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Menus for Growing Babies

Meals for a Day

6 to 12 Months

Breakfast
½ to 1 tablespoon mashed banana, banana baby food, unsweetened applesauce, or puréed, well-cooked peaches or apricots, with iron-fortified rice cereal.

Lunch
½ to 1 tablespoon chopped, well-cooked mashed vegetables with same amount of soft, well-cooked, mashed rice, pastina, or potatoes. Mashed, soft fruits can also be offered.

Dinner
The same as lunch, except vary the color of the vegetable (if baby had carrots at lunch, for example, offer spinach at dinner). Around 8 to 9 months, offer jarred or puréed well-cooked meats.

12 to 18 Months

Breakfast
Offer any or all of the following: 1 tablespoon of cooked hot cereal (puréed, not the coarser type); 1 tablespoon sliced soft fresh fruit; ¼ piece very soft French toast, cut into tiny pieces. Dry round oat cereal is good, too, but make sure Baby eats one piece at a time to avoid a choking hazard.

Lunch
If Baby seems ready to try new foods, offer some soup (a purée is best at first). In addition, serve 1 tablespoon each of a soft, well-cooked starchy food, finely chopped baked chicken, and a fruit or vegetable, cut into very small pieces or mashed so that Baby can pick up and eat them.

Dinner
Try 1 tablespoon well-cooked pasta with mild-flavored cheese (or the Tuna-Ricotta Tempter), and 1 tablespoon of a soft, well-cooked vegetable. Offer 1 tablespoon of fruit, pudding, custard, or yogurt for dessert.

18 Months and Older

Breakfast
¼ to ½ piece of whole-grain toast with a very small amount of butter, ¼ banana, and ½ of a scrambled egg.

Lunch
1 ½ tablespoons of tuna salad with finely chopped onion and celery, whole-grain crackers or ¼ to ½ piece of whole-grain bread, and 1 ½ tablespoons of fruit-sweetened yogurt.

Dinner
1 ½ tablespoons of Baby Shepherd's Pie (see recipe), 1½ tablespoons of a well-cooked and finely chopped vegetable, and 1 ½ tablespoons of a fresh fruit for dessert.

Snacks
fresh fruit pieces, round oat cereal, graham crackers, or bite-sized whole-grain crackers.

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