Introduce Solid Food to Your Baby
Here are some nutritional tips to protect your baby’s digestive while best supporting his or her development. Remember not to introduce any solid food to a baby younger than 6 months old.
Introduction period – 6 to 9 Months old
After 6 months of breastfeeding, your baby is ready to be gradually introduced to additional food sources. Infants need on average 6 times more vitamin D, 5 times more calcium and iron, 4 times more vitamin C and zinc than adults do. Accordingly, this is the perfect time to enrich your baby’s diet, especially in minerals and vitamins. Meanwhile, this is also the best time to start getting your baby used to healthy nutritional habits!
Remember that this is only a transitional period and that you should therefore not to be in a hurry to introduce your baby to too many supplementing foods. Your baby should consume no more than 2 additional meals during this period. The later together should not exceed a tiny mason jar. Meanwhile, your baby should continue receiving more than 2/3rd of his or her daily nutritional needs from breastfeeding or formula alone.
PenelopeChild Developmental Specialist
Sample Daily Menus – 1.
On a first meal, you may want to introduce half a jar of fruit purees which are easy to consume. Besides being rich in vitamins, fruits are easy to digest. Be careful as certain fruits can lead on to allergies. Starting off with apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums and bananas is a safe choice.
On a second meal, you may want to supplement breastfeeding with a vegetable soup. Once again, remember that daily portions should not be bigger than half a small jar. Go for potatoes, carrots, rice, squash, broccoli and fresh beans. Do not give potatoes at first. Their starchy content may lead to constipation. Avoid cabbage and cauliflower as they generate gas. At 7 months old, you may begin adding minced meat or chicken. This should not exceed the size of a walnut and should not be fed more than 2 to 3 times per week.
Blending fruits and vegetables gives them a creamy consistency. While this makes it easy for your baby to swallow, it does however prevent your little one from getting used to chewing his or her food. Instead of using a blender, crush fruits and vegetables using a spoon against a filter. The best cooking methods in order to retain maximum nutritional values are to steam or use a hot pot.
Complementary period – 9-12 Months old
As your baby should by now have got used to additional food sources, you can increase his or her intake to 3 meals a day. An optimal diet at this age consists in half breast milk and half solids. Again, try not to feed more than a tiny baby mason jar per meal.
Sample Daily Menus – 2.
At 9 to 12 months old, your baby should have far less gas problems. This means that you can introduce him or her to additional fruits and vegetables. You can also introduce unsalted cheese (the size of a match box), a small jar of yogurt and even half of an egg yolk to your baby’s daily diet. Eggs must be well boiled. Only serve the egg yolk to your baby. Meanwhile, remember to introduce any of the above food in small and measured quantities only. Always start off with a sweet spoon. Day after day, you can then increase this quantity up the size of a small tea cup. This method will help you spot in case any of the food your baby swallows causes him or her an allergic reaction.
Beyond 1 year old
You can now introduce your little one to different unsalted and unsweetened home cooked vegetables and meaty dishes. Remember to keep your baby’s diet to three meals a day. You may want to give one boiled egg at breakfast which is high in protein. A seasonal vegetable dish will do perfect for lunch. Dinner should ideally be 2 hours ahead of your baby’s bedtime. You can also introduce honey to his or her diet. Just remember to keep away tomato paste, salty and sweetened foods. Meanwhile, your baby’s dairy product intake should also not exceed 500ml per day.
Do not give your baby biscuits; especially at breakfast. Due to their high caloric content, they create a feeling of satiety which will affect your baby appetite during the day.
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Why do babies become constipated?
Breastfed babies never experience constipation problems. However, the latter may occur with the introduction of solid foods. You can comfort your baby’s digestive system by giving him or her plenty of water as well as pears, apricots or plums composts.
Foods that are dangerous for your baby
Until one-year-old, do not feed your baby highly allergic foods. Those are honey, egg whites, cow milk, cacao, strawberries, nuts, popcorn, processed meat, tomatoes, canned, frozen, salted, sweetened, spicy and ready to eat foods. Be careful not to introduce your baby to too many sugary foods as this will lead him or her to reject other types of foods. Ultimately, remember that sugar intake leads on to an unbalanced diet.