7-day Healthy Meal Planning Guide for 6 to 24 month old children

How to design recipes for babies

Through a variety of foods in a baby's menu, he will get the nutrients needed for his growth. This also helps him adapt to eating family food.

(1) Choosing foods to make meals for babies

  1. Include 4 main food groups
    1. Include grains, vegetables, fruit and meat. Milk products can also be included.
  2. Choose a variety of food
    1. Choose a variety of foods in order to expose baby to different  flavors.
    2. Within  each food group, try the food in turn, e.g. fruit and vegetables of different colours.
  3. Choose an appropriate food texture
    1. Chicken is softer and less chewy than beef. When trying  meat, give chicken first, then beef.
  4. Serve more grains, vegetables and fruit
    1. Offer grains and vegetables in larger quantities than meat. Use vegetable oils, e.g. canola oil.
  5. Choose food from the family's dishes
    1. For babies to share food with the family,  reduce salt and seasoning used in cooking, or take out the baby's portion before seasoning.

(2) How to design babies' one-day menu

7 to 11 month old babies

From 7 to 11 months, a baby gradually adapts to solid food. When a baby can get enough from a meal containing  grains, vegetables and meat, he does not need milk to top up. The meal can replace one milk feeding.

A one-day menu for a 7 to 8 month old baby

Breastmilk or Formula milk

Breastfeed as needed or Formula  milk (3 to 4 times)

Main meals of solid food

1 to 2 meals

Half bowl congee
Half to one tbsp meat
One to two tbsps vegetables
One tbsp fruit puree

Snack

1 to 2 meals

Baby biscuits (occasionally) or fruit puree

A one-day menu for a 9 to 11 month old baby

Breastmilk or Formula milk

Breastfeed as needed or Formula  milk (2 to 3 times)

Main meals of solid food

2 to 3 meals

Half to one bowl congee
One tbsp meat
Two tbsps vegetables
Two tbsps fruit puree

Snack

1 to 2 meals

Bread/sweet potato strips/baby biscuits or vegetable stick or fruit

Useful tips: Choose food from the major food groups (Food exchange table) and match the quantities to design a menu for your baby.

1 to 2 year old young children

  • Arrange 3 main meals and 2 snacks a day.
  • Daily food requirements  are about:

Grains

1 to 2 bowls of rice

Vegetables

4 to 8 tablespoons

Fruits

one forth to half bowl

Meat, fish, eggs & beans

2 to 4 tablespoons

Milk & milk product

360 to 480 ml

Note: Medium sized rice bowl = 250 to 300 ml; 1 Chinese tablespoon = about 20g chopped cooked vegetables, raw minced meat/fish

Useful tips: From the major food groups (Food exchange table), choose food and match the quantity to plan a one-day menu for your child.

A one-day sample menu for a 1 to 2 year old child

Breakfast

half bowl cornflake + a small cup (120 ml) milk + 2 strawberries

Morning snack

A small cup yoghurt

Lunch

½ bowl udon + 1 to 2 tablespoons chicken + 2 tablespoons cabbage, 2 tablespoons tomato

Afternoon snack

1 piece bread or a small cup (120 ml) milk + one forth apple

Dinner

½ bowl soft rice + 1 to 2 tablespoons fish + 2 tablespoons broccoli, 2 tablespoons carrot + a few sections of orange

Evening snack
(if need)

A small cup (120 ml) milk

Food exchange table

You can choose foods from each main group used below, and combine them to make a meal. The portion conversion is for your reference.

Food Quantity

Suggestion of food exchange

Half bowl of rice grains

  • 1 bowl thick congee; or
  • Three fourths noodle, ABC  pasta, macaroni, spiral pasta or spaghetti; or
  • Half packet udon; or
  • One piece of bread (eight pieces per bag); or
  • 5 Chinese tablespoons dry oatmeal; or
  • Three fourths bowl breakfast cereal; or
  • 1 bowl mashed potato; or
  • 5 pieces marie biscuit

1 heaped Chinese tablespoon of pork/ beef/ chicken

  • 1 heaped Chinese tablespoon fish; or
  • 1 egg yolk = half whole egg (try egg yolk before egg whites); or
  • 3 heaped Chinese tablespoons tofu; or
  • 3 heaped Chinese tablespoons cooked beans

Calcium content of 120 ml milk

1 slice cheese or about 100g yoghurt

Note: Medium sized rice bowl = 250 to 300 ml; 1 Chinese tablespoon = about 20g chopped cooked vegetables, raw minced meat/fish

Pasteurized milk products can be given to babies aged 6 to 11 months, but it should not replace breastmilk or formula milk as the main source of food.

Plain biscuits are added with sugar and some may contain trans fat.

Avoid eating it frequently. Serve a small portion as a snack occasionally.

Fruits and vegetables commonly available in the market

Vegetables

Choy sum, bok choy, Chinese spinach, spinach, Shanghai white cabbage, lettuce, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, honey peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, pumpkin, eggplant, hairy melon, zucchini, winter melon, carrots, mushrooms, etc.

Fruits

Apples, plums, strawberries, oranges, papaya, mandarin oranges, mangoes, bananas, pears, kiwifruit, blueberries, grapes, cherries, etc.
(Content revised 08/2017)