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Beverage Guidelines
Birth - 11 Months

Click to download a handy quick reference sheet for the beverage guidelines. (pdf)

Age goRecommended stopNot Recomended
0 - 3 months Breast milk (preferred)

Iron-fortified infant formula
Other foods at this age
4 - 7 months Breast milk (preferred)

Iron-fortified infant formula
Food or drink other than breast milk and/or iron-fortified infant formula in a bottle unless medically necessary.

Cow's milk or lactose-free milk or nutritionally-equivalent beverages like soy or rice milk

100% fruit and vegetable juices (with no added sweeteners) until 12 months of age

Soft drinks

Sports/energy drinks

Sugary beverages including fruit-based drinks with added sweeteners, sweetened iced teas, punch, etc.

Artificially sweetened beverages including diet soft drinks, teas, lemonade, etc.

Caffeinated beverages
8 - 11 months Breast milk (preferred)

Iron-fortified infant formula

Water with no added sweeteners

Portion Size

Watch for hunger and fullness cues. Signs of hunger in infants may be: sucking noises or sucking on fist or fingers, fussiness, or crying.

Signs of fullness may be: sealing the lips together, decreasing the amount of sucking, spitting out or refusing the nipple, pushing or turning away from the breast or bottle.

Age Item Meals Snacks
0 - 3 months Breast milk (preferred)
Iron-fortified infant formula
4 - 6 oz.
4 - 7 months Breast milk (preferred)
Iron-fortified infant formula
Approximately
4 - 8 oz.
4 - 6 oz.
Water with no added
sweeteners
Small amount can be given after breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula. Water can be used for practicing cup use.
8 - 11 months Breast milk (preferred)
Iron-fortified infant formula
Approximately
6-8 oz.
2-4 oz.
Water with no added
sweeteners
Small amount can be given after breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula.

Rationale

Why is juice not recommended for infants until 12 months of age or older?
  • We recommend whole fruits and vegetables, rather than juice, for infants during the first year of life because they provide nutrients and fiber that may be lost in the processing of juice.

Why should no food or drink other then breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula be served in the bottle?
  • Food added to a bottle does not help infants sleep through the night.
  • This practice deprives infants of the opportunity to learn to regulate their food intake.

Why are sugary beverages not recommended?
  • Sports and soft drinks are high in calories and low in key nutrients.
  • Breast milk or iron-fortified formula and water are the only beverages recommended for children during their first 12 months to meet their nutrient needs.
  • Consumption of sugary beverages is associated with:
    • Calcium deficiency because sugary beverages displace milk.
    • Tooth decay.
    • Overweight or obesity.