How Much Food Will Baby Eat at Each Meal?

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As far as how much baby food to expect your LO to consume…it is really dependent on the child. By the time Brayden was 7 months old, he consumed a stage three Gerber jar of a fruit, a veggie, and at dinner sometimes I would do Blueberry Buckle for dessert if he was still hungry. He also would have cereal at two meals a day–and sometimes that would be 12 Tablespoons! The kid was a monster eater, and a skinny little thing. When I would go to the grocery store and buy baby food, the checkers would always comment on how much baby food I was buying. I don’t think he was normal.

At 8.5 months, Kaitlyn eats stage two of everything, has 4 T of cereal at breakfast and dinner, 1 veggie at lunch and 1 at dinner, 1/2 fruit at breakfast, 3/4-1 fruit at lunch, and about 1 fruit at dinner. Feed your baby what your baby wants (within reason). Babies are much better than adults at stopping when they are full!
Reader Questions:

  • Mom2Cohen said…
    I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on how much I have been feeding my little guy. I started him on cereal last Monday (2/18) and have been giving him about 3T of rice or oatmeal cereal everyday at 4:30 (after BFing). I am planning to start feeding him twice a day this coming Monday (3/3) but I am unsure about how much he is actually supposed to get at each feeding. I saw on one website that he should only have 3-9 T a day but that didn’t seem right! Anyhow, I hope that all makes sense. Basically I am just wondering how much I can feed him at each feeding because trust me when I say that he will eat pretty much ANYTHING I put in his mouth…he always acts like he wants more. Also, just FYI I plan on doing two feedings of cereal a day for two weeks and then I will do three feedings a day of cereal for a week and then I will start adding veggies (at least this is “My” plan…we will see how things go)I look forward to hearing what you think as far as the amount I can feed him!
    February 28, 2008 8:10 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    BW II says to work up to 6 T per meal if they want it. I would start slowly with your second meal and continue to offer more at the other meal until you reach 6 T. If your son is hard to read for solids, you might like the book Super Baby Food. I haven’t ever read it, but heard great things about it. It covers birth to three years.
    February 28, 2008 9:48 PM
  • Mom2Cohen said…
    Okay…now for a really stupid question…when people say 4T, 5T, etc are they meaning just 4T of cereal plus the formula or 4T when the cereal and formula are mixed?
    February 29, 2008 12:09 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Not to sound like a teacher, but there is no such thing as a stupid question :). To not ask a question and/or just assume something to be true is far “stupider” than asking and making sure you get it.When I say 5T, I mean 5T dry. Then you add the liquid. Please let me know if that doesn’t make sense (by the way, I think that is a really good question šŸ™‚ ).
    February 29, 2008 2:05 PM
  • Jonathan and Meredith Harvey said…
    Hi, this is my first comment, but I love your blog. I use it almost every day and have recommended it to several other mom friends. My 6 1/2 month old is eating 5x a day, cereal at 3 feedings. He only eats 2-3 tablespoons and I am wondering if this is ok. The most he has ever eaten is probably four. We have not started veggies or anything yet, just cereal so far and some juice to help with BMs. Is it ok that he only eats that much? Thanks
    March 11, 2008 10:50 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    That sounds fine to me. My daughter has never consistently eaten more than 4 T of cereal at once, and she is 11 months old. It is always a good idea to follow your child’s lead on the amount of food.But there is a book called Super Baby Food. I haven’t read it, but I have heard many many good things about it. It covers birth to 3 years old. It could be a great resource.
    March 11, 2008 11:14 AM
  • Gabby said…
    My 6 month old has been eating solids for about 3 weeks. We did 2 weeks of cereal and started veggies this last week. He was eating well (about 3-4T of cereal each time), until the last couple of days. All of a sudden he just holds it on his tongue and will not swallow. I tried feeding solids before and after BF rather than in the middle, but it did not seem to help. I’m concerned that he needs the nutrition at his age. Last night he drank 2 oz of formula after nursing and refusing the solids because he still seemed hungry. Any suggestions??? Thanks!-Gabby
    April 5, 2008 6:52 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Gabby, I was just going through posts organizing comments and saw your comment here. I never was notified of it (sometimes that happens for some reason). If you still have problems, let me know. Hopefully things are better a month later. If not, see this post: How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat
    May 8, 2008 2:20 PM
  • Jessica said…
    I need help! I am having feeding/eating issues with my 5 month old little girl. I am having trouble getting both formula and solids in her at the same feeding. I think she is also starting to prefer solids over her formula and is refusing to drink it. When I try to feed her at 10 a.m. she may take 2 oz. of formula but no where near a full feeding. I feel like I need to split up her milk and solid feedings so that she will eat well.She has started waking early in the a.m. and I am not sure if it is food related or what. The waking isn’t that big of an issue since I needed to play with her schedule anyway but it is still frustrating.
    September 6, 2008 12:48 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Jessica, how often do you feed solids? Also, is she teething? Often they will not eat well while teething–especially nursing/bottles.
    September 10, 2008 2:52 PM

