Can a three month old eat baby food
Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-Old (for Parents)
During your baby's first 3 months, breast milk or formula will provide all the nutrition needed. Doctors recommend waiting until your baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Some babies may be ready for solids sooner than 6 months, but wait until your baby is at least 4 months old.
What Changes Should I Expect?
As your infant grows, feeding will change. Babies will start drinking more milk during each feeding, so they won't need to feed as often and will sleep longer at night.
Your baby's appetite will increase during growth spurts. Continue to feed on demand and increase the number of feedings as needed.
Your infant also will become more alert as the weeks go by, cooing and smiling. So there will be more interaction between you and your baby during feedings.
The following are general guidelines, and your baby may be hungrier more or less often than this. That's why it's important to pay attention to your baby's signals of being hungry or full. A baby who is getting enough might slow down, stop, or turn away from the breast or bottle.
Breastfeeding: How Much and How Often?
As babies get older, they will start to breastfeed less often and sleep for longer periods at night. Your infant probably is eating enough if he or she:
- seems alert, content, and active
- is steadily gaining weight and growing
- feeds six to eight times per day
- is wetting and soiling diapers on a regular basis
Babies might not be eating enough if they:
- don't appear satisfied
- cry constantly
- are irritable, even after feeding
- are not making wet diapers
Call your doctor if you're concerned your baby isn't eating enough.
A few weeks after birth, breastfed babies tend to have fewer bowel movements (BMs, or poop) than they did before. At around 2 months of age, your baby may not poop after each feeding, or even every day. During growth spurts, you may notice that your little one wants to feed more often. This frequent nursing sends a signal to make more milk. Within a couple of days, supply and demand will get into balance.
Babies who get breast milk only should get vitamin D supplements within the first few days of life. Other supplements, water, juice, and solid foods aren't usually needed.
Formula Feeding: How Much and How Often?
Babies digest formula more slowly than breast milk, so if you're bottle-feeding, your baby may have fewer feedings than a breastfed infant.
As babies grow, they can eat more at each feeding and may go for longer stretches between feedings. You'll also notice that your baby is starting to sleep longer at night.
During the second month, infants may take about 4 or 5 ounces at each feeding. By the end of 3 months, your baby may need an additional ounce at each feeding.
It's easy to overfeed a baby when using a bottle because it easier to drink from a bottle than from a breast. Make sure that the hole on the bottle's nipple is the right size. The liquid should drip slowly from the hole and not pour out. Also, resist the urge to finish the bottle when your baby shows signs of being full.
Never prop a bottle. Propping a bottle might cause choking and it increases the chances of getting ear infections and tooth decay.
Should I Worry About Spitting Up?
It's normal for infants to "spit up" after eating or during burping. Spitting up a small amount — usually less than 1 ounce (30 ml) — shouldn't be a concern as long as it happens within an hour of feeding and doesn't bother your baby.
You can reduce spitting up in these early months by:
- feeding before your baby gets very hungry
- keeping your baby in a semi-upright position during the feeding and for an hour after
- burping your baby regularly
- avoiding overfeeding
- not jostling or playing vigorously with your baby right after a feeding
If your baby seems to be spitting up large amounts, is spitting up forcefully, is irritable during or after feedings, or seems to be losing weight or is not gaining weight as expected, call your doctor. And if your child has a fever or shows any signs of dehydration (such as not wetting diapers), call the doctor right away.
Call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about feeding your infant.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: November 2021
When Can My Baby Start Eating Solid Foods? (for Parents)
A friend just started giving her 3-month-old applesauce and rice cereal. My son is just 2 weeks younger than hers, and I am wondering if I should be introducing solids soon too. When should I start?
Doctors recommend waiting until a baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Starting before 4 months is not recommended.
At about 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — such as iron and zinc — that solid foods provide. It’s also the right time to introduce your infant to new tastes and textures.
Some babies may be ready for solids sooner than 6 months, but don't start until your baby is at least 4 months old.
How do you know it’s the right time to start solid foods? Here are some signs that babies are ready:
- They have good head and neck control and sit up in a high chair.
- They're interested in foods. For example, they may watch others eat, reach for food, and open their mouths when food approaches.
- They don’t push food out of their mouths, which is a natural tongue reflex that disappears when they’re between 4–6 months old.
- They weigh twice their birth weight, or close to it.
Talk to your doctor about the right time to start solid foods.
How Should I Start Solids?
When the time is right, you can start with a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk, formula, or water. Feed your baby with a small baby spoon. Don’t add cereal or other food to a baby's bottle because it can lead to too much weight gain. Let your baby practice eating from a spoon and learn to stop when full.
