Your baby’s nutritional needs change slightly at about his seventh month. 


Why Does My Baby Do That? 9 Months

Your baby’s nutritional needs change slightly at about his seventh month. Whether or not you’ve introduced solid foods into his diet, a full range of nutrients—particularly those highlighted in this chart—is important. Make sure to avoid possible choking hazards (you may need to mash some foods, for example), and consult with your doctor about how to best introduce solids.

AI: Adequate Intake (approximate intake amount observed to be adequate for an average healthy infant; used when an RDA can’t be determined).

RDA: Recommended Dietary Allowance (average intake level sufficient to meet the requirements of 97 to 98 percent of healthy infants; a more precise measure than AI).

UL: Upper Limit (highest level of ongoing daily intake that is estimated to pose no risk to the majority of infants; these are not recommended levels).

ARA (arachidonic acid)

What does it do? ARA is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid and the key omega-6 fatty acid in the brain. It is important for brain growth and vision development.

How much does my baby need? AI for linoleic acid, the essential omega-6 fatty acid, is 4.6 g/day.

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, poultry, and eggs.

Calcium

What does it do? It allows for healthy tooth and bone development, aids in blood clotting, and supports nerve and muscle function.

How much does my baby need? AI is 260 mg/day.

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, yogurt, cheese, fortified or enriched grain products, and green leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, mustard greens).

Carbohydrates (mainly lactose)

What do they do? Carbohydrates supply energy to fuel your baby’s activity and growth; they help protein to be used efficiently in building new tissue. Glucose derived from carbohydrates is the brain’s main source of energy. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 95 g/day

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, whole grain products such as breads and cereals, potatoes, corn, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. 

Choline

What do they do? Important to brain development, choline is, in fact, essential for the normal functioning of all cells.

How much does my baby need? AI is 150 mg/day.

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, egg yolk, and milk.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

What do they do? DHA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that’s important for brain and vision development. Omega-3 fatty acids also support heart health. 

How much does my baby need? Official recommendations for daily DHA intake haven’t yet been established, but expert group recommendations range from a minimum of 200 to 300 mg/day for nursing women.(11) At this age, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends an AI of 0.5 g/day of alpha linolenic acid (as a precursor of DHA and EPA) for infants.

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk (but the levels can vary based on the mother’s diet), formula, supplements, eggs from DHA-fed chickens, wild salmon, and tuna (canned chunk light tuna has as much as three times less mercury than albacore tuna).

Fluoride

What do they do? It supports healthy tooth development and strengthens tooth enamel. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 0.5 mg/day. UL is 0.9 mg/day.

Where can my baby get it? Fluoridated water, formula made with fluoridated water, and supplements. 

Folate

What do they do? It helps the development and growth of blood cells and the formation of genetic material in every cell in the brain and throughout the body. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 80 mcg/day (dietary folate equivalents).

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grain breads and cereals, fortified or enriched grain products, oranges, cantaloupe, and lean beef. 

Iodine

What do they do? Iodine is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and affects the brain, as well as the muscles, heart, kidneys, and pituitary gland.

How much does my baby need? AI is 130 mcg/day. 

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk (if mother’s dietary intake is adequate), formula, seafood, and iodized salt.

Iron

What do they do? Iron is vital to the formation and function of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the brain and support its growth. 

How much does my baby need? RDA is 11 mg/day. UL is 40 mg/day.  

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, fortified cereals, enriched grain products, and dark green vegetables.

Lipids (includes DHA)

What do they do? Supplying much of your baby’s energy needs, lipids help add the padding that protects the organs and insulates the body. They allow for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. DHA and ARA are specific fatty acids important for brain and vision development and growth. 

How much does my baby need? AI for total fat is 30 g/day.  

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, dairy products like cheese and yogurt, and egg yolks.

Niacin

What do they do? It helps the body release energy from other nutrients. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 4 mg/day (niacin equivalents).   

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, poultry, fish, whole grain breads and cereals, fortified or enriched grain products, and egg yolks. 

Protein

What do they do? Protein builds, maintains, and repairs your baby’s tissues. Protein can function as hormones, enzymes, and antibodies, helping regulate the body’s processes, and it can provide energy. 

How much does my baby need? RDA is 11 g/day.   

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, fish, poultry, egg yolks, cheese, yogurt, and legumes.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

What do they do? Riboflavin helps the body utilize energy from other nutrients.

How much does my baby need? AI is 0.4 mg/day.    

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, dairy products, egg yolks, legumes, green vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, and fortified or enriched grain products.

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

What do they do? Thiamin helps the body release energy from carbohydrates and is needed for the nervous system to function. It also plays a central role in brain development and metabolism. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 0.3 mg/day.    

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk (if mother’s dietary intake is adequate), formula, wheat germ, whole grain products such as enriched breads and cereals, legumes, and potatoes. 

Vitamin A

What do they do? Vitamin A supports general growth, specifically by building healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes, along with the immune and reproductive systems, and it helps vision development. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 500 mcg/day (retinol activity equivalent). UL is 600 mcg/day (preformed vitamin A).   

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk (if mother’s dietary intake is adequate), formula, egg yolks, and dark green and deep yellow fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin  B6

What do they do? It helps the body build tissues and metabolize fat and is essential to the development of the central nervous system. This B vitamin also aids in the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

How much does my baby need? AI is 0.3 mg/day. 

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, whole grain products such as breads and cereals, legumes, and potatoes. 

Vitamin B12

What do they do? Vitamin B12 supports neurological function and the formation of genetic material in the blood cells. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 0.5 mcg/day. 

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk (if mother is not a vegetarian or deficient in B12), formula, meat, fish, poultry, cheese, and egg yolks. 

Vitamin C

What do they do? A component in the formation of collagen—a protein used to build bone, cartilage, muscle, and connective tissue—vitamin C helps maintain healthy capillaries and absorb iron. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 50 mg/day. 

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, fruit (citrus, papaya, cantaloupe, strawberries), and vegetables (potatoes, cabbage).

Vitamin D

What do they do? Promoting the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, it allows for healthy bone formation and prevents rickets. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 10 mcg/day (400 IU/day). UL is 38 mcg/day (1500 IU/day). 

Where can my baby get it? Formula, egg yolks, and fatty fish. 

Vitamin E

What do they do? Vitamin Eis an antioxidant. 

How much does my baby need? AI is 5 mg/day (alpha-tocopherol). 

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, wheat germ, whole grain breads and cereals, fortified or enriched grain products, butter, and egg yolks.

Vitamin K

What do they do? It enables proper blood clotting.

How much does my baby need? AI is 2.5 mcg/day.

Where can my baby get it? Formula, vegetable oils, and green leafy vegetables. There is a very small amount in breast milk. 

Zinc

What do they do? Zinc helps support the immune system, as well as wound healing and regulating blood, bone, and tissue formation. Next to iron, it’s the most abundant metal in the brain, and it’s essential to the development and functioning of the central nervous system.

How much does my baby need? RDA is 3 mg/day. UL is 5 mg/day. 

Where can my baby get it? Breast milk, formula, meat, egg yolks, whole grain breads and cereals, fortified or enriched grain products, and legumes.