Baby Food Choices: Your Basic Feeding Guide for the First Year

Baby Food Choices: Your Basic Feeding Guide for the First Year

As a new parent, the birth of your child presents many challenges. For one, after nights of peaceful and uninterrupted sleep, your little one may suddenly start waking up and crying in the middle of the night. This starts a new, difficult chapter for many parents—figuring out how to put their babies back to sleep.

However, most parents are not aware that nutrition can affect the amount and quality of sleep your baby might get. In fact, giving the right food choices for your infant is extremely important in his or her development and growth. This will eventually help your little one sleep through the night.

And while there’s no one-size-fits-all guide on feeding your baby, simply understanding what he or she is going through can greatly help you in making the appropriate food choices. In this infographic, Nurture Parenting breaks down each stage in your baby’s first year and shows which food choices to give or avoid.

An Age-by-Age Feeding Guide on Baby Food Choices

0-4 Months

On the day your baby was born, his or her stomach is only as large as a marble. In order to seek nourishment, he or she may latch on your breast.

  • What to Feed

These two food choices are already filled with all the necessary nutrients your baby needs.

  1. Breast milk
  2. Formula
  • How Much Per Day

To aid in your baby’s development and growth, you may need to feed him or her about 7-9 times per day. Do keep in mind that there’s no fixed number of feedings required daily—it’s best to feed your little one on demand.

  • Foods to Avoid

Your baby’s digestive system is not physically developed enough to handle the following food choices.

  1. Solid food
  2. Cow’s milk
  3. Juice

Did You Know? Introducing solid foods early in your child’s birth may result in poor feeding experiences and increased weight during infancy and early childhood.

  • Essential Tips
  1. New babies under 6 weeks may feed 2-4 hourly especially during a growth spurt and overnight. It is not necessary to wake your baby to feed during the night and most babies need 1-2 night feeds at this age.
  2. As your baby grows, he or she may need to take in more milk or formula. This is also the time when a predictable feeding pattern starts to show.
  3. If your infant is still hungry after feeding, he or she may be experiencing a growth spurt. Follow such hunger cues and continue feeding your little one.

4-6 Months

There is no need to introduce solid foods yet at this early age. However, if your baby can hold his or her head up or weighs at least 13 pounds (6 kilos), you may want to begin feeding your little one with soft foods.

  • What to Feed

By the time your baby turns 6 months old, his or her natural supply of iron and vitamins may have already been depleted. That’s why it’s best to introduce foods filled with these nutrients. 

  1. Breast milk
  2. Formula
  3. Semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal e.g. porridge oats, quinoa flakes made with baby’s usual milk or full cream cows milk
  4. Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, and peaches)
  5. Pureed vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes)
  • How Much Per Day

Mix a teaspoon of cereal with 4 to 5 teaspoons of breastmilk or formula. Its consistency should be the texture of custard or yoghurt.

For pureed food, start with a teaspoon then slowly increase its amount to a tablespoon.

  • Foods to Avoid
  1. Citrus
  2. Large chunks of food
  3. Honey
  4. Raw Egg
  5. Chilli and spices

Did You Know? Citrus fruits can irritate a baby’s stomach and cause severe rashes. This ultimately affects his or her sleep.

  • Essential Tips
  1. Introduce one new food at a time and give your infant time (at least 3-5 days) to adjust. This would help you figure out what specific foods cause allergic reactions.
  2. When preparing homemade baby foods, avoid adding sugar or salt as it may lead to obesity later in life and kidney problems.
  3. For pureed fruits and vegetables, make sure to remove all seeds or piths to avoid choking.

6-8 Months

Once your baby turns 6 months old, he or she may begin teething. This is the perfect time to introduce solid foods.

