Your baby is 4, 5 or 6 months old and you know that dietary diversification will soon begin . While, until now, it was enough to measure the quantity of milk powder to dilute or to put your child to the breast to breastfeed, a host of new questions arise in your head. How do you know that baby is ready for dietary diversification? What foods to start with? Can he taste everything? How much food and milk should I give him each day? What to start with ? To find out, let's discover together the future organization of your baby's meals .
- Spot the right moment and start diversifying
- Think about organizing baby meals
- An example of daily ration from 6 to 12 months
- Reconcile breast milk or infant milk and solid food
- Gradually, replace the bottle with the plate, cutlery and bottle
Spot the right moment and start diversifying
First thing to remember when it comes to dietary diversification: the perfect time does not exist . That's it, it's said! You can relax. Fortunately, there are many indicators to help you best support baby in his discovery of textures, smells and tastes.
- Breastfeeding fully covers baby's nutritional needs until six months of age .
- Milk (breast or artificial) is the only food recommended for infants , the nutritional basis of their meals up to one year and an essential nutritional source up to three years.
- Before the age of four months, the infant's digestive system is still too immature to properly accept a solid and varied diet.
- A baby who is able to hold his head up alone and who is curious about what you are eating is a baby to whom you can offer the beginnings of diversification .
Because there are the gourmands and the little eaters, the adventurous and the blessed, learning and discovering food is not linear. As is often the case with children, the key is in observation.
Think about organizing baby meals
Solid or semi-liquid food signals the discovery of new tastes. For your baby, it is also the start of an eating schedule that increasingly resembles that of adults, with four meals a day. For a baby around 6 to 8 months old, it might, for example, look like this.
- 8 a.m .: a bottle of milk or a feeding with or without infant cereals, with or without fruit puree, depending on the child's age and appetite.
- 12 p.m .: starchy foods, mixed or not with a vegetable puree, animal proteins (meat/fish/eggs) for around 10 g or two teaspoons, and a small dairy product accompanied or not by a cooked fruit puree or crushed ripe fruit.
- 4 p.m .: a bottle of milk or a feeding accompanied by fruit puree, a sliced ripe fruit, natural yogurt, or two petit-suisses.
- 7 p.m .: a bottle or a feeding and vegetables, starchy foods (you can add a little grated cheese), or a puree taken with a spoon if baby is not too tired. We can also offer a soup that can be taken from a bottle or bottle and a puree of mixed or crushed fruits.
An example of daily ration from 6 to 12 months
Because dietary change can be confusing, both for your baby and for you, pediatricians' recommendations for a child aged 6 to 12 months and once dietary diversification has started, are as follows:
- 500 to 800 ml of breast milk or artificial milk and dairy products (plain yogurt, Petit Suisse, fromage blanc, etc.),
- 200 to 450 g of vegetables and as many fruits , without added salt or sugar,
- about 10 g of meat or fish (or two teaspoons) or ¼ of an egg,
- 1 then 2 tablespoons of cereals with gluten,
- 1 teaspoon of uncooked fat (in vegetables or starchy foods for example).
From 6 months, add a little mineral water to the bottle, cup or glass, then, after the first teeth appear, a small biscuit or a small piece of bread to chew. The most important thing is to always respect the desires, refusals and rhythm of each child.
Reconcile breast milk or infant milk and solid food
Even once dietary diversification or DME (child-led diversification) has been launched and established, milk remains essential for the good health of babies up to the age of 3. You must therefore be skilled enough to offer and have people accept both the breast or the bottle, and new foods.
We therefore recommend giving the bottle in the second part of the meal , after food. This way, your hungry baby will easily eat his plate of carrots and white ham, before drinking his bottle to settle down. If he still wants to eat, fruit puree, crushed fruit if he accepts pieces, or dairy are ideal.
Conversely, if you start with the bottle, there is little chance that your baby (especially if he drinks quickly) will still agree to eat afterwards. To understand this, imagine being served a plate of carbonara pasta after a full bottle of soup!
Gradually, replace the bottle with the plate, cutlery and bottle
Many children give up their bottle themselves around their third birthday. Others refuse it from the first solid food tasted. Your concern then is not to replace the bottle, but rather to maintain the recommended daily quantity of dairy products (custards, milk semolina and vanilla creams are your allies here).
For a good organization of your baby's meals and to support his development, a tip is to vary the containers . At Élhée, we have designed the physiological baby bottle in medical silicone , as well as a learning cup called Bubble, to promote autonomy in complete safety, from 4 months. At Petit Léon , alongside Élhée products, you will find silicone plates and ergonomic cutlery to get you started on the great adventure of gastronomy.
In any case, remember that there is not one right way to do things, but rather a multitude , and that nothing is ever set in stone. Baby may like cooked carrots today and flatly refuse them tomorrow. Try to remain flexible, offer him all foods, fruits, vegetables and cheeses without restriction, and try the experiment again later if one or the other does not work.
Dietary diversification, like all learning, is done in pairs between your child and you, like a long-distance race and above all, everyone at their own pace and without ever forgetting that it is above all about learning. the pleasure of eating.