One question we get asked a lot is, how much baby food should a 6 month old eat? While many parents are encouraged by pediatricians to start introducing solid food to their babies around six months of age, it can be harder to know how much to feed your baby. (Especially when most of what’s in their bowl often ends up smeared across their high chair tray, on the floor, or in their hair.)
So how much baby food should a 6 month old eat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends babies eat solid foods 2-3 times per day in addition to breast milk or formula. As for how much food should actually end up in those little bellies, the recommendation is anywhere from a teaspoon (about the size of a nickel’s worth) to four tablespoons per meal (or think of it as four poker chips).
Surprised it’s such a small amount? That’s because, at this age, your baby is still getting most of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula and they’re still getting used to a solid food feeding schedule. Especially if your child is breastfeeding or drinking a bottle before meals, you can expect their solid food consumption to be on the lower end of the spectrum. On average, 6-month-old babies drink between 6 to 8 ounces of milk or formula at each feeding, and most are feeding every 4-5 hours.
Within the next two to four months, your baby will start eating solids more often and gaining more nutrition (including protein) from these non-milk meals.
If you’re still unsure whether your baby needs more to eat, watch for these signs of hunger:
- Leaning in for the spoon
- Attempting to grab food with hands
- Opening mouth when food comes near
- Paying close attention when food is present
Of course, it’s equally important to learn your baby’s cues of fullness. When they’re ready for a break, many babies:
- Close their mouth to approaching food
- Turn their head away from the spoon
- Spit out food in their mouths
Don’t be discouraged if it seems like your six-month-old is only taking one or two bites at each meal! Even a single bite can go a long way in taste bud training, and they’ll eat more and more when they have a new growth spurt and all these new flavors become familiar as they transition to finger foods around 12 months.
By, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco
Ready to start feeding your baby solids? We’re ready to help you take out the guesswork. Each Raised Real meal is pre-portioned for tiny stomachs.