Pitfalls to avoid for successful baby food diversification

A suitable diet

In one year, your little one will grow about 25 centimeters and triple his birth weight. His body is building and his senses are awakening, so he has need food adapted to his development. The transition from “all-milk” to a more solid food brings him into the world of the grown-ups to his greatest joy and that of his parents.

Avoid diversifying too early

Up to 5 months, breast milk (ideally) or first age milk are adapted to the physiology of the toddler and perfectly cover their needs. Before this age, it is useless to give an infant food other than milk.
As its digestive system and the intestinal immune barrier are immature, the risk of sensitization to major food allergens is real. The danger is even greater if the toddler has an atopic condition, that is to say if he suffers from eczema or if one of his two parents is allergic.
Moreover, the muscle coordination which allows the language to pass food from the front to the back of the mouth is not yet perfect: the baby vigorously pushes back solid or pasty food with his tongue.
For all these reasons, doctors recommend starting diversify foods around 5 months. For a toddler with an allergic background, this step is postponed: we wait 6 months.

Don’t give up milk too soon

Introduce solid foods in your toddler’s meals doesn’t mean drastically reducing milk intake or, commonly, giving up follow-on milk for cow’s milk. A stage which, according to pediatricians, is generally done much too early, around 7 and a half months on average. The follow-on and growth milks have real advantages: they contain proteins, lactose, essential fatty acids, vitamins, iron.
If you go to cow’s milk too soonyou risk iron deficiencies (hello colds and minor winter illnesses!) and in essential fatty acids, essential for brain development. In addition, cow’s milk is not suitable for toddlers, it contains a lot of sodium (their kidneys have trouble eliminating it) and more protein (the excess of which leads to overweight, etc.) than follow-on milk.
At the time of food diversificationthe daily ration of follow-on milk must be at least 500 to 600 ml until the age of 1 year at the risk of reducing the baby’s energy intake and exposing him to a lack of calcium. So many reasons why specialists recommend growth milks up to 3 years old.

Do not give too much animal protein

They are reputed to be the “builders” of organisms and give strength. As a result, mothers tend to increase their toddler’s rations… However, too large quantities of meat, fish or egg bring too much proteins. This is a factor of imbalance which could later favor weight issues.
Meat, egg or fish must remain supplements (no more than 10 grams per day at 8 months) and not become the main part of his meal. A daily half liter of milk immediately provides almost all of your child’s protein needs.

Avoid offering too much sugar

All children have an innate attraction to sweet flavor. During their first year, it is better to get them used to foods that contain little or nothing (fruits excepted). Indeed, excess sugar predisposes to cavities and at the weight gain.
Avoid fruit juices in “self-service” bottles and commercial flavored-sweetened dairy products. If you give your toddler half a mashed banana, don’t add sugar!
Sugar very little homemade compotes and warning to snacking little cookies…

Start with cereal flours

For babies with a big appetite, cereal flours represent a small energy supplement preferable to an increase in the volume of milk which can cause reflux. From five months, you can use gluten-free flours (a protein likely to be poorly tolerated) made from rice or corn. To avoid any risk ofallergythem flours with gluten – wheat, barley, oats – will only be introducedafter 1 year of age. The infant cereals constitute a complete and balanced breakfast. This is ideal for getting the little one used to having a real meal in the morning.

Continue with fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich in water and are an important source of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, carbohydrates and fibre. Thanks to their diversity of tastes, colors and shapes, they contribute to good nutritional education.
From 5 months, your baby will appreciate vegetables that are mild in taste, well cooked and not very stringy: carrots, zucchini, spinach, potatoes… Opt for fresh or frozen vegetables, plain, without salt or any addition, or small jars. Change the texture over time: mixed vegetables at 5 months, ground with a few lumps at 7 months, crushed with a fork at 12. Raw vegetables have no place before 1 year because they irritate the colon.
Fruits have the same qualities as vegetables. Start with compotes. Two or three months later, you can offer him raw, very ripe fruit (apple, pear, banana, raspberries, etc.). Do not force fruit juices, they give the toddler the taste of sweetness. Avoid squeezed orange juice before the age of 1 year, it is sometimes poorly tolerated and can cause bloating. Forget exotic fruits (kiwi, mangoes…) which are potentially allergenic.

Then meat, fish and eggs

Meat, fish and eggs are rich in protein, which play a fundamental role in the growth of your baby. You can start integrating them into his menu around 7 months but, if your child is allergic, wait until the age of 1 year.
Prefer them meats low fat – such as beef, lamb, chicken or turkey – which you will serve roasted or grilled. Red or white, all meats have the same nutritional value for your baby. Only charcuterie authorized: defatted white ham.
The Pisces (flounder, cod, pollock or plaice) are easy to prepare and inexpensive. Sole and sea bream are also lean but more expensive fish. Prepare them poached in court-bouillon or steamed.
For the eggsstart with a well done yolk. The whole egg will only be offered from 9-10 months to avoid an allergy to white albumins.

From 7 months: do not forget

– Fatty substances
Add to the vegetables a little butter, rich in vitamin A – precious for sight -, or a drizzle of vegetable oil for the essential fatty acids which are necessary for the development of the nervous system.
– Dairy products (yogurts, petit-suisses, etc.)
They are a good source of calcium… but also of protein and should therefore not systematically replace infant milk. Growing-up dairy products made with follow-on milk can be found on the fresh shelves of supermarkets. Give your child a taste of cheese if he accepts it.
– Bread and fine pasta
Start with a crust of bread that your baby will nibble with delight, it will soothe his gums when teething. It’s better than a cookie! Think of alphabet or vermicelli type pasta and wait until the age of 1 year for rice to avoid any risk of going the wrong way.

The opinion of Colette Vidailhet, child psychiatrist

You should not always respond to your baby’s crying with a bottle.. He’s not necessarily hungry! But not always easy to decipher his tears. This is the difficulty experienced by most parents, who offer him what can be called a “ comfort food“. Before telling you that he is hungry, ask yourself if he is thirsty, if he needs your arms or, quite simply, wants to suck for pleasure.
Do not force him if he refuses a new food . He would risk becoming more obsessed, even developing a real aversion to food. And do not try to seduce him with a sentence like: “Come on, please me, eat!” » A mother who prepares dishes with love is good, but a mother who forces her little one to eat does him violence! On the other hand, nothing prevents you from offering him the same food again later and, why not, in another form(mash, soup, etc.). He will eventually taste it.
It’s better topass the baton to dad when things get stuck. Because this one will go about it in another way to feed it, with more distance and less affect. Faced with a baby who refuses to eat (often to oppose his mother), the father sometimes manages to break an excessively close mother-child relationship.

Recommended food intake for lunch

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