Easy to follow meal plan for 6 month old baby, with breastmilk/formula recommendations, water intake recommendations, 6 month old feeding schedule, additional baby food recipes that can be done as baby-led weaning or purees and a free meal planner printable.
*This post has been reviewed by Dora Babic-Cikos, PhD Nutritional Science
- Why should I trust this meal plan?
- How to introduce baby food?
- Best food for six month old baby?
- Foods to avoid
- How many times a day should I feed my six month old baby?
- How much should a six month old baby eat at each meal?
- 6 Month Baby Diet Chart
- How much breastmilk/formula for 6 month old baby?
- When can baby have water?
- Encourage Self-feeding
- Meal Plan for 6 month old baby
- Feeding tips
- Other six month old baby food recipes
- Meal planner for 6 month old baby - free printable
- WEAN WITH CONFIDENCE BOOK
- More baby food recipes
Starting solid foods for your baby can be a daunting task - but it doesn't have to be. Actually, meal planning for baby and feeding them healthy baby food can be pretty easy.
Below you will find an easy-to-use meal plan guide for stage 1 and 2 baby food purees or for baby-led weaning.
These meal plans were developed by Dora Babic-Cikos, Phd in Nutritional Science.
You can check out her book Wean With Confidence for a full 6-12 Month Meal Plan here (7 months of nutritionist-made meal plans and over 100 recipes).
Why should I trust this meal plan?
The sample menu below is based on the FAO/WHO/UNU Energy Requirements for an average 6-month-old who weighs 18.3 lbs / 8.3 kg.
There aren’t strict guidelines on how much your baby needs to eat and how often during the day.
If your baby is bigger or smaller than this that is ok. Every baby is different and this is just an average. This is just an idea of how much food your baby may be eating and how much you can prepare to ensure they are satisfied.
This is not a personalized plan (see disclaimer).
How to introduce baby food?
Following the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, and World Health Organization we suggest you introduce solid foods one by one and for at least a day at a time.
You can choose to do this with purees, baby-led weaning or a mixture.
Your baby is ready to start eating table foods when they start showing the following signs of readiness:
- Mouthing hands and toys
- Asking to be fed much more regularly
- Ability to sit up straight in a high chair (or with minimal support)
- Good head and neck control
- Able to (partially) close lips over a spoon
- Diminished tongue thrust reflex
- Reaching for your food
Best food for six month old baby?
There’s no consensus on the best food for your baby to start with – this will often be influenced by culture, seasonality/availability of foods, and even national guidelines.
Choosing simple, nutrient-dense foods will always be a good place to start though. New foods should be introduced one at a time.
Infant cereal should be given in moderation as the FDA recommends due to the risk of children being exposed to arsenic.
Foods to avoid
- Cow’s milk – digestive system not yet adapted
- Low-fat milk and dairy products – cause excessive intake of protein and low intake of essential fats
- Honey – can cause botulism
- Salt – kidneys not sufficiently developed
- Fruit juices – high sugar content
- Unpasteurized products – can contain dangerous bacteria
- Smoked & cured meats / processed food – excessive salt intake
- High mercury fish (fresh tuna, halibut, grouper, shark) – excessive intake of mercury
- Chocolate, especially dark – caffeine content
How many times a day should I feed my six month old baby?
When you start weaning you will most likely be giving them 1 single ingredient meal, such as a baked sweet potato. This can increase to two meals in the first month (see 7 month old baby food chart for next month).
When you feed them is really up to you, but lunch is probably the best time to start in case of any allergies as it gives them time to digest during the day.
In the below-proposed meal plan, we suggest lunch and dinner, and breastfeeding / bottle feeding.
How much should a six month old baby eat at each meal?
At this age, it is really about exploring and getting the child used to eating. You will most likely start with one ounce and then increase. This will depend on how nutrient-dense the food you are giving them is.
If you are serving baby-led weaning the baby will most likely barely swallow anything and it is just for exploring.
If you are giving purees they will most likely have a few teaspoons at each meal.
When they start closing their mouth, moving their head to the side, or even dropping the spoon, then you know they are finished.
6 Month Baby Diet Chart
The 6 Month Baby Diet Chart shows the recommendations in servings for all the food groups, but at this age, it is not important that all food groups are included each day.
As the 6 month time point is a time when babies are just starting to get used to solid foods the chart is just an example of how much of a food group you can use in one single meal or overall throughout the day.
For a 6 month old feeding schedule scroll down further.
How much breastmilk/formula for 6 month old baby?
Expressed breastmilk / formula feedings for six month old baby will be 6 to 8 ounces (180–240 ml) at each of the 4 or 5 bottle feeding in 24 hours. You can do 8 ounces of formula / expressed breastmilk in 3 meals, or 6 ounces in 5 meals - the amounts can be split the way you prefer.
We cannot know how much breastmilk a breastfed baby consumes in a day, so continue feeding them the way you do and they will most likely gradually demand less and less as you introduce more solid foods. You can still feed every 3-4 hours, or more or less, it all depends on you and your baby.
As before, if your child wants more or less throughout the day, feel free to feed on demand.
When can baby have water?
At this age, the main thing is to get your baby acquainted with water. This means offering small amounts of water with meals. And the easiest way to do this is to offer water in a small cup.
Gently put your baby’s hands around the cup, put yours around your baby‘s and help them bring the cup to their mouth. And don‘t worry about the amount they take in. At this age, it really doesn‘t matter. We are teaching them the process of drinking water, but their main source of hydration will still be milk/formula.
For more info about water intake during the first 3 years of life, click here.
Even if you choose purees to start you can still encourage self feeding and have the baby feel in control
- give them a spoon with puree to feed themselves (have a few spoons on hand)
- have a good bib, as it will be messy
- recognize hunger and satiety cues (baby-sign language can help)
Meal Plan for 6 month old baby
Here you will find the 6 month old feeding schedule.
- 8 oz breastmilk or formula
- 1.4 oz chicken breast, white meat, without skin and bone
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 8 oz breastmilk or formula
- ½ medium-sized sweet potato, baked
- 8 oz breastmilk or formula
Meal plans and baby food charts for other ages are available in the baby food charts section such as 7 month old baby food chart, 8 month old baby food chart, 9 month old baby food chart, 10 month old baby food and diet chart or the 10 month old meal plan, 11 month old meal plan and 1 year old baby food chart.
- offer foods one by one to control for allergies
- always be present when baby is eating
- avoid salt and sugar
- no honey before 1
- no cow's milk or goat's milk unless cooking
- don't worry about how much they are eating - breastmilk/formula is still the main source of nutrition and they are exploring new foods
- offer purees or small pieces of mashed foods on a preloaded spoon (have a few spoons on hand)
- have a great bib to minimize cleaning
- serve food in a suction bowl so baby can scoop food out themselves
- teach them to drink little sips from an open cup from the beginning
- notice when baby is full because they will start turning their head away, clamp lips, throw food on the floor, spit food out, push food away
Other six month old baby food recipes
At this age, your baby should be getting about 1-2 tablespoons of solids twice a day.
All of these recipes can be made as a puree or baby-led weaning. For strictly baby-led weaning recipes see here.
- Apple Sweet Potato Baby Puree
- Carrot Puree
- Chicken Carrot Mash
- Forest fruit millet
- Sweet Potato Fruit Pudding
Meal planner for 6 month old baby - free printable
Download, print, and stick to your fridge this easy-to-use meal planner for your baby. Click here to download the PDF Meal Planner for Baby.
WEAN WITH CONFIDENCE BOOK
- over 100 recipes, meal plans, shopping lists and more for the first 7 months of weaning