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Infant Food and Feeding

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Information about the onset and patterns of risk behaviors associated with overweight and obesity during infancy are showcased in the link below. Visit the section titled Desired Behaviors to learn about how to promote healthy active living during infancy.

​​View Infant ​Timeline​



​Desired Behaviors

Based upon evidence, a number of desired behaviors were identified as critic​​al to helping families foster healthy active living for their infant. For each desired behavior you can explore the evidence, learn what parents told us about these behaviors, identify opportunities to promote healthy behaviors at the point of care, review how to start conversations and access messages and resources to support families. Also available to inform your counseling is the Onset and Patterns of Risk Behaviors during Infancy Timeline located above this section.

Breastfe​​eding:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately 6 months.
  • Continue breastfeeding until the baby's first birthday or longer while mutually desired by mother and baby.​​

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​Bottle Feed​​i​ng:

Practice appropriate bottle feeding practices:
     Avoid bottle propping
​     Only breastmilk or formula in bottle unless otherwise directed by physician​​​

​​​Food Intr​oduction:

​Introduce solid foods around 6 months of age
Expose baby to a wide variety of healthy foods
Also offer a variety of textures

​​Healthy Snacking:

After 9 months, offer 2-3 healthy and nutritious snacks per day
Maintain fruit and vegetable consumption after finger foods are introduced

​​​Foster Self-feeding:

​Babies are encouraged to use spoons and fingers to feed themselves

Babies are encouraged to drink from a cup starting at 6 months of age
Parents recognize hunger and satiety cues​

​​Healthy Drinks: 

Babies should drink breastmilk or formula for the first year of life
Try to avoid introducing juice until child is a toddler. If juice is introduced, wait until 6-9 months and limit consumption to 4-6 ounces
Avoid introduction of sugar-sweetened beverages ​