How much solid food should I be giving my baby? Solids

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baby sitting on high chair getting fed applesauce
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It's not as tough as you may think to make sure your baby's getting proper portions of solid food. Consider this advice on avoiding over- or underfeeding from experts and moms.

Give Your Baby Control

"Between 4 to 6 months, solid foods should be thought of as practice and getting your baby accustomed to new foods. Between 6 and 9 months of age, your little one will start to slowly eat more solid foods, and a typical 9-month-old will have three meals a day. Let your child be in control of how much food they take in. When they show signs of disinterest such as pushing away the spoon or closing the lips tightly, they are signaling that they have had enough to eat and it is time to stop. The...

"Between 4 to 6 months, solid foods should be thought of as practice and getting your baby accustomed to new foods. Between 6 and 9 months of age, your little one will start to slowly eat more solid foods, and a typical 9-month-old will have three meals a day. Let your child be in control of how much food they take in. When they show signs of disinterest such as pushing away the spoon or closing the lips tightly, they are signaling that they have had enough to eat and it is time to stop. The goal is to provide diverse and balanced foods. The feeding methods used in the early part of life help to establish lifelong eating patterns, so it is important to get off to the right start." -- Deena Blanchard, MD, MPH, Premier Pediatrics, New York, NY

Stop When Baby Turns Away

"This is where you need to read your baby's body language. Serving sizes for babies and toddlers are small, and children's needs vary daily. Infants are born with an innate ability to recognize when they are full and hungry; it's our job as parents to follow those cues. If they are opening their mouth, smiling and eager to eat, they are still hungry. If they turn their head, close their lips, seem disinterested, spitting or throwing their food, they are full." -- Lindsey Carter, MS, RDN, LDN, Back 2 Basics Nutrition LLC, Middletown, MD

Rest Assured Baby Will Tell You

"Babies love to tell you when they are done with a meal! Spitting out food after several spoonfuls or turning their faces away often means mealtime is over." -- Leena Saini, author of Around the World in 80 Purees: Easy Recipes for Global Baby Food

Start Small and Slowly Increase

"I followed an online feeding chart that said to start with one tablespoon of baby food and then increase to four tablespoons for three meals a day around six months. Then, I slowly increased it so she was having three mini meals per day, with a variety of foods -- fruits, veggies, grains, and protein -- plus two small snacks."

Small Portions Let You Easily Adjust

"I stored purees in ice cube trays that were about one ounce per cube. I started out with one ounce of puree or cereal and fed her until she seemed like she wanted to stop. The more she seemed to want, the more I'd give her at the next meal and it just kept going up."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.