  • What to Feed
  1. Breast milk
  2. Formula
  3. Iron-fortified cereal (barley, oats)
  4. Pureed or strained fruit (apples, avocados, bananas, peaches, and pears)
  5. Pureed or strained vegetables (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes)
  6. Pureed legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils)
  7. Pureed meat (beef, chicken, pork and liver)
  8. Pureed tofu
  • How Much Per Day

For cereals, your baby can take in as much as 3 to 9 tablespoons in three feedings. But make sure to limit the intake of meat and legumes to a 1/3 of each meal.

  • Foods to Avoid
  1. Raw Egg
  2. Honey
  3. Whole Nuts
  • Essential Tips
  1. The amount of breast milk an infant takes decreases as his or her intake of solid foods increase. However, at this age, breast milk still remains an important source of nutrients.
  2. If you have just started with solid feeding, make sure to give your baby extra water at each meal in a cup.
  3. Feed all food (except formula) with a spoon. This would help your baby learn how to eat with a spoon.

8-10 Months

At 8 months old, your baby would start picking up objects with his or her hands. Your little one may also have the tendency to put everything inside his or her mouth. 

  • What to Feed
  1. Breast milk
  2. Formula
  3. Iron-fortified cereal (barley, oats, mixed cereals)
  4. Mashed fruits (apples, avocados, bananas, peaches, and pears)
  5. Mashed vegetables (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes)
  6. Protein (diced or small chunks of meat, poultry, tofu, beans)
  7. Finger foods (puffs and dry cereal, scrambled egg bits, bread, teething biscuits)
  8. Pasteurised cheese, cottage cheese
  9. Lots of good fats in each meal – 50% of each meal should be good fats e.g. butter, olive oil, coconut oil, cheese, cream, peanut or almond nut butter, avocado etc.
  10. Introduce finger foods
  • How Much Per Day

Feed at least 1/2 to 1 cup each of solid food at each meal. For protein-rich foods, 3 to 4 tablespoons are recommended.

  • Foods to Avoid
  1. Hot dogs
  2. Honey
  3. Raw Egg

Did You Know? Honey should not be given to babies before they are 1 year old.  It can cause infant botulism.

  • Essential Tips
  1. Introduce a wide variety of foods into your baby’s diet. This helps them develop good eating habits later in life.
  2. Do not limit your baby’s cholesterol and fat intake. These are needed for brain development and growth.
  3. It is important to closely watch your infant while he or she is eating. Make it a habit to keep your baby seated while eating.

10-12 Months

As your baby turns 10 months old, he or she can swallow food easily. This is also the time when your infant starts using a spoon to feed himself or herself.

  • What to Feed
  1. Breast milk
  2. Formula
  3. Iron-fortified cereal (barley, oats, mixed cereals, wheat)
  4. Diced or sliced fruits and vegetables
  5. Protein (small chunks of meat, poultry, tofu, boneless fish, beans)
  6. Finger foods (puffs and dry cereal, scrambled egg bits, bread, teething biscuits)
  7. Pasteurised cheese, cottage cheese, unsweetened yogurt
  8. Combo foods (beans and broccoli, lasagna, casseroles)
  • How Much Per Day

Feed 1 to 1 ½ cup each of fruits and vegetables. Giving 4-5 tablespoons of protein-rich foods is necessary for your little one’s growth and development. Increase your baby’s intake of dairy to at least ½ cup a day.

  • Foods to Avoid
  1. Candies and chocolate
  2. Raisins
  3. Popcorn

Did You Know? Chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine. As such, avoid feeding it to your baby in order to ensure proper sleep.

  • Essential Tips
  1. Avoid feeding your little one with canned foods. These contain high levels of salt and sugar that are harmful to his or her health.
  2. Do not force your child to eat all the food in his or her plate. It may lead to disturbances in appetite and result them to become pickier as they get older. 
  3. Help your baby give up the bottle by the time he or she turns 1 year old.

Your baby’s food choices not only affect the rate of his or her development, but also impact his or her sleeping habits. That is why it’s important to provide your little one with the appropriate food choices to ensure both proper growth and sleep.

