During the various stages of your toddler’s development and growth, there are numerous factors to consider when it comes to the baby food schedule. If you want to stay on top of things, you must know what kind of food your baby is going to need. Of course, we all know that vitamins and proteins are essential, but there are certain things to take into account. Meanwhile, you might also want to consider going through diverse easy and healthy baby food recipes, just to give you a good idea of what you can prepare for the little one. However, take care when you giving different foods for the first time to your babies and toddlers.
How Much Does The Baby Need to Eat?
When most people think about food, the first thing they consider is the intake of calories. While this is clearly important, it may not necessarily be the main thing, especially when it comes to feeding your toddler. The main thing remains: giving your baby healthy foods. This implies that you use a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein, and of course stick to regular mealtimes. This way you are keeping things simple, and you should have no worries at all.
Age is vital here. Toddlers have different needs when compared to infants. What kind of food regime will you have to resort to? That highly depends on the child’s age (using breast milk or formula, as well as various foods).
Infants 6 to 12 Months Old
For this particular age, a total daily energy intake is 35 – 50 calories per pound of body weight per day. Virtually, this means that a say a 9-month-old infant that weighs 18 pounds, requires approximately 630 to 900 calories on a daily basis. This amount of calories may seem like a lot to a little baby. Adults usually have 2,000 to 2,500 calories every day. However, babies have higher requirements because they are growing incredibly fast, but grownups simply eat to maintain their body; if they are not wasting plenty of energy through various physical activities.
Baby Vegetable Intake
When feeding your baby with vegetables, stick to a fixed and predefined timeline, like the one you see below. Keep in mind that baby’s are different, so you’re gonna have to cater to your own child in that sense. Still, these numbers should help you take the first step and then you can organize things according to the specific requirements of your kid. Check it out:
- babies that are 6 – 8 months: 2 – 3 tablespoons, 1 to 3 times a day
- babies that are 9 – 12 months: 2 – 4 tablespoons, 2 to 3 times a day
- babies that are 1 to 2 years: ¼ cup cooked, 2 – 3 servings
Daily Amount of Baby Food
Note that your baby must be first ready for solids, if you’re introducing cereal to his/her eating regime (more on that below).You can start with one teaspoon of pureed food or cereal. You can combine cereal with 4 – 5 teaspoons of breast milk or formula. Gradually, increase to one tablespoon of pureed food, or you can give one tablespoon of cereal combined with breast milk (or formula), and you can do that twice a day. As the weeks and months pass, step by step, you can thicken the meal, making it less liquid, to ensure a slow and safe road to solids.
Introducing Solids to Your Baby
The first lesson here is not to think of solids for the baby before they reach the age of 6 months. In this early stage of their life, all babies need to have breast milk or formula, which is how their body gains vitamins, minerals and calories. In other words, if you’re thinking to include things like cereal, juice, rice or other foods, before the baby turns 6 months, think again. This may actually cause problems for the baby. Although, there are signs when the baby shows it may very well be ready to begin with solid food.
Caution: solids must be introduced to the baby food schedule safely and little-by-little. Should the little one refuse the food you give for the first time, take a break, and in a few days give it a shot once more. When introducing new foods, different types of food should be given one at a time. Again, wait a couple of days before you bring a brand new food type to the baby. Take care, especially if your family has history of things like allergies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics have concluded that your baby is most likely ready to start with solids when it:
- Can move food from front to back of mouth
- Holds its head up straight or sits upright in highchair
- Exhibits considerable weight gain (over double the baby birth weight) and if it weighs 13 pounds at least
- Is able to shut mouth around a spoon
When you have managed to switch to solids, without the baby experiencing any problems or stomach pains, then you can give some of these foods a whirl (in addition to the breast milk or formula, naturally):
- Cereal that’s semi-liquid and iron-fortified
- Small quantity of yogurt (not sweet) – avoid cow’s milk until baby reaches one year
- Pureed meat (beef, chicken, pork)
- Pureed vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash)
- Pureed fruit (bananas, peaches, and apples)
More Baby Food Ideas and Ways to Improve the Baby Food Schedule
If this is not enough for you, perhaps you’ll enjoy this awesome infographic below, which will let you know just what kind of foods should be given to your baby (or toddler) and when:
Check out the full infographic here.