Maintaining balanced nutrition when going from baby food to table food begins with your guidance.

Transitioning to table food is a learning experience for both you and your baby. But with his new independence can come the concern that he might not be getting the right nutrition.

With these tips* you can help your older baby transition to solid foods — and help make sure he gets balanced nutrition, including the right vitamins and minerals.

Baby at 9 months: New tastes and textures

For the first year, breast milk or formula is your baby’s main source of nutrition. Check with your doctor to identify the right time to start introducing a variety of finger foods and table foods. You also might want to:

  • Offer your baby fruits and vegetables at every meal (and as snacks).
  • Make sure any juice you offer is 100% fruit juice (in a sippy cup). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 4 to 6 fluid ounces per day.
  • Remember, you might need to offer a food more than 10 times before he accepts it. Remain patient — you will get through this transition in time.

It is important when introducing new foods to watch for signs of allergy. Want to learn more? Visit The Truth About Food Allergies in Babies.

Want to learn more about trying new foods? Visit Introducing More Flavors and Textures to Your Baby.

12 months: Three squares a day

At 1 year, your baby will probably be eating on your family’s schedule, with three meals a day and two to three planned snacks. Also, keep in mind:

  • Your baby might be closer to moving off the bottle completely; weaning might begin as early as 10 months old. Serve drinks in a sippy cup.
  • Eat together as a family and allow your baby to feed himself.
  • Your baby will eat less some days than others — do not force-feed him.

18 months: Add in some healthy snacks

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends weaning your baby between 12 and 15 months, being totally off the bottle by 18 months. They also recommend continuing to offer whole milk, from a cup, in four 4-fluid-ounce servings a day (no more than 24 fluid ounces). Also, consider:

  • Trying new foods at the start of each meal (when your toddler will likely be most hungry)
  • Offering the same kinds of foods you would serve at mealtime as snacks (and giving water when your toddler is thirsty)
  • Making snacks fun and nutritious

24 months: Deciding on favorites and providing a variety

Often, toddlers want to eat the same foods repeatedly. Keep with your feeding schedule of three meals per day with snacks. If your toddler refuses food at one meal, he probably will eat well at the next. Try not to fight about food, and remember:

  • Toddlers' appetites will fluctuate. This is normal.
  • Baby food portion sizes should be around 1/4 of an adult serving.
  • Continue to offer a variety of colors, textures, and flavors.

Go & Grow by SimilacTM: A complement to your toddler’s nutrition.

Be confident about your child’s nutritional intake. Go & Grow by Similac, for toddlers 12 to 24 months, helps balance your toddler’s diet. Each 8-fl-oz serving includes 25 vitamins and minerals, and provides at least 30% of the recommended daily value† for calcium, iron, and vitamins C and E. It also contains DHA and ARA—nutrients important for brain and eye development.

Find Out More About Go & Grow by Similac

*From "Ounce of Prevention" (a collaboration of Healthy Ohio, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio; Ohio Department of Health; Ohio Dietetic Association; Children's Hospital; Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council Mid East), and the makers of Similac®
†Percent daily value for 1-to-4 year olds