When your baby gets the hang of eating the first food, introduce others, such as puréed meat, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, or yogurt. Try one food at a time and wait a few days before trying something else new to make sure your baby doesn't have an allergic reaction.
Foods that are more likely to cause allergies can be among the foods you introduce to your baby. These include peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, seafood, nuts, wheat, and soy. Waiting to start these foods does not prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about food allergies, especially if any close family members have allergies, food allergies, or allergy-related conditions, like eczema or asthma.
Infants with severe eczema or egg allergies are more likely to have allergies to peanuts. Talk to your doctor about how and when to introduce these foods to your child.
When starting your baby on solids, avoid:
- foods with added sugars and no-calorie sweeteners
- high-sodium foods
- honey, until after the first birthday. It can cause botulism in babies.
- unpasteurized juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese
- regular cow's milk or soy drinks before 12 months instead of breast milk or formula. It’s OK to offer pasteurized yogurt and cheese.
- foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn, and nuts
Also, do not give fruit juices to infants younger than 12 months old.
Over the next few months, introduce a variety of foods from all the food groups. If your baby doesn't seem to like something, don’t give up. It can take 8 to 10 tries or more before babies learn to like new foods.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: February 2021
how to choose and what kind of baby food is better?
The ideal "baby food" for an infant is breast milk. However, not all mothers can breastfeed their baby, usually this is due to the health of the mother or child. It happens that the woman herself has a serious condition after childbirth and in the early postoperative period, reduced lactation or diseases in which breastfeeding is contraindicated. In such cases, the baby is given formula milk - this is the only alternative to mother's milk. Subsequently, at four to seven months, complementary foods should be introduced into the child's diet, regardless of whether he is breastfed or artificial. The mother is faced with the task of choosing the right baby food for complementary foods.
In this article, we will talk about what foods for babies are and how to choose the best baby food.
Legislation under "baby food" means food products that meet the physiological needs of the body of a child under 14 years of age. And nutrition for young children is food intended for children from birth to three years. It is necessary to make a diet taking into account the age of the baby and the characteristics of his physical condition.
The Union of Pediatricians of Russia created the National Program for feeding children in the first year of life and the National Program for optimizing the nutrition of children from one to three years old . They describe recommendations regarding what formula to feed the baby from birth, how to introduce complementary foods and expand the baby's diet. These programs provide detailed information on what nutrients and nutrients should be included in the diet of children of different ages.
First you need to figure out what kind of baby food is . Products for toddlers can be divided into two categories:
Infant formula. There are for children from birth to six months (formula 1 mixtures, or initial), from six months to a year (formula 2) and from a year (formula 3). The composition of such baby food is adapted, that is, as close as possible to the composition of breast milk.
- In the initial mixtures, the amount of protein is reduced to 1.2-1.5 g / 100 ml - in accordance with the composition of breast milk. They also changed the fat and mineral profile. The initial mixtures are enriched with such an essential amino acid as taurine, and micronutrients, probiotics, vitamins.
- After six months, the baby's need for protein increases, mother's milk changes its composition. And babies on artificial feeding begin to be fed with a more nutritious mixture of formula 2. Taurine is no longer always needed: the body of a baby aged from six months to a year is able to synthesize this amino acid itself. Meanwhile, the content of iron, calcium, zinc increases compared to the initial mixtures, because by this age the child's reserves of minerals received from the mother during pregnancy are depleted, and they need to be replenished.
- A child's diet changes after one year - he is already able to eat a variety of solid foods. However, it is advisable to continue to feed him with a mixture, though already formula 3. Pediatricians recommend it as a source of vitamins and minerals that the baby can easily absorb.
Complementary foods As we have already noted, it is introduced when the baby is four to seven months old. This interval is called the "critical window" and is considered optimal for the initiation of complementary foods for several reasons:
- The baby needs a wider range of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. In addition, his baby's digestive system is already ready to accept more solid and complex foods than mother's milk or infant formula.
- At this age, the child develops an interest in food, and it is necessary to offer him the right foods to develop his taste.
- During this period, the risk of developing a food allergy to a new product is lower.
- Timely introduction of complementary foods prevents the risk of micronutrient deficiencies and iron deficiency anemia.
Usually the first food is vegetable puree or monocomponent gluten-free cereals, dairy or dairy-free. Over time, cereals containing gluten, supplements from fruits and berries, and also consisting of several cereals are added. A six-month-old child can already be given several types of vegetables and cereals. Also, at about six months, they begin to give meat puree, then fruit, and from eight months - fish. A child from seven months is allowed the yolk.
