After 6 months, is milk still a priority?
Your baby is getting older, and is even gaining confidence in his diet: between 4 and 6 months, you have discussed with him food diversificationallowing him to taste all kinds of food, to awaken his tastes and respond to their nutritional needs. However, from 7 months, this is not the time to give up the main contribution of his diet: milk. “Calcium remains essential to your baby’s growth”, recalls Dr Alain Bocquet, pediatrician, head of the Nutrition Group of the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics (AFPA) and member of the Nutrition Committee of the French Society of Pediatrics (SFP).
How many bottles of milk to give a baby per day?
From 7 to 9 months, baby must drink 500 to 800 ml of milk or dairy equivalents daily. For example, if your child drinks 500 ml of milk, you can gradually offer him a dairy or a portion of cheese for children, or regular cheese, while avoiding raw milk cheeses, to meet their needs.
Cow’s milk, infant milk… Which milk to use?
Milk intake can be achieved through breastfeeding, which is advised by WHO, the World Health Organization. However, if you are bottle-feeding or mixed-feeding your child, you have had to spend with milk 2nd age, also called follow-up formula as soon as you have given a complete meal by spoon, that is to say around 5 – 6 months. It’s always the one you should use, as it provides much-needed nutrients in addition to calcium, like iron and essential fatty acids.
Commercially sold cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk is not suitable for baby’s needs. “Cow’s milk provides too much proteinmineral salts, salt, saturated fats, while it is too low in iron, zinc, essential fatty acids” explains the specialist. Second age milk provides less protein and salt, but 20 to 30 times more iron, many more essential fatty acids, more zinc, and more vitamins and less saturated fats.
For children allergic to cow’s milk proteins, there are therapeutic milks. let’s remember that vegetable juices (almond, soy, chestnut, rice, coconut, etc.) improperly called “milk” and sold in the health food section are to be absolutely avoided in babies because of the major risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Which yogurts to choose?
Dairy products specific for babies have the advantage of containing less protein and sometimes iron supplements and essential fatty acids. Moreover, they meet the strict regulations concerning food for young children. However, they are expensive and often sweet. It is possible to make “homemade” yogurts with 2nd age milk: they will thus be equivalent to infant milk, and without sugar.
From 7 to 9 months: what can you feed your baby, and how much?
After 6 months, baby meals have found a rhythm of 4 meals a daysnack included, and regular hours. Of these four meals, two will still be mainly devoted to milk: either by breastfeeding the baby or by giving him a bottle.
Vegetables, fruits, and animal proteins now on the menu
In terms of flavors, babies already know most of the foods, offered mixed or crushed. The quantity of fruits and vegetables is not limited while for meat and fish the quantity is limited to 10g / day, or ¼ hard-boiled egg, up to 1 year. The fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits, if possible “organic”” and short circuit, are to be preferred, but frozen ones also retain their nutrients. Small pots are also possible. Count 200 g of vegetables per day, and 100 to 130 g of fruit.
Do not forget the daily addition of fat (1 to 2 teaspoons at this age): vegetal oilspreferably rapeseed or walnuts, but also cream or butter. Cooked fats should be limited and fried foods should be avoided.
At this stage, it is also advisable to add complex carbohydrates to all meals (1/4 the amount of vegetables at lunchtime and in the evening) in the form of cereals : wheat (bread, biscuits, small pasta), rice, corn (polenta), barley, oats, rye, etc.) and pseudo-cereals (buckwheat, quinoa) or starches : potatoes, sweet potato, cassava (tapioca), and pulses also called legumes (lentils, split peas, chickpeas, dried beans, broad beans, etc.).
Sugar and salt, two flavor enhancers to avoid
While baby food may seem bland to an adult, keep in mind that at this age, baby doesn’t need any added sugar or salt! These two contributions can turn out to be harmful for his health andappropriation of taste.
To satisfy baby’s thirst, and supplement breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, the water is largely sufficient; no sugary drinks is not recommended for your child, worse, it would be harmful with the risk of overweight and dental caries while giving it the taste of sugar. We do not add either sugar, or even honey before the age of one year (risk of botulism) to a preparation.
Adding salt should also be avoided: since your baby’s kidneys are still immature, they cannot yet sufficiently eliminate excess salt. In addition, salt promotes habituation to the taste of salt and high blood pressurewhich you don’t want for your child.
Food diversification continues: new textures for babies
Between the 7th and 9th month, your baby can now venture to less smooth textures and vary the pleasures. According to the mangerbouger.fr website, there are signs that show that your child is mature to consider new textures:
- it swallows smooth and thick purees without any problem
- He keeps his head and back straight in his chair
- He makes movements chewingt when he puts something in his mouth
- He is able to hold food and bring it to his mouth
- He tries to take food on your plate
Purees and compotes can be gradually blended less smoothly, or mashed with a fork to let appear “soft” pieces vegetables or fruits.
The proposal of pieces can be made from the age of 6 months with a biscuit or a piece of bread rich in crust, put in the child’s hand, under surveillancedepending on his desire and skills.
Then soft pieces of raw fruit or cooked vegetables are offered on a separate plate from the pureed or stewed food so that the child seizes the pieces with his fingers to bring them to his mouth. The mixture of 2 different textures in the mouth (pieces and puree) can put the child in difficulty, and cause gagging. This song proposal should not be delayed beyond 10 months at the risk of making eating more difficult afterwards, of limiting the food repertoire, of seeing the child refuse new foods, especially vegetables, several years later. It’s necessary avoid hard foods (raw apple, raw carrot, etc.) because the baby has no molars and he “chews” with his gums, and cut round food (cherry tomato, grape, etc.) which may cause misdirection.
Is child-led diversification (CMD) advised?
More conducted in Anglo-Saxon countries, the child-led diversification is to this day suggested by many books and parents on social networks. The infant is seated from the age of 6 months in front of the food offered at the family table which he will seize and put himself in his mouth: he chooses the food he wants to eat and in what quantity. Pureed foods and the use of a spoon are not recommended. For professionals, the disadvantages of the DME are the risk of insufficient intake of calories, iron, zinc, vitamins and other nutrientsor excessive intake of protein, saturated fat, salt or sugar without forgetting the risk of misdirection and choking.
Depending on the needs and discoveries already mentioned, here is an example of a meal to offer your baby morning, noon and evening, without forgetting the snack.
This can consist of breast milk or follow-on milk bottle, at a rate of 240 ml (to be adapted to the child’s appetite) with a biscuit, or with 3 teaspoons infant flour in the bottle.
At noon lunch
It is at this meal that baby feasts on raw vegetables, mashed vegetables and potatoes or crushed, and 10g of meat, fish or 1/4 hard-boiled egg. The meal can end with compote (homemade or in a small pot) or a very ripe fruit.
To taste it
The snack can consist ofa dairy (a dairy dessert, a cottage cheese) and cooked or raw fruitstill very ripe and soft.
Dinner: evening meal
In the evening, baby finds a meal whose base is milk: 240 ml breast milk or second stage milkaccompanied by a vegetable puree or well-crushed vegetables with a stick of butterand why not some grated cheese.
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