October 5, 2022

Baby food: let's go for diversification!

When to start?

In general, dietary diversification can begin fairly early, that is to say around 4 months. Slowly, so you can start introducing new things to your baby's meals. Of course, the change must not be radical, that's why you have to go smoothly. At this age, your baby still needs his bottles.
In addition, if you feel that your child is not ready and that he balks at the spoons that you give him, wait a little before trying again. It is important to respect your own pace.
At each age his needs

Up to 3 years, a child needs 500 ml of milk (or other dairy products) each day, without exceeding 800 ml. To this base are added different foods to integrate over time and its growth. The first year, here are the basics to know:
4 to 6 months
Until then, your child has tasted only milk and the rest is totally unknown to him. So it's time to discover new things ... To get started, you can gently integrate fruit or vegetable purees to your meals, either by spoon or by mixing them directly into a bottle. It is indeed possible that it repels the compotes at first. Do not give up, over time, he will appreciate to taste all these new flavors!
6 to 8 months
Now that baby has understood how to eat with a spoon, his meals will be able to evolve to a little more consistent dishes. But be careful, always make sure to offer well mixed preparations. It is not easy to eat with 3 teeth!
Thus, you will be able to add every day a little protein like fish or meat, in any small quantity (approximately 15g per day, that is amply enough). Do the same with the fat and add a few drops of olive oil or raw rapeseed to its purees. Level fruits and vegetables, vary the pleasures and the colors: it is necessary to awake its taste.
As for dairy products, you can start to replace the milk of lunch or snack with a yoghurt, a petit-suisse, or why not, a little grated gruyere melted.
From 8 to 12 months
From now on your little one eats almost like the big ones! All his senses are awake, so it's time to try new experiences ... As his teeth are also a little more developed, you can start to introduce small pieces crushed with a fork. Why not a little piece of bread or a biscuit? You can also make him taste starchy foods from time to time. Also vary the dairy products while keeping the daily amount necessary.
During this period, also begin to put his meals under the sign of the conviviality and install it at your table, on his high chair. Try to give him his spoon and let him get away alone. If he puts it everywhere or eats with his hands, hold on ... it is only passenger. He learns !

Very small, the difference between the quantities to give to girls or boys does not exist. They have the same needs. On the other hand, give your baby, 4 meals a day, including a snack, is essential to hold until the evening.
For quantity, you have to trust your child, simply. He himself knows instinctively what he needs. No need to force him to finish his plate. You must never blackmail or pressure food ... Your baby must eat what he needs when he needs it.
Attention, this does not mean that you have to eat anything at any time ... In fact, the food balance is a week and not a meal. If he does not eat well at noon, he will make up for tea or dinner, provided of course not to encourage him to nibble all day long ...
So be without fear, a child does not let himself die of hunger. As long as your weight curve is satisfactory, let things be done naturally. This is the best way to give him a good foundation for the future of his relationship with food.

Thanks to Editions Leduc.s
To read: "Small pots home for baby, from 4 months to 3 years", Isabelle Lauras, dietician.

Feeding Babies: Starting Solid Foods | Kaiser Permanente (October 2022)