After the six first months of receiving its nourishment exclusively from its mother, the milk is no longer sufficient to supply all the needs of the child, and it becomes necessary to introduce solid food into the baby's diet to complement the mother's milk.
So, what should you feed a baby?
It is recommended that after 6 months, the child is fed two fruit purees (sweet) and a savory puree (vegetable). The following schedule can be followed: mother's milk according to the child's hunger + fruit puree+ savory puree (lunch) + fruit puree + mother's milk.
At 7 months until the completion of 12 months, another savory puree should be included. The schedule would then be: mother's milk according to the child's hunger + fruit puree + savory puree (lunch) + fruit puree + salt puree (dinner) + mother's milk.
Food consistency must evolve gradually.
At 6 to 7 months the food consistency should be mostly pureed (e.g. creamed rice, mashed potatoes, fruit purees, etc.).
By 8 months the food may already evolve to a semi-pureed consistency (e.g. well-cooked and mashed vegetables, soft fruits cut into small pieces).
At 9 months, the consistency is already very close to normal and continues to evolve until it is the same as the rest of the family's meal (at 12 months, the child can already eat solid foods).
It is important that the baby food is not blended in a blender in order to avoid the loss of fiber, which encourages chewing. Although we call the vegetable purees "savory puree," it is important to remember that it is not necessary to add salt and or any extra seasoning. Initial rejection of food may occur, and patience is required.
Avoid metal spoons, as these can injure the baby's mouth and can also alter some of the food's characteristics. Feed a child with the tip of a small plastic or silicone spoon.
The child needs to adapt and perceive both the feeling of hunger and satiety. So it is important that at the beginning parents not be so strict about feeding time and quantity. Some children may need to be encouraged to eat, but not forced. Babies have the ability to regulate their food intake, and at the end of the day have ingested the amount they need. Developing this ability helps to avoid the child avoid over or under eating in the future.
All fruits are recommended unless there is intolerance or allergy present. Otherwise, all fruits can and should be offered, including citrus. Fruits can be cut up into small pieces, and it is good that the child participates in the meal, taking the fruit with his or her hand.
Be sure to:
- Remove seeds, pits, and skin when thick;
- Avoid circular formatting. The baby's airway has a rounded shape. This format should be avoided as it may clog the child's airway and lead to choking. Foods such as grapes, for example, should be cut lengthwise in quarters.
It is not necessary to use sugar in anything. The child will not find fruits bland because here or she does not even know the taste of sugar. It is also not recommended to use honey before the child completes one year, due to the possible presence of bacteria from which the baby's body can not defend itself.
Other important guidelines:
- Foods should be offered 8-10 times before deciding the child will not eat it (vary the way food is presented, with an interval of one week on average before offering it again);
-Do not offer the child industrialized foods (cookies, soft drinks, coffee, teas, etc); the later the child has contact with these foods the better;
-If possible, keep the mother's milk in the diet until the child completes two years of age