From the age of 12 months, complementary foods already make up the majority of your baby's diet. At this age, it is especially important to diversify the child's diet: he can be given soups with small pieces of vegetables, meat, fish and cereals.
During the first feeding, the baby's eating habits are laid, and it depends on the parents how correct they will be. Often, mothers introduce fruit juices into complementary foods too early. And because babies have an innate preference for sweet tastes, they can become naughty and stop eating the unsweetened foods they need, especially vegetables. Unhealthy taste habits are formed, which can later provoke obesity.
Domestic doctors are concerned about such irrational nutrition of young children - due to the wrong approach to nutrition, many babies experience a deficiency of vitamins and an excess of fast carbohydrates.
How to choose baby foods
Finding the right foods for your baby is not an easy task. Store shelves are bursting with boxes, jars and bottles, and manufacturers write on every second package that the baby will be healthy, strong and cheerful after feeding. Of course, the baby will receive the necessary substances, no matter what product his parents choose, because all the production of baby food is strictly controlled by the state. By the way, Russia has some of the most stringent requirements for the quality of baby food in the world.
However, products for children differ in their properties. It is necessary to select food so that by the end of the first year of life the baby has actively developed chewing skills and an interest in independence, and the diet of complementary foods is reasonably varied.
For children from one to three years of age, the diet should be even more varied. It is important that the child receives daily something new from the main food groups: dairy, vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, cereals, butter and vegetable oil. Of course, the baby's diet should be expanded taking into account his state of health.
When organizing the nutrition of a child from the moment of introduction of complementary foods and up to three years, a mother needs not only to know what can be fed, but also to consider what foods should not be included in the diet. Among the prohibited products for children under three years of age:
- any mushrooms, vegetables and fruits in a marinade;
- pickles, preserves in tomato sauce;
- commercial juice concentrates, carbonated drinks, coffee and strong tea;
- various condiments - mustard, ketchup, hot sauces, horseradish, pepper, vinegar, mayonnaise;
- products containing flavors, industrial colors, including chewing gum;
- margarine and refractory fats - lamb, pork;
- chocolates, sweets and other sweets.
To choose the right baby food, you need to know exactly what you should pay attention to and what you don't need to worry about.
When choosing mixtures, it is important to check:
- Absence of palm oil. Formula manufacturers may use palm oil (more specifically palm extract) because, like breast milk, it is rich in palmitic acid. However, in human milk, palmitic acid is in the beta position, while in palm oil it is in the alpha position. Such alpha-palmitic acid can interfere with the absorption of calcium and fats and is generally less well absorbed by the child's body. This can negatively affect the work of the intestines, lead to constipation, regurgitation. Milk fat is better suited for baby food as a source of palmitic acid.
- Protein ratio. Breast milk protein is primarily whey proteins and casein. A child needs both types of protein, while proteins are easily digested, which cannot be said about casein. If baby food contains a lot of casein, it stays longer in the digestive tract, which can cause problems with the baby's stool.
- The presence of additional functional elements in the composition - lutein, nucleotides, pre- and probiotics. The task of lutein is to protect vision from ultraviolet rays. Nucleotides are low molecular weight compounds that promote the growth of beneficial bifidobacteria in the intestines. And pre- and probiotics in the composition of infant formulas help to establish comfortable digestion.
When choosing complementary foods, pay attention to:
- Age appropriate. It is important that in the diet of a child under three years of age who receives complementary foods, special children's products predominate - in their composition the components are selected taking into account the age-related needs of the baby's body. It is impossible at an early age to transfer children to "adult" foods like pickles, smoked foods, fast food, and so on.
- Fortified products. It is important that the composition contains vitamins and minerals. The National Child Nutrition Optimization Program recommends choosing complementary foods that contain elements designed to prevent anemia, rickets, and vitamin deficiencies.
- For a varied diet. The menu for a baby up to six months is quite monotonous. But as they grow older, the baby needs more various nutrients - proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals.
- For the individual reaction of the baby. If the child is already receiving complementary foods, then it is worth introducing a new product only after the previous one has been fully introduced. If the baby is allergic to the product, then it should be administered carefully, carefully checking the reaction of the body.
Ingredient safety testing is optional. Of course, the content of any "chemistry" in the product for feeding a child, whether it be a mixture or complementary foods, is unacceptable. There is no need to worry about this: baby food is carefully checked. If it is registered on the territory of the Customs Union and hit the shelves, then it complies with SanPiN 220.127.116.110-05 and there will be no "prohibited" components in its composition. Also, contrary to popular misconception, in Russia it is forbidden to use GMOs in children's products.