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book,Ā The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on theĀ AboutĀ page. Follow her onĀ Facebook,Ā Pinterest, andĀ InstagramĀ for more tips and helps.

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  1. Mockingbird
    June 10, 2008 / 4:16 PM

    First thank you, thank you, thank you for this site and all of your information! It has helped me a great deal with my almost 5 month old son. I starting looking into solids when he turned 4 months and found out that the reason it is suggested that you only feed Baby 3-9 T per day of cereal is the iron content. The cereals are now fortified with more iron and 9 T per day gives them 100% of their allowance so giving more puts them at risk of iron toxicity. (They didn’t used to have so much iron in them.) Just thought I would share what I’ve learned.Thanks again.

  2. Taylor's Momma
    June 22, 2008 / 8:08 PM

    Hello – my girl only takes 2-3 bites at most mealtimes so I am trying to figure out if she is just not a big eater or is picky. Need to clarify your post – when you say “1 veggie at lunch and 1 at dinner, 1/2 fruit at breakfast, 3/4-1 fruit at lunch, and about 1 fruit at dinner. ” – are you referring to 1 tablespoon of veggie, 1/2 tbsp fruit, etc or do you mean 1 container?

  3. Plowmanators
    June 23, 2008 / 8:34 PM

    Mockingbird,Thanks for that info!

  4. Plowmanators
    June 23, 2008 / 8:37 PM

    Erin,Thanks for asking that. I meant one container, and it depended on the age for which size. When I wrote this, she was on size 2. She never did get in to size 3. Brayden was in stage 3 at 6 months though. Your baby also might just not like baby food. I was afraid Kaitlyn was picky, but it turns out she just didn’t like baby food. She eats “real” food really well. She is even less picky than Brayden was. Be sure to check out the picky eaters post too.Picky Eaters: a “Good Eater”:

  5. bethers21
    July 25, 2008 / 4:08 PM

    Val, just wanted to get your help in explaining to my pediatrician why BW suggests feeding right after nursing. My pedi wants me to feed 2 hours after nursing so that he’s hungry. I’m worried that when I tell her that he’s not eating much she’s going to insist that it’s because I’m feeding him too soon. I agree that it’s snacking and he doesn’t need to be fed/nursed every 2 hours. Thanks!

  6. Plowmanators
    July 28, 2008 / 5:47 PM

    Bethers,The short answer would be so he gets a full feeding. If he eats a little every couple of hours, he will not be hungry enough to eat all the solids he needs. It seems odd to me. He is no more likely to be hungry to eat two hours after eating a full meal than he is right after nursing. You would also want to do it so that milk supply can stay up. If he eats solids, he will not be hungry enough to nurse well. Good luck!

  7. Taylor's Momma
    July 28, 2008 / 6:05 PM

    I thought I would just add my two cents that may help you as my doc was very flexible and I found his advice very logical. The reason we start feeding them solids is because they eventually get to a point when milk is not enough to sustain them 3-4 hours anymore. Obviously taking in solids after milk will not just happen overnight though. He reminded me that they may only take a teaspoon because they are simply not hungry and that is all we are trying to ensure… that they are not going hungry. He also added that as long as it is increasing it is just fine. My little girl barely took anything when I started her. Also, keep in mind that your doctor is one opinion, so unless there is a weight gain issue with your babe then you can take her advice along with everyone else. On a personal note, I also struggled with the “2 hour” rule as my girl would be sleeping 2 hours after eating. Its hard to argue that you would keep your child up just to feed them solids at a particular time!

  8. Plowmanators
    July 30, 2008 / 9:00 PM

    Thanks for your added thoughts. Excellent points.

  9. MC
    August 5, 2008 / 11:48 PM

    Thanks for the blogs I find this site very helpful. I introduced solids about one month ago to my LO when she was 4months. She is now 5months and is eating cereal 3x a day and veggie 2X a day. I just introduced the green veggies. She really likes solid food!! I have two questions. 1. How much solids should I feed her? I am concerned that I may be feeding her too much solid food and she is not getting enough Bmilk. I had thought I read somewhere that she should be getting ~25-35ounces of breast milk daily. I am currently breastfeeding her 5X a day and giving her ~3T of cereal 3X a day and about 1/2 a container of veggie 2x a day. However it feels like she is now drinking less Breast milk, probably only 4ounces during her feedings that I give her solids and maybe 6 ounces during the other two feedings so a total of maybe 24 ounces or so. Hard to tell because I am breast feeding. Our schedule is the below:7:00am – Breastfeed10:30am- 3T Cereal & BF2:00pm- 3T Cereal, 1/2 container of Veggie & BF5:30pm – 3T Cereal, 1/2 container of Veggie & BF8:30pm – BF2. How much solids should I end up feeding her and how and when do I increase the amounts? It feels like she would eat as much solid food that I put in front of her however I have only been giving her 3T because it seems like she will fill up on cereal and not eat breast milk. Also once I increase the amount of solid do I end up going to a 4hr feeding schedule as it seems she would be less hungry? Thanks in Advance

  10. MC
    August 7, 2008 / 4:27 AM

    Thanks for your quick response. Just so I am clear basically breast feed her until she is full (I usually just feed one side) and then feed her solids until she is stuffed? I thought she would eat less breastmilk once she ate solids because she would get half or so of her meal via soilds. It seems if I breast feed then do soilds she will eat a full meal breast feeding and then just eat a little more food via solids.

  11. Plowmanators
    August 9, 2008 / 5:02 PM

    Since you have been feeding solids, your milk supply is likely lower than it was. So she will nurse until full, then eat the solids she needs. Right now the priority for her age is breastmilk, so I would be sure she gets all she needs with that.

  12. MC
    August 14, 2008 / 3:04 AM

    Thanks so much, I will reverse the order and breast feed first then solids.

  13. LEM
    September 27, 2008 / 3:48 AM

    I formula feed my LO and I was wondering if it was that important that I feed him formula first then solids since we are about to start soon. I understand why, if your nursing, it is beneficial for supply but do those same rules apply if you are formula feeding? I just feel like he won’t be hungry at all if I feed solids after his bottle – even if I feed it in between. He’s not a big eater and gets distracted easily with interruptions.

  14. LEM
    December 28, 2008 / 6:51 AM

    Just to update, I give him his bottle first then solids now. He’s not interested in his bottle. He never really seems hungry at the 4 hour mark. But he does eat solids pretty well.I now have a question about the amount of solids he is eating. He is 7 months old and doesn’t really give me clear signals of when he’s full of solids. I feel like I could just keep going and he’s keep opening his mouth. I have kept the serving sizes small because he doesn’t drink formula very well (he gets to 24 ounces on good days) Here’s what I give him:Breakfast – 2T Cereal, 1/2 container of fruit Lunch – 1/2 fruit, 1/2 yellow veggieDinner – 2T Cereal, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 green veggieIs this enough for a 7 month old? Like I said earlier, I think he would keep opening his mouth for the spoon no matter if he’s full or not. My concern is that if I give him more, he will REALLY not want his bottle at his next feeding.

  15. Plowmanators
    January 3, 2009 / 11:46 PM

    LEM, sorry I never saw your other question!As for the amounts of food…it is so hard to say. As you read in this post, Brayden and Kaitlyn varied so much. If he is making it fine to the next meal and growing well and all, then it is probably great. Most kids will govern themselves on food intake, but some don’t. You will just have to experiment and watch what happens when you do X, Y, or Z. Good luck!

  16. We're Jared, Michelle, and Caleb.
    March 9, 2009 / 3:56 AM

    I just started solids two days ago. My son is 5 months 1 week old. I just give rice cereal once (1-2 T.). It just so happens that he is getting his two bottom teeth at the same time. They have both broken the gum line now. For the last two days, he doesn’t want to nurse for very long. He was eating 25-30 minutes and now he only wants to eat for 15-20 minutes. He will suck and then pull away. He doesn’t act hungry and makes it to the next feeding just fine. I just don’t know how to tell if this is food related or teething related. Should I just give it a few days to see what happens?

  17. Plowmanators
    March 12, 2009 / 4:55 PM

    I would give it a while to see what happens. He might just be more efficient now. He also might be more distracted by his surroundings. If the teeth are through, it really shouldn’t interfere with nursing, so my guess it is one or both of what I mentioned.

  18. Kristi
    May 13, 2009 / 10:53 PM

    I am thinking about weaning my twins from breast milk to formula, and I was wondering about how to do that with solids. Right now I nurse (they only get one side each per meal, but it’s always been enough), and then I feed them baby food. In babywise 2 it says for bottle fed babies to split the liquid (half before solids and half after). Do you know the reason for doing that? We’re just used to doing liquid then solids, and I was wondering if I needed to break it up once they were on formula, or if I could just keep doing what we’ve been doing, but with formula. Thanks for all your help!

  19. Alison
    May 14, 2009 / 9:24 PM

    sort of a silly question here… son is 5 1/2 months old and is now starting to eat solids three times a day….at what point do we stop feeding them formula after they eat solids? as i introduce more solids and follow the BW method for solids he will be continue to eat more so i just wasn’t sure when i start to cut that intake down. thanks.

  20. Alison
    May 14, 2009 / 9:40 PM

    ok I just read through the blogs and am seeing that i should be feeding him formula first…oops! so i guess i should be wondering then when do we just feed them the solids three times a day without the bottle first and then offering the bottle at the other feedings? does anyone know of any guidelines that specify about how much solids to give by age? thanks!!

  21. Plowmanators
    June 2, 2009 / 8:22 PM

    Kristi,This is a common suggestion by authors of baby feeding books.The reason is just to get baby used to eating solids. If they take a full meal through the milk, they won’t be interested enough to try solids (most likely). If they are already eating solids fine, then I don’t see a need. If they start to decline in the amount of solids they take, you could try it out, Otherwise, proceed as normal šŸ™‚

  22. Plowmanators
    June 2, 2009 / 8:25 PM

    Alison,You continue to offer liquids with meals until pretty old. I am sure to get a certain number of ounces of milk until my kids are two. They I just let them drink what they drink at meals.For amount of solids, go by the child. As in this post, you can see they take a varying amount. Follow your baby’s lead.You can also check out the book super baby food (see the blog label to the right).

  23. the Shipe's
    June 24, 2009 / 2:17 AM

    Hi, My son is 4 months old & I started him on cereal last week (he was consistently crying after getting 36 oz. or more of formula). I would feed him half of the bottle (or a little more) & try feeding him, but he would only take a teaspoon or a little more. The last two days he would scream & freak out if I tried to take the bottle away unless he was completely finished, even to just burp him. He has also barely taken a teaspoon of cereal. I'm wondering maybe he doesn't need the solids (maybe it was just a growth spurt?). Maybe he would prefer veggies? Should I just give a teaspoon at a time & try 3x a day?Also, last week he was on a 3-hour schedule, but seemed to need a longer one. Even though he wasn't sttn I decided to try 3.5 hours. He's sleeping better at night now & this is also when the solids issues started. Any advice? I guess I'll keep trying a teaspoon a day until he gets that, or until I hear your fabulous words of wisdom! hehe

  24. Plowmanators
    July 17, 2009 / 3:20 PM

    Shipe's, it could have been a growth spurt for sure. You can introduce food in any order you want to. This is an a-moral activity, meaning there is no right or wrong way to do things. There are, however, many sound guidelines to follow. When you introduce a new food, do it just once a day at first and watch for signs of problems. Do that for a few days before giving it more than once. You can do veggies if you would like. Many people skip cereal all together. Just be cautions since he is not yet 6 months old. Rice has small risk of causing allergies (which is why it is recommended). Other foods can. See the other blog posts on solids for more info. Good luck!

  25. Lonnie and Aymee
    May 15, 2010 / 2:12 AM

    Hi: thank you for your nice blog, I really like reading it and getting useful information. My son is 7 months and a half and my husband and I were wondering if maybe I am overfeeding him with baby food. He eats four times a day. I breastfeed first, usually about 10 to 15 minutes or less. Then I give him baby food, he usually eats almost a whole 3.5oz jar. The only time I feed him baby food first is right before bed, where he eats 8oz of cereal and then breastfeeds. For a 7 month old he is very tall and active, people usually think he is older, some even think he is one year old! He is already crawling and standing up, and he also likes jumping in his jumper jack and walking if we hold him, as you can see he is very active. I notice that he eats very fast, then sometimes closes his mouth for about a minute, and then starts eating again if I offer him more food. I don't know if I am ignoring his cues telling me that he is full. Is it normal for a baby of his age to eat that much, (specially 8oz of cereal right before bed)?

  26. Plowmanators
    May 27, 2010 / 6:15 PM

    Brayden ate WAY more than that at that age. The best indication of if you are feeding the right amount is the growth curve. He should stay about where he has always been. If he suddenly jumps way, way up on the growth curve, you might be feeding too much. Most babies self regulate really well. So I say just feed him what he wants and consult with the pedi on his growth. Doctors (most) are good at recognizing if there is a potential problem vs. normal fluctuations in growth.

  27. amanda
    November 27, 2010 / 4:18 AM

    Starting an infant on solid foods is an exciting milestone. The introduction of soft, solid food is an important stage in your baby's development. It is an exciting and challenging time for you and your baby. How much solid food a baby will be eating depends on a variety of different things. Don't forget that your baby is a little human being and she has her own appetite. A baby who began solid foods at 4 months of age will most likely be eating more solid foods than the baby who began to eat solid foods at 6 months old. A baby who is eating soft diced foods as beginner foods may seem to eat less than the baby who is being spoon-fed purees. The natural slow down of growth that babies go through will influence how much they eat. baby food

  28. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011 / 7:50 PM

    My 6.5 month old is allergic to rice cereal. He vomits for two hours even after two spoon fulls. So we've been told to jump to solids. I started with Veggies once a day, then added twice a day and recently added in fruits. My son is on stage two jars followed by 6 ounce of bottle three times a day then an 8ounce bottle an hour before bed. My question is, how much of each should a 6.5 month old be getting? He's getting stage 2 fruit in the AM, a veggie at lunch and then at dinner. Should I be combining things somewhere or adding in more? He does seem very hungry at meal times. He take the entire stage 2 jar, but stops at 6 ounces of bottle following the food.

  29. Plowmanators
    July 1, 2011 / 4:26 AM

    Cindy,It depends on the baby. You might want to feed the bottle first so you can get the liquids in him and then let him eat until he is full.My three children all ate very different amounts at that time. Brayden ate cereal plus 2-3 stage three size jars per meal. Kaitlyn ate cereal, then a stage two veggie, and rarely finished a stage two fruit in a meal. McKenna was more in between.

  30. ginalynski
    March 9, 2012 / 4:01 AM

    How many times a day do i give solids? My daughter is six months old. On a 3.5 hr schedule.

    • Plowmanators
      April 1, 2012 / 1:54 AM

      Solids will eventually be 3 times a day. I have several posts on solids that can give you more direction.

  31. ginalynski
    March 9, 2012 / 4:02 AM

    How many times a day do i give solids? My daughter is six months old. On a 3.5 hr schedule.

  32. ginalynski
    March 9, 2012 / 4:02 AM

    How many times a day do i give solids? My daughter is six months old. On a 3.5 hr schedule.

  33. Kristin Blackburn
    September 15, 2012 / 5:58 AM

    Thank you for making such an informative blog. I guess I am having the opposite situation. My 4MO started solids this week and he refuses the rice cereal (thick, thin, warm, cold, or mixed with sweet potato) I decided to skip the rice cereal and just offer sweet potato and he ate it like a champ. I think he would have finished it if I didn't stop him. I gave him a Gerber container and he ate about 3/4 of it. Is that too much to let him have for his first real solid feeding? How do I know when to stop if he doesn't start to turn away or refuse it?

  34. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 / 6:58 AM

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