Welcoming a new baby in the family is exciting and very stressing. Although it brings a lot of joy to the family, the baby has to be handled with care. One of the most important aspect of a baby’s life is the food they ingest. A balanced and adequate diet for a baby throughout the first year is essential to avoid insufficiency in the future. We have collected a few tips and suggestion of food to feed your baby throughout the first 12 months.
As surprising as it sounds, do not feed cow milk to the baby until he or she is 1 of age. For the first 4 months, it is sufficient to only feed your baby breast milk or baby formula, a liquid only diet.
From months 4 to 6, you can look for signs of whether the baby is ready for slightly more solid or semi-liquid food or not. If the baby can hold his head up, can close his mouth around utensils and use his tongue to push food to the back of his mouth, you can try some new recipes! For instance, on top of breast milk and baby formula, you can try to puree some food by boiling or steaming it until soft. Vegetables such as carrots or butternut squash, fruits such as pears and bananas and meats such as chicken and pork. The quantity varies increasingly from a teaspoon to a tablespoon.
From months 6 to 8, keep looking for the same signs from the baby of readiness for solid food. You can maintain the diet for a baby of 4-6 months and add small amounts of unsweetened yogurt as well. You can also try to introduce some pureed or mashed legumes to include some iron in the diet. Some iron-fortified cereal such as oats and barley can also be included. Mix it with breast milk or baby formula and make sure the consistency is still very runny. To maintain a good portion of iron in the baby’s diet is important, especially for babies who are breastfed. The portions vary, but it’s suggested to start with one teaspoon of fruit and vegetable and gradually increase to three tablespoons in four feedings.
From months 8 to 10, look out for signs of readiness for finger foods! If the baby can pick up things with their fingers and if he has a tendency of putting everything in his mouth as he moves his jaw as if he was chewing. So on top of the previous diet, you can try to incorporate little bits of scrambled eggs, however only the egg yolk. You can also add some well-cooked pasta and potatoes. Dairy wise, you can start to feed the baby small quantities of cottage cheese. Keep in mind to always check for allergic reactions to any food the baby ingests for the first time.
From months 10 to 12, the baby is able to eat most of the adult’s diet, as long as it’s cut in very small cubes or strips. At this point, the baby has more teeth and tries to use a spoon. You can try to feed him bite size vegetables as well as combo foods. The quantity varies according to the diet itself. However, do not forget to keep a strong source of iron in the diet, ideally iron-fortified cereals and avoid honey until the baby is one of age. Don’t forget to keep a diet log of what the baby eats in case of an allergic reaction, it’ll be much easier to pinpoint the source of the allergy!