Find out what food diversification for babies is, at what age to start and what are the steps to follow.
From 4 to 6 months, a baby can start discovering food, this is the period of food diversification.
How to start food diversification for babies?
Around 4/6 months, after having fed baby only milk, you will have to meet his nutritional needs by concocting meals adapted to his age and development. It’s not always easy as a young parent to know when to start and where to start. Here are some tips on food diversification for babies.
What is food diversification?
Food diversification consists of gradually introducing new foods. It intervenes when the baby’s nutritional needs change and he becomes able to digest food solidsolid. Vegetables, fruits, cerealscerealsstarches, meats and PiscesPisces… this phase of progressive food diversification lasts approximately from 4 months to 1 year. There are guidelines and steps to follow for food diversification, but know that all babies are different, they each have their own rhythm and food preference.
At what age should baby’s food diversification begin?
To know when to start baby food diversification, a pediatrician or healthcare professional can tell you when the time is right. This happens between 4 and 6 months, depending on its development, health and the capacities of its digestive system. Starting from firefire green, it is possible to start gently introducing new foods to offer the child new flavors and new texturestextures.
Food diversification is done in stages, in a recommended order and with adaptation times so that the baby can get used to and develop a tolerance to each novelty.
The stages of food diversification for babies
There are different stages in food diversification for babies, which correspond to approximate age groups (depending on each child), in order to gently accustom them to the whole range of foods that exist:
- 4 to 6 months;
- 6 to 12 months;
- from 12 to 36 months.
4 to 6 months
This stage is the beginning of food diversification. You have to start gently, keeping breast milk and/or infant milk as the main source of nutrition. This is the time to discover “solid” foods.
Vegetables, then fruits are the first foods that baby will taste. The ideal for this stage are vegetables not fibrousfibrous like the carrotcarrotthem green beansgreen beansthe zucchinizucchini… Then, about two weeks later, you can introduce fruits such as apples, bananasbananas where the pearspears. The recipe, whether for vegetables and fruits: one food at a time, steamed to retain all the good nutrients and blended into a very smooth puree, without adding salt or sugar.
From the start of baby food diversification, purées can be accompanied by a little gruyère or yogurtyogurt. Be careful, avoid sugary products or 0% mattermatter fatty, raw or semi-skimmed.
Regarding the frequency, it is advisable to give these purées once or twice a day, at a distance from each other. A vegetable purée for lunch and a fruit compote for a snack, for example. If baby doesn’t like your little dishes, it’s nothing serious, he needs time to get used to all these new things.
From 6 to 12 months
Second step: Gradually increase the number of “solid” meals and introduce new foods. Bottles and/or breastfeeding should always be supplemented.
The rest of the discovery are cereals, starchy foods and then proteinprotein such as meat, fish and (boiled) eggs. Still in puree form, lentilslentils, dried beans, chickpeas… are appearing. Then bread and cereal products such as pasta, rice and semolina are introduced into baby’s small dishes. Finally, proteins follow: all meats, fish and hard-boiled eggs, always mixed.
The doses should be increased gradually, starting with around 10 g of protein at 6 months, 20 g at 8 months, then 30 g at 12 months. The objective between 6 and 12 months is to switch to 4 “solid” meals (breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner) in addition to follow-on milk or breast milk, which it is advisable to keep for at least least three meals.
From 12 to 36 months
Last step, baby can eat solid foods at all meals and without them being in puree form, while keeping two or three bottles of growing-up milk.
At this time, the meal doses should be increased gradually and ideally, your child will eat four meals a day, while reducing his milk consumption.