazards), spread a little peanut butter on toast sticks or stir a bit into a puree.

  • RELATED: The New Rules of Peanut Allergies: What Concerned Parents Need to Know

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Onions and Garlic

Who says you need to stick with traditional baby food? Try including small amounts of onion, leeks, scallions, and garlic into your baby’s diet. When cooked, these flavor-boosters add a mellow, savory quality to purees and chunkier baby meals.

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Spinach and Other Leafy Greens

spinach
IVEE STEPHENS

Most babies are open to trying new foods. Sometimes they’ll make a funny face or turn away, but don’t give up offering—especially when it comes to nutrient-packed leafy greens. Soon enough your little one will become accustomed to the earthy taste of spinach, kale, and chard, and you’ll go a long way toward building a more adventurous eater in the future.

  • RELATED: What is Baby-Led Weaning? How to Help Your Infant Feed Himself

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Beef

Tray of Raw Beef Steak
ANDY LYONS

If your family eats meat, don’t shy away from beef. Full of protein and zinc, it’s an ideal early baby food. Serve it pureed on its own or mixed with potato, sweet potato, or a green vegetable puree.

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Whole Grains

quinoa
ANDY LYONS

There’s no reason to limit your baby’s starches to old-fashioned rice cereal. Try cereals made from oats, quinoa, brown rice, or other whole grains—which generally have more fiber and often more flavor.

  • RELATED: When Do Babies Start Eating Baby Food?

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Squash

Mashed butternut squash is a classic baby food for good reason: The flavor is sweet, so it’s usually an instant hit with little ones, and it’s packed with Vitamin A.

  • RELATED: Family Recipes Made for Baby

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How to Make Baby Food: Butternut Squash Puree

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Eggs

How to Hard Boil an Egg
SHUTTERSTOCK

With six grams of protein, healthy fats, and choline for eye health, eggs are a great baby food. And they’re also perfectly easy to prepare; simply blend a scrambled egg with a vegetable puree, cut up an omelet as a finger food, or chop a hard-boiled egg for easy eating.

  • RELATED: Baby’s First Finger Foods

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Lentils

Lemony Lentil Soup
PEDEN AND MUNK

Did you know lentils are an amazing source of iron? Unlike dried beans, they require no soaking, and they combine well with a variety of savory add-ins like veggies, mild curry powder, and fresh herbs.

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More Baby Food Options

peach slices
BLAINE MOATS

Continue to expand your infant’s horizons with these baby food options:

  • Peaches
  • Zucchini
  • Lamb
  • Kale
  • Strawberries
  • Oats
  • Beets
  • Basil and other herbs
  • Pumpkin
  • Cheese

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