Baby food in jars (usually mashed potatoes) has a short shelf life after opening because it does not contain preservatives. However, before the jar is opened, the products can stand for quite a long time on the shelves of stores or in the refrigerator at home. This is possible thanks to a special production technology, sterilization and vacuum packaging. If a soft pop is heard when opening the jar, this is a good sign: the puree is not spoiled. But products in jars with swollen lids or a protruding bottom should not be used: microorganisms already multiply in such food, it is not suitable for food.
Features of the choice of dairy products
It is necessary to choose dairy products for babies, following the doctor's recommendations. The specialist will take into account the health of the baby, especially if he is allergic to cow protein. In Russia, such an allergy occurs in 30–40% of children . Such a reaction may occur due to hereditary predisposition and immaturity of the body. But most often, allergies go away when the child grows up.
Goat milk baby food may be a suitable option for young children with a predisposition to allergies. Its protein is perceived by the body better than cow's: alpha-s1-casein, contained in large quantities in cow's milk, makes a product based on it difficult to digest - food stagnates in the baby's gastrointestinal tract, motor skills are disturbed, as a result, allergies often occur. In goat milk, as in breast milk, there is practically no alpha-s1-casein . Therefore, goat's milk, and hence the mixture based on it, are better absorbed.
Of course, with the introduction of complementary foods, other dairy products will appear in the baby's diet. Unadapted fermented milk drinks, such as kefir, yogurt, biolact, can be introduced into the diet from eight months and in an amount not exceeding 200 ml. Also during this period, it is recommended to give cottage cheese - no more than 50 g per day, but according to indications, it can also be prescribed from the age of six months. Whole milk cannot be used as the main food, and it is advised to introduce it into the diet of babies no earlier than a year (in the amount of 100-150 ml per day) . As mentioned above, it must be adapted infant milk or formula 3 formula.
To choose the best baby food, it is necessary to take into account the health of the baby, his tastes, as well as individual reactions of the body. Therefore, before going to the store, you should consult a doctor. The specialist will not only tell you which baby food to choose, but also give recommendations on how to make the child's diet balanced and healthy.
Complementary foods - the introduction of fruit puree, fruits and juices in the infant's diet
Historical, fruit juice recommended by pediatricians as a source of vitamin C, calcium and other vitamins. The juice is delicious, sweet, children drink it with pleasure, and suddenly it turned out that there are potential risks: the high sugar content in the juice increases calorie intake, overweight and the risk of caries. More recently, about twenty years ago, doctors recommended the introduction of complementary foods, starting with juices and fruits. But now the situation has changed. Children's nutritionists believe that the optimal time for the introduction of juices is 1 year after the child gets used to the main complementary foods: vegetables, cereals, meat, fish, fruits. At the same time, you can find recommendations to give juices from 6 months or after 3 years. Carbohydrates, which are abundant in juice, change the child's appetite, but to get the required amount of vitamins, you need to drink a lot of it, about 1 liter! In addition, they do not give a feeling of satiety and the child may be prone to overeating.
Introduction of fruit juice American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations: download
- Optimal to completely avoid the use of juice in infants until 1 year of age;
- AAP and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines state that juice should be offered to babies in a cup, not a bottle, and that babies should not go to bed with a bottle in their mouth.
- They concluded that long-term exposure to the sugar contained in the juice on the teeth is the main factor influencing dental caries.
- After 1 year, fruit juice can be used as part of a meal or snack. It should not be drunk like water during the day or used as a means to calm an upset child.
- Do not give juices if the child has diarrhea, oral rehydration solutions only.
- The development of perioral rash in some children after feeding freshly squeezed citrus juice is most likely due to the chemical irritant effect of the acid.
- Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms that some children experience are most commonly associated with carbohydrate malabsorption.
- Although fruit allergy can develop at an early age, this is rare.
Baby food - fresh juices
It is not recommended to introduce freshly squeezed juices to children under one year old. But there is no strict ban. Juice up to a year is not useful, unlike children older than one year . It contains a lot of fruit acid, which can lead to increased peristalsis and intestinal walls, pain, and digestive disorders. Dilute with water in a ratio of 1:1. And remember, fresh retains its maximum amount of vitamins in the first half hour, so do not store juice for later. With a later introduction of juice, their better tolerance is noted. This is due to the maturation of the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract and its readiness for the absorption of juice. But even with this, the child may experience pain and bloating, regurgitation, and stool disorders. This is due to the presence of organic acids in juices, which have an irritating effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
How do I start adding juice to my baby?
First, a teaspoonful (about 5 ml) between feedings, observing the baby's reaction. For children under 3 years old, juices are recommended to be diluted with boiled or baby water in a ratio of 1:2. Freshly squeezed juices