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How much cereal or baby food should my six month old baby be eating?

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  • How much cereal or baby food should my six month old baby be eating?

    I just recently got my baby to start eating cereal. She used to keep spitting it out. She still will not eat baby food. I'm worried that she is too dependant on formula. How do I correct this and how do I ensure she is getting enough food and nutrition? How much baby food and cereal should she be eating at six months of age? Any advice is appreciated.

  • #2
    Hi onjanana, welcome to the Forum :-)

    First, nutritionally, I totally understand your concern. I am nursing so I am not sure about formula, but my understanding is that milk feeds are supposed to continue to be a primary source of nutrition for the first year, even after introduction of solids. I am sure your pediatrician can provide guidance as well, but here is a link that I found helpful: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-how.html

    For some additional perspective: My son is 7 months old and is only now taking a strong interest in eating solids. We are doing baby-led weaning, so we have skipped purees and gone straight to table foods, such as sweet potatoes, apples, avocado, etc. We have been introducing solids at one mealtime per day since he was about 6 months old--he would play and put food in his mouth, but always ended up spitting it out. He just didn't seem to know that he needed to swallow. Now, rather suddenly, he wants something to gobble every time we eat, and he seems to actually be eating! Our practice now is to nurse first, then offer solids, then follow up by nursing again. I don't want to have my baby wean earlier than he is ready, or to go hungry since he isn't getting much in the way of solids.

    I hope this helps, please keep us updated :-)

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    • #3
      I'm in the middle of reading it, but Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense by Ellyn Satter seems to have a lot of good information. Her quick answer to your question, I believe, would be, "Exactly as much as your baby wants to eat." She advocates a division of responsibility in feeding: You decide what, when and where your child will eat, your child decides how much and whether to eat. She references lots of studies demonstrating how good children are at self-regulating, and that if we pressure them to eat more or less, we can actually create eating problems. So, you provide good food and structure for their eating and trust them to do the rest.

      Hope this helps,
      Tina

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      • #4
        To be clear about Ellyn Satter's division of responsibilities: You deciding when your child eats does not mean putting your infant on a feeding schedule, following their hunger cues is important. What she's referring to there is regular family mealtimes and snacks for toddlers and beyond.

        Tina

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        • #5
          Oh, man! As I got further into Child of Mine, I started adding caveats to my recommendation. She's not too positive on co-sleeping, and recommends weaning when they really start to get interested in eating meals at the table with the family. But now I've gotten to the part of the book where she recommends Ferber's cry-it-out method. Strike three!

          It's a shame. She put lots of good information in there about things like cultivating a positive and nurturing feeding relationship, trusting your child to follow his hunger and fullness cues, and child development stuff. I'll still use it as a resource, but at this point, I can't, in good conscience, recommend it to new parents. (And I'm only about half way through!) Sigh!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tinamcrorie View Post
            Oh, man! As I got further into Child of Mine, I started adding caveats to my recommendation. She's not too positive on co-sleeping, and recommends weaning when they really start to get interested in eating meals at the table with the family. But now I've gotten to the part of the book where she recommends Ferber's cry-it-out method. Strike three!
            I agree with Tina on this one. The book has some really good feeding advice that I think, if followed, would really make parents and kids lives better. But, it's got a some other stuff that's not so good.

            Her other book "Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family" is much better in this regards. It doesn't go into as much detail about feeding babies and young kids but it gives good general feeding information for everyone. If I recall correctly,there isn't too much in it that would offend APers. ( Or at least little enough that I was able to ignore it and then forget about it.)

            Jessica

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