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Is my 10-month-old eating enough?
Q: Exactly how much food and how much formula should be included in a diet for a 10-month-old? He does not whine when he is hungry, but doesn't ever seem to get full. How do I know when I have given enough?
Heather Puryear, TN
A: Heather, thanks for your question. It can be difficult to know what and how much food to give infants because their appetites and feeding skills are changing rapidly.

Your 10-month-old can probably sit up in a high chair, grasp food with his fingers, bring it to his mouth, and chew it. While he’s developing his ability to feed himself over the next six-eight months, he might still need you to help feed him. But this is the time to advance his diet from the starter cereals and pureed fruits and vegetables to soft finger foods with more texture and variety. Offer him soft table foods like cooked vegetables, pasta, meats, cheese, egg yolks (the white can cause allergy before 12 months), fruits, cereal, bread, and crackers. Cut food into small chunks less than ¼ inch to prevent choking. He can also start learning how to use a sippy cup and a baby spoon or fork.

Children vary widely in their appetites. Your baby might always have a big appetite or eat a lot one day and less the next day, and that’s usually normal. Nutrition experts say that parents should offer their children a sufficient quantity and variety of nutritious food, and let the children decide whether and how much to eat. Offer your baby three meals a day and a snack in between. Give him small portions to start with—a tablespoon of each type of food. If he finishes that and he’s still hungry, you can add more. And give him 16-24 oz of milk a day (wait until 12 months of age to switch to whole milk).

Encourage your baby to eat, but don’t force him. Follow his cues for when he’s hungry and when he’s full. He might show you he’s full by closing his mouth, turning his head away, arching backward, pushing away the food, throwing food, and fussing.

You’ll know your baby is eating enough if he’s active and growing well. If you’re still concerned, talk with your pediatrician.
Karen Sokal-Gutierrez M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician