It is important to make good food choices for your baby during the first year of his/her life. It’s vital to feed your baby healthy foods at the right time. Starting good eating behaviors at the early stage defines eating patterns for life.
Below, we will go through the feeding guide for the first year. Of course, every baby is different and you should consult with your doctor before making food changes.
Up to 4 Months Old
You shouldn’t give your child solid foods until your doctor allows you to do so. It is not recommended to give solid foods during first 4 months because your breast milk or formula has all nutrients for healthy growth. Besides, little babies can’t eat food from a spoon and feeding solid foods early may result in overfeeding and overweight.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants and children should get enough vitamin D through formula or supplements to prevent vitamin D deficiency. They recommend the minimum intake for infants of 400 IU a day. Therefore, your healthcare provider can tell you what type of vitamin D supplement you should get.
4-6 Months Old
These months are when you start introducing your baby to solids. There is no exact month when your baby has to start eating solids, so it’s up to you. If you feel it is the right time, check with your doctor regarding health issues and allergies and if everything is ok, do it.
If you prefer feeding a baby with breast milk up to 6 months, do that. But make sure you start adding solids to your baby’s diet by 6 months old. The best foods to start with are fruits, veggies and berries. Doctors say that you can also mix rice cereal with breast milk. Choose foods rich in iron and zinc to keep your baby healthy and strong.
You can choose different foods and order doesn’t matter as long as you introduce one new food every 3 days. Most babies like everything creamy and soft. Anything pureed and mushed fits the bill. Here is a list of food ideas you can try:
- Breast milk or formula mixed with rice cereal or berries/fruits;
- Add pureed veggies;
- Add apples and pears;
- Add mushed meat, red meat and chicken is the best;
- Add pasts;
- Add De-boned fish
- Finally, add soft bread, just make sure it doesn’t have a coarse crust.
If you’re not sure about what foods to add first, you can always visit your healthcare provider. There are special baby spoons that are soft, round and safe. Introduce these early: it will be nice coordination exercise for a baby and less work for you.
6-12 Months Old
If your baby hasn’t introduced to solids yet, you should start adding them now. Start with rice cereal and other foods from the list above. When your baby is older than 6 months, you can add cow’s milk and yogurt. Little babies aren’t tolerant to lactose, so check for allergies.
Slowly add harder foods during these months. Don’t rush and give your baby enough time to get used to new solids. There is no exact timetable, just do everything slowly and you shouldn’t have many problems.
Your little child should be self-feeding with special cutlery during this time, and at the end of the first year should be doing quite well with solids. If not, everything is fine as kids pick it up anyway when they get a bit older.
I hope this simple guide is helpful! Leave us comments with your tips and experience in the comments section!