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Is there a general guideline for how much solid food an 11 month baby should be given? Specifically, should I feed him a set amount of solid food or just keep feeding him until he no longer accepts more? My initial impression was babies are suppose to be able to self-regulate their eating to only eat until they're full. However, I'm amazed at how much food he can eat in one sitting.

asked 22 Feb '10, 01:16

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
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+1 I've also been amazed at how much our son can fit into his baby-sized belly.

(22 Feb '10, 04:33) cat_g

I haven't seen a guideline for the amount of food that a child of that age should be eating, but this brochure given to me by the Public Health Nurse has lots of ideas to help create a healthy attitude towards meals & mealtimes. It also lists signs of fullness such as:

  • turns head away at sight of spoon
  • closes mouth at sight of spoon
  • covers mouth with hands
  • fusses or cries
  • falls asleep
  • or, if he/she is self-feeding, dropping the food on the floor (this one is just from my own experience).

From my experience, the amount of food consumed can vary wildly from kid to kid. My eldest, she seemed to eat and eat and eat, but eventually, they all start dropping it on the floor ;)

link

answered 22 Feb '10, 04:11

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Kate
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+1 Good list of signs of fullness.

(22 Feb '10, 04:32) cat_g

I have been using a baby-led approach to feeding my son. He is 9.5 months old. Starting with breastfeeding and then the introduction of foods at 6 months, I feed him on-demand, as much or as little as he wants.

I do think that my baby does self-regulate his portions. Somedays, it seems like we are sitting at the table for hours while he eats. While other days he only seems to have a few bites. Similarly, somedays he wants to nurse every hour other days every four hours.

Sometimes, I worry that he is not eating enough. But I learned from breastfeeding that I have to trust that he will eat when he is hungry and that he will eat until he is full. For us, this has worked very well. (I'm sure I'd feel differently if he wasn't gaining weight well.)

I also believe that as long as he is eating healthy foods I shouldn't worry about him eating too much. I don't give him anything with added sugar or added fat. Lots of fresh fruits, veggies, home cooked meats, homemade bread, organic yogurt. He's not going to get fat by eating too many blueberries. :)

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answered 22 Feb '10, 04:30

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cat_g
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+1 for trusting that he will eat until he is full!

(22 Feb '10, 10:18) Emi
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I should mention that my baby is formula fed which is one reason I worry about him eating too much. I'm not sure he's as good at self-regulating as a breastfed baby would be. (Though I'll admit I'm probably overly paranoid about this :) )

(22 Feb '10, 15:36) Kiesa ♦

I've always just fed them until they've had enough. I'm amazed that you're 11 month old is still letting you feed him, mine had all commandered the spoon by then and sent my butt packing! (That will get you worried about whether they're eating enough, "Did you get any of that in you, or is it all on the floor and in your hair?" It is such a good thing that they're still getting most of their nutrition from breast or bottle until their 1!)

If he's eating lots and lots, he's probably burning it all off with his new mobility skills, and soon he'll be far to busy to want to stop to eat and you'll be wondering if he thinks he can live on air.

As long as he's staying on his percentile curve, don't stress, it's just more of them knowing their own bodies and what they need, regardless of what will let their mother sleep at night.

Make it fun, make it about learning that there are lots of lovely healthy things to put in our mouths that arn't dead bugs, and treasure in your heart that you once worried that he was eating too much for when he goes through the stage when food is a hugh bother.

link

answered 22 Feb '10, 07:40

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Neen
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edited 22 Feb '10, 08:04

He's been a bit delayed in terms of eating solid food (8 months was when he really started accepting purees and he still can't eat chunky food) so I think that's probably why he hasn't started demanding to feed himself yet.

(22 Feb '10, 15:21) Kiesa ♦

Yeah, probably then, and I know that for most babies it's a lovely social time with Mommy. My oldest has always been really independent, and the younger three all probably just got fed up with how distracted I was. Since my second son was born our house has always been like feeding time at the zoo at meals.

(22 Feb '10, 16:40) Neen

I don't have a better answer than the answers given by cat_g and neen, but I want to add a point that has helped me think about it, and may help other analytically-minded parents. I was wondering just how many calories my baby needs each day, and I found this site, which says:

Caloric requirements

0-3 months - 116kcal./kg./d
3-12 months- 100kcal./kg./d

So a 10kg infant (~22 pounds) needs about 1000 calories a day. Given that most of an infant's nutrition should come from formula or breastmilk (I can't find a reference for this but I've heard and read it many times), this means at least 500 calories of formula or breastmilk, and somewhat under 500 calories of solid foods depending on factors such as age relative to a year.

link

answered 22 Feb '10, 17:32

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Anne
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edited 22 Feb '10, 18:04

That's a wonderful link, thanks so much!

(22 Feb '10, 22:48) Kiesa ♦

I haven't seen a guideline about how much they should be eating.

I was asking this same question with both my kids (who were both slightly below average weight for their age) as they seemed to be able to eat anything I put in front of them at that age. I didn't know whether I should keep feeding them or to stop. My daughter was eating more than her three year old.

I am trying to remember how much I was feeding at that time. Probably at least a cup of food 3 times a day probably with some morning tea.

I think we arrived at a mixture of stopping when I thought they had had eaten enough and then they stopped. It also depends what they are eating. At that age it was mainly fruit and vegetable. I also discussed this with our Plunket Nurse (Child health nurse) and she reassured me that it was fine.

If you are like me who regularly worries about how much and what their kids are eating. Every so often I keep track of what they eat.

Hope this if over some help.

link

answered 22 Feb '10, 02:29

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K D
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I have always let my daughter eat until she refuses food and says she's done. The baby foods esp the fruits and veggies have much less calorie and are less dense that milk of formula, so it probably feels less filling to them than drinking a bottle or the breast. At this age too, you could let him start self feeding and he may end up eating less when you do this.

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answered 28 Feb '10, 22:26

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Caitlin
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We basically stick to a rule of thumb to limit our 10 month old to the equivalent of a Gerber box 3 times a day. We've found that being consistent with our feeding amount is more important than letting her go till she finishes. It's highly dependent on what we're feeding her on what she eats - she hates peas and green beans and so we force her to finish the serving, but sweet stuff like applesauce and she won't stop.

Since she's already on the heavy side, we have to be really careful with portion sizes. So rather than suggest an actual amount, I would recommend finding a portion size you are comfortable with and sticking to it. If baby cries for more, supplement with water.

link

answered 22 Feb '10, 01:58

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Ankur Goel
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-1: For forcing her to finish her serving. I believe the saying goes, "You can control what your child eats, but only they can/should control how much they eat." Controlling portion sizes of a baby doesn't seem necessary assuming she is being offered a selection of healthy foods.

(22 Feb '10, 03:51) Kate
3

-1 For portion sizes and supplementing with water. Try experimenting with other healthy foods -- there are vegetables besides peas and green beans! It makes me sad to think of a baby crying for food and being given water. However, if the doctor has indicated that she is heavy, who am I to judge.

(22 Feb '10, 17:29) Anne
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Asked: 22 Feb '10, 01:16

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Last updated: 28 Feb '10, 22:26