baby feeding plan

Feeding the baby is an issue that worries many parents, especially those with less experience, which is why it is worth reviewing the recommendations of pediatricians and the main health institutions, with the aim of providing our little the best food according to your needs.

What should the baby eat during the first months? 

To meet the nutritional needs of the baby during the first months of life, the best food is breast milk , not only for proper physical development, but also to strengthen the bond between mother and child, which promotes safety and baby confidence.

At present, there is a huge scientific consensus on this, since enough clinical studies have been carried out. For this reason, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend exclusive feeding of the baby during the first 6 months of life with breast milk, except in those cases where for various reasons the pediatrician decides that the child’s diet should be supplemented with artificial formula milk . For its part, the Spanish Association of Paediatrics (AEP) has established its position by joining the defense of breastfeeding. These three important institutions, like many others around the world, recommend prolonging breastfeeding for up to 2 years, as a complement to other foods. 

Among the many advantages of breastfeeding, it is worth mentioning a lower risk of sudden death of the baby and a decreased chance of suffering from respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal infections. Likewise, it is possible that in the long term it is beneficial to avoid chronic diseases , such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, celiac disease, diabetes, obesity, among others. 

Solid foods: Is it better at 4 or 6 months? 

The feeding of a 4-month-old baby should be exclusively based on breast milk and formula, but in any case it is a liquid diet, according to experts. However, it is possible that from the fourth month of life the baby begins to show interest in other types of food, which is why some pediatricians authorize the consumption of certain ingredients as a complement to breastfeeding

But this does not apply in all cases, since it is necessary for the baby to stop pushing the food out of the mouth with his tongue and, on the contrary, begin to develop the ability to move the food from the front to the area back of mouth to swallow. Another important point is the child’s posture, since to start eating non-liquid foods it is essential that he can hold his head upright and be able to sit down to swallow correctly.

There are other ways in which the baby shows his desire to eat semi-solid foods, for example, by constantly putting his hands and toys in his mouth or by bending down and opening his mouth in the direction of something. This usually occurs from the sixth month, but some toddlers are one to two months early. In any case, it is necessary to consult with the doctor before incorporating new foods into the baby’s diet.

One ingredient at a time

In the feeding of a 6-month-old baby we must include semi-solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula, however, care must be taken when selecting each food. Pediatricians recommend introducing foods to the baby gradually, adding one ingredient at a time. For example, it is possible to prepare a porridge of a single cereal, without added sugar, salt, or flavorings. Afterwards, it is advisable to wait three days to try another ingredient, since this is a reasonable time to know if there is an allergy. In case of diarrhea, vomiting or rash, the ingredient that has caused this reaction should be discontinued and consult a doctor. 

Baby cereals made from oats, barley and rice are often fortified with iron and zinc, as they are essential nutrients during the first months of life. Veal meat puree also has these minerals, as well as proteins and vitamins, making it a good option to incorporate into the diet of an 8-month-old or even a 7-month-old baby. In this sense, it is recommended to alternate with chicken and turkey, so as not to exceed the consumption of red meat. 

The menu of a 6-month-old baby can already include vegetables, such as zucchini, leeks and carrots, always cooked and in the form of porridge, at least until the eighth month, when it is possible to add raw and finely grated vegetables to the diet. On the other hand, the cooked potato is an interesting tuber for the second half of life, as it provides a lot of energy and has a smooth texture. 

In addition to vegetable porridge, there are certain fruits for 6-month-old babies that are especially nutritious and pleasing to the palate, such as apples, bananas and pears, which can be prepared in the form of jars or purees.

Legumes for babies are recommended from the tenth month, but it is important that they are very soft, like peas. For its part, lentils for young children should be crushed in order to facilitate swallowing. 

Dairy products, eggs and fish

Cow’s milk and dairy products can be part of the menu for a baby of 1 year or older, but it is important that it has enough fat, so it is not very appropriate to give a small child skimmed products.

If you do not know how to introduce eggs and fish, it is convenient to check if there is a family history of allergies to these foods. Otherwise, you can start with the egg yolk in small portions to accompany the soup or puree, as well as fish fillet, gradually increasing the quantity in case the child does not have any unfavorable reaction. 

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