Nutrition for the First Year
It is not recommended to offer your baby solids before 6 months of age. If you do, your baby may:
- Have lower iron levels
- Breastfeed less often causing your milk supply to diminish
- Stop breastfeeding early
- Not receive all the benefits of breast milk such as protection from illness and allergies
6-9 Months – Starting Solids
9-12 Months - Cow's Milk
This is a good time to introduce cow’s milk into your baby's diet. Doing so any earlier might pose significant developmental risks, as it does not contain the proper amount of iron that a younger baby needs, plus it contains higher levels of proteins and some minerals that are not appropriate for younger babies. You may introduce pasteurized whole cow’s milk from 9-12 months and continue up until your baby is at least 2 years of age.
- Babies and children don't need to drink juice. Too much juice, especially apple juice, can cause diarrhea. It can fill up small stomachs and decrease your baby's appetite for nutritious foods. Too much juice can also cause early childhood tooth decay.
- When you do offer juice, be sure it is only 100% fruit juice. Always offer it in a cup, as part of a meal or snack. Offer water to babies and young children between meals and snacks if they are thirsty. Limit juice to 120 to 180 mL (4 to 6 oz.) per day.
- The tannins in tea inhibit your baby's ability to absorb iron, which can put your little one at risk for anemia. And the caffeine in tea can interefere with calcium absorption, which is critical to bone building.
Avoid honey in the first year.
- Honey or baked foods containing honey should be avoided until 1 year or age. Honey can cause botulism, a serious type of food poisoning.
- Chunks of hot dogs
- Whole grapes
- Lumps of peanut butter
- Pieces of hard, raw vegetables
- Hard candy or chewy candy like gummy bears or jelly beans
- Hot dogs
- Nitrate-contaminated drinking water, such as some well water
Monitor sugar or salt intake.