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Complementary feeding from 6 up to 9 months

Generic C-IYCF Package (UNICEF | 2011)
Complementary feeding from 6 up to 9 months

Key Messages

  • Continue breastfeeding your baby on demand both day and night. This will maintain his or her health and strength as breast milk continues to be the most important part of your baby’s diet.
  • Breast milk supplies half (1/2) baby’s energy needs from 6 up to 12 months.
  • Breastfeed first before giving other foods.
  • When giving complementary foods to your baby, think: Frequency, Amount, Thickness, Variety, Responsive feeding, and Hygiene
  • Frequency: Feed your baby complementary foods 3 times a day
  • Amount: Increase amount gradually to half (½) cup (250 ml cup: show amount in cup brought by mother). Use a separate plate to make sure young child eats all the food given
  • Thickness: Give mashed/pureed family foods. By 8 months your baby can begin eating finger foods
  • Variety: Try to feed a variety of foods at each meal. For example: Animal-source foods (flesh meats, eggs and dairy products) 1 star*; Staples (grains, roots and tubers) 2 stars**; Legumes and seeds 3 stars***; Vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables and other fruits and vegetables 4 stars**** (CC 17).

Notes for community worker:

  • Foods may be added in a different order to create a 4 star food/diet.
  • Animal source foods are very important. Start animal source foods as early and as often as possible. Cook well and chop fine.
  • Infants can eat well-cooked and finely-chopped eggs, meat and fish even if they don’t have teeth.
  • Additional snacks (extra food between meals) such as fruit or bread with nut paste) can be offered once or twice per day.
  • If you prepare food for the baby that has oil or fat in it, use no more than half a teaspoon per day.
  • Use iodised salt
  • Each week you can add one new food to your child’s diet
  • Avoid giving sugary drinks
  • Avoid sweet biscuits


  • Responsive feeding
    • Be patient and actively encourage your baby to eat.
    • Don’t force your baby to eat.
    • Use a separate plate to feed the baby to make sure he or she eats all the food given.
  • Hygiene: Good hygiene (cleanliness) is important to avoid diarrhoea and other illnesses. (CC 12)
    • Use a clean spoon or cup to give foods or liquids to your baby.
    • Store the foods to be given to your baby in a safe hygienic place.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing foods and feeding baby.
    • Wash your hands and your baby’s hands before eating.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet and washing or cleaning baby’s bottom.

Note about the size of cups:

  • All cups shown and referred to in the Counselling Cards are mugs which have a volume of 250 ml. If other types or sizes of cups are used to feed a baby, they should be tested to see what volume they hold and the recommended quantities of food or liquid should be adjusted to the local cup or mug.

Note: After 6 months, you can no longer use LAM.

  • You will need to use another family planning method even though your menses has not yet returned.
  • There are many methods of family planning that will not interfere with breastfeeding.