Toddler hunger cues
How much should a toddler eat?
• Breast milk
• Infant formula, iron-fortified
• About 6-8 fl oz (3-4 servings per day)
• Pancakes or soft French toast
• Pasta or rice
• Cottage cheese
• Hard cooked egg
• Cooked vegetables
• Cooked or ripe fruit
• Soft, sliced fruit
• Family foods
• 3 meals and 2 snacks per day
• Bite sized pieces
• Increased texture
• Coarsely chopped
• Finger foods
Introducing Solid Foods
At 6 months, you can begin introducing iron rich solid foods one at a time. Wait a least 2 days after each to identify which foods your baby won't tolerate well. The amount they drink will naturally decrease as their solid food intake increases.
For up to 9 to 12 months, your baby will get most of their nutrients from breast milk or formula. As your baby is learning to eat a variety foods with different textures, think of solids as a complement to their diet.
Start with nearly liquid foods, then gradually introduce foods with thicker textures. Always supervise infants when they're eating.
Avoid foods like nuts, raw carrots, popcorn, hard, sticky or round candy, raisins, hot dogs and whole grapes.
• All infants: Sugary drinks or foods
• Infants under 1: Honey (risk of botulism)
Limit fruit juice as it may take the place of more nutrient-rich foods. Give only if baby is older than 6 months and drinking from a cup. Limit to 4-6 fl oz per day.
Breast milk provides the optional nutrition for your baby.
How to tell if your baby is getting enough to eat:
• Between 8 months and 1 year of age, your baby needs 750 to 900 calories a day. About half of that (about 450 calories or 24 ounces) should come from breast milk.
• When feeding your little one, try to give solid foods first and breastfeed after. This encourages your child to eat at least some solid foods.
• Lactating women should have at least 200 mg of DHA/day†. Eat foods rich in DHA, especially fatty fish such as salmon, to support your baby’s normal brain and eye development.§
• All breastfed infants should receive a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU (10 μg) until their diet provides it.
† Koletzko B et al. J Perinat. Med. 2008;36:5-14.
§ For example, herring, mackerel, pollock, salmon and shrimp. Visit the FDA website for advice regarding eating fish.