Have you already fed your baby with these food choices, but he or she is still not sleeping peacefully at night? You may want to consult Nurture Parenting, the baby sleep experts in Sydney, Australia. For over 16 years, we have helped many families solve their problems through our Nurture Sleep Program. Through 7 easy lessons, we can take your baby from sleepless to slumber. Contact us today to get started!

Found this infographic helpful? Check our blog for more informative articles about baby sleep.

Karen is taking a break…

Karen is taking a break…

I’ve been busy building Nurture Parenting over the past 4 and a half years, and just as I suggest mums take care of themselves, it’s time for me to have some R and R for a few weeks and finish off my baby sleep book.

From 10th December 2015 to 1st February, I won’t be doing any home consultations or my consultations at Basgers Pharmacy **UPDATE** Karen is no longer at Basgers Pharmacy. However, I will be doing phone and Skype consultations during January from the 4th until I return on the 1st February 2016.

I will be taking bookings for home visits and overnight sleep training for dates from 1st February 2016.

Thank you for your understanding

YouTube stars needed!

YouTube stars needed!

I’m talent scouting for the next lot of babies to make into YouTube stars. I’m sure many of you know by now that Karen does YouTube video’s. They have proved very popular with helping teach parents about all things baby and toddler.

I think video has something very special about it and it translates in a way that words don’t.

I’m on the lookout for a few cuties to make into video clips. I’d love it if you can send some my way. All I need is up to 20-30 seconds of action. I will edit and I’m looking for a montage of babies.

My crawling video is an example of what I’m going to do with each video topic.

These are the topics I’m on the look out for:

  • Feeding to appetite – knowing when your baby has had enough solid food. I’m looking for clips that show baby being fed solid food and closing their mouth and turning their head away. Babies aged 4-12 months.
  • Tired signs – babies 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months and toddlers. I’m also looking for audio of babies who are tired, having a bit of a cry and going off to sleep in the same age groups. I need loud and quiet cries!!
  • Sleep cues – putting baby in their bedclothes, saying goodnight to them and putting them into their cot.
  • Babies going off to sleep in bassinets and cots – 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months.
  • Breast feeding – hunger cues and babies feeding. I need young babies 0-3 months in particular. Different feeding positions – football hold, traditional across body, laying down in bed etc.
  • Reading to baby – all age groups
  • Potty training
  • Toddler mealtimes (18 months to 3 years) – positive eating, food refusal, food throwing
  • Drinking from a sippy cup – 6 months to 2 years
  • Tooth brushing – baby to toddler

Send your clips to me, Karen at

I’m not looking for perfect video. I’m looking for real parenting. That’s really important.

I’d like to say a very big thank you in advance and I hope I get a deluge of clips. Mucho appreciated peoples 🙂


My first web developer got headhunted by Silicon Valley!

My first web developer got headhunted by Silicon Valley!

May has been a month of hellos and goodbyes. I find the ebb and flow of life very interesting. May has been a very busy month choc full of baby whispering, training new staff, publishing a book (yes I’ve published a parenting book!!! Watch this space for more details to follow. It’s been like a complicated pregnancy and nearly as long but I’ve delivered!).

I said goodbye to my first web designer/developer Jeroen and his wife Julie and the gorgeous Rosalie 2 yr and 5 months as they left for a new life in San Francisco. I’m so proud and happy for them all. Jeroen has been head hunted by a Silicon Valley company. How cool is that?!! For a super geek like Jeroen it’s the dream of your career.

Jeroen and Julie have really influenced the Nurture Parenting you know today. Me and Jeroen sat together on my couch 4 years ago and mapped out this parenting business. We had baby sleep, toddler behaviour, baby massage and that was our template. It was a little home office business and I never had any plans to be more than just me.

Then Julie (left) got me blogging and look at it now, nearly 400 blogs later!! Then it was setting up a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. Julie is an inspiration and I have lots more gems from Julie coming your way this year.

I’m going to miss them heaps and it was a very emotional goodbye. On their last day in OZ Rosalie had her afternoon nap in my bed. Lovely happy memories. Rosalie is on a lot of my YouTube videos, Facebook and Blog. She is a truly amazing little girl and her favourite thing to play with are dinosaurs.

Here are a few YouTube video’s with Rosalie. She’s helped teach parents how to manage wind and gas in their new baby and how to teach your baby to crawl. I’m going to miss having her around. They lived 2 doors down and I used to see them most days. I’m closely following their new life in San Fran. I’m sure I can talk Julie into writing a blog about parenting San Fran style. Watch this space 😉


And here is Rosalie now in San Fran on a tram and having fun in their new home country.

Thank you for everything Jeroen, Julie & Rosalie. I’ll be over to see you hopefully very soon XX

Heavy heart and gratitude

Heavy heart and gratitude

I’m sure we all woke up today and listened to the news about the hostage situation at Martin Place and had a heavy heart.

Katrina Dawson, a mum of 3 children died in the siege and the manager of the Lindt cafe, Tori Johnson died trying to protect and rescue the hostages. Many were injured. Some of the hostages were pregnant.

It made me reflect on the senselessness of it all. It is all so tragic. And at this time of year when many families are getting together for Christmas. These families will have a very sad Christmas.

I decided that I had to get something good out of my day and it made me reflect on people that are important to me. So off I went to my local cafe to write my very late Christmas cards to my family overseas in England and give gratitude for my life. My partner Steve is an Aussie and finds this Christmas card writing thing a very strange event.

If they arrive a day late I’m sure I’ll be forgiven. It seems to be a regular thing every year with me. I forget it’s Christmas because its warm and I realise at the 11th hour!!!

If you’ve forgotten your cards like me, I think an e-card or a phone-call or an SMS are all perfectly good. It’s the thought that counts.

Hug those that you love dear and especially those little ones a little more today. It makes you realise that in the scale of todays events, that a late Christmas card is not such a big deal after all.

Sending hugs to the universe XX

A few changes to Nurture Parenting

A few changes to Nurture Parenting

Another busy week and lots of things in the pipeline…

I love busy and I love new and most of all I love improvements!

I’m starting baby yoga classes next year at MG Pilates in Erskineville in January 2014. I’m planning on doing these as weekly afternoon classes for 4 consecutive weeks. These are in addition to my baby massage classes.

There will be a Facebook giveaway soon for 3 baby yoga seminars of 8 mums/dads and bubs in each class (24 places in total) to run at MG Pilates in November. To complete my diploma in baby yoga I need to do 3 classes and complete an essay!!!!

I wish there was more days in the week.

My website is getting updated and it’s looking awesome, big thank you to Julie. It’s going to have a shop so all my seminars on baby yoga, baby massage and toddler taming can be booked and paid for online.

I’m also planning on having a shop of things I like and give my stamp of approval to. A bit like Oprah’s favourite things. It will be available in the New Year and I’m going to be getting discounts on these items for all my Nurture PS valued clients.

I’m going to be having a picnic down the park in November for all the mums/dads and bubs that have been part of my journey at Nurture Parenting Solutions. Its likely to be In Alexandria at the big park off Wyndham Street. I’ll let you all know via the blog and Facebook page when that is likely to be.

Oh and I almost forgot! I’m writing several ebooks on all things parenting. I’m starting with toddler psychology and management and moving through all my favourite things including sleep. I felt it was about time and December and January are my quieter times and perfect for a spot of book writing. These will not be any ordinary book. Oh no! There will be a very interactive and video element to them. I love writing and can’t wait.

I’ve recently self published my fiction novel on Amazon but it’s not under my name. I decided some things should be separate!!!!

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week and have an awesome weekend with your bubs and toddlers 🙂