As your baby gets older you can start to wonder if you’re giving them the right amount of food, especially now they’re having solids. Luckily, babies and toddlers are very good at knowing when they’ve had enough and when they’re still hungry, so let them guide you.
Your role is to offer suitable foods in the right textures, and let your baby decide how much they want to eat. Sometimes it might seem like they’re not getting enough, but remember they have little tummies.
As a guide at 7 months baby may eat between 2 tablespoons and ½ cup of food at each meal, but every baby’s appetite is different. It’s also important to remember there’s a lot going on in your baby’s world. They’re growing, they’re learning, and you’re likely to be giving them new foods to try. Don’t be surprised if their appetite varies from day to day or if your baby rejects some foods or spits them out.
When has baby had enough?
Be responsive to baby’s signs of fullness and stop feeding when they are:
- Pushing their spoon or food away
- Spitting food out
- Refusing to open their mouth
- Turning or shaking their head
- General unhappiness – noises, faces and gestures that tell you no
- Waterworks kick in - crying or using words to tell you they’re full
If you can, enjoy family mealtimes together at the dinner table. Your baby or toddler will enjoy the family company, learn from good role modelling and copy family members. This also helps to establish healthy eating habits.
Provide your baby with a variety of nutritious foods from the four food groups. Make sure you choose and prepare foods for baby with no added sugar or salt. Sometimes baby may refuse or spit a new food out - this might be a simple case of baby getting used to new tastes. You may need to offer a food to them several times, even up to 10 times, before they’ll accept it!
If baby appears happy, healthy and they’re gaining weight, then they’re probably getting the right amount of food. However, if you have concerns about your baby’s food intake or weight gain make sure you consult your health professional.
Ministry of Health. 2021. Healthy Eating Guidelines for New Zealand Babies and Toddlers (0–2 years old). Wellington: Ministry of Health.
The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.