Establishing Healthy Eating Habits

Children have natural ability with eating. They eat as much as they need, they grow in the way that is right for them, and they learn to eat the food their parents eat. Step-by-step, throughout their growing-up years, they build on their natural ability and become eating competent. Parents let them learn and grow with eating when they follow the Division of Responsibility in Feeding. Remember it can be 20 yucks to 1 yum- keep offering different foods.

The Division of Responsibility for infants: 

  • The parent is responsible for what.¬†
  • The child is responsible for how much (and everything else).¬†
  • Parents choose breast- or formula-feeding, and help the infant be calm and organized. Then they feed smoothly, paying attention to information coming from the baby about timing, tempo, frequency, and amounts.¬†

The Division of Responsibility for babies making the transition to family food: 

  • The parent is still responsible for what as well as when and where the child is fed.¬†
  • The child is still and always responsible for how much and whether to eat the foods offered by the parent. Don‚Äôt become a short order cook!

Learn more at: http://ellynsatterinstitute.org

Other Helpful websites:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.ORG)
  • Healthychildren.org
  • World Health Organization (WHO.org)

No honey or cow’s milk until 12mos+

4-6 Months

Breastfeeding (formula*)

4-6 feedings/day
(28-32 ounces/day)

Infant cereal and Grains (iron fortified)

3-5 Tbsp single grain cereal mixed with breast milk (water/formula)

Fruits (washed)

1-2 Tbsp plain/pureed , 1-2 times/day

Vegetables (washed)

1-2 Tbsp plain/pureed, 1-2 times/day

Meats & Proteins

1-2 Tbsp pureed, 1 time/day

Examples/Suggestions

Rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado, applesauce

Water

Babies receive enough water from breast milk/formula

Development/Advice

Food should be very soupy and gradually thicken over time. Introduce one at a time and for 3-5 days. Stay with child while eating.

7 Months

Breastfeeding (formula*)

3-5 feedings/day
(30-32 ounces/day)

Infant cereal and Grains (iron fortified)

3-5 Tbsp single grain cereal mixed with breast milk (water/formula)

Fruits (washed)

2-3 Tbsp plain/pureed, 2 times/day

Vegetables (washed)

2-3 Tbsp plain/pureed, 2 times/day

Meats & Proteins

1-2 Tbsp pureed, 2 times/day

Examples/Suggestions

Tofu, noodles, peaches, apricots, green beans, carrots, squash, turkey, chicken, beef, fish, beans

Water

Not necessary, but can Introduce minimal  amounts with foods  (1-2 ounces)

Development/Advice

Start bite-size pieces and soft finger foods and practicing with sippy cup-caution with gagging and choking. Stay with child while eating.

8 Months

Breastfeeding (formula*)

3-5 feedings/day
(30-32 ounces/day)

Infant cereal and Grains (iron fortified)

5-8 Tbsp single grain cereal mixed with breast milk (water/formula)

Fruits (washed)

2-3 Tbsp soft/mashed, 2 times/day

Vegetables (washed)

2-3 Tbsp plain/ mashed, 2 times/day

Meats & Proteins

1-2 Tbsp pureed, 2 times/day

Examples/Suggestions

Beans, avocado, pears, nectarines, spinach, kale, pancakes (cut up), dry cereals, natural cheeses, egg yolk

Water

2-3 ounces/day

Development/Advice

Increase solid foods. Ensure child is receiving a variety of foods. Stay with child while eating.

9 Months

Breastfeeding (formula*)

3-5 feedings/day
(30-32 ounces/day)

Infant cereal and Grains (iron fortified)

5-8 Tbsp single grain cereal mixed with breast milk (water/formula)

Fruits (washed)

2-4 Tbsp soft/mashed, 2 times/day

Vegetables (washed)

2-4 Tbsp soft/mashed/ bite size, 2 times/day

Meats & Proteins

2-3 Tbsp of tender/ finely chopped, 2 times/day

Examples/Suggestions

Cous cous, plain yogurt,  cantaloupe, apples, pineapple, broccoli, cauliflower, whole milk cottage cheese, rice

Water

3-5 ounces/day

Development/Advice

Increase solid foods. Enhancement of developmental skills of eating; (grasping, holding, pinching…). Stay with child while eating.

10-12 Months

Breastfeeding (formula*)

3-4 feedings/day
(24-30 ounces/day)

Infant cereal and Grains (iron fortified)

5-8 Tbsp single grain cereal mixed with breast milk (water/formula)

Fruits (washed)

2-4 Tbsp soft/mashed, 2 times/day

Vegetables (washed)

2-4 Tbsp soft/mashed/ bite size, 2 times/day

Meats & Proteins

2-3 Tbsp finely chopped meats/fish (w/out bones) mild cheese, 2 times/day

Examples/Suggestions

Blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, quartered and peeled grapes, quinoa

Water

4-6 ounces/day

Development/Advice

Encourage child to self feed, give praise- getting messy can be part of the learning experience. Let them explore, hold, and learn how to be a healthy eater.  Stay with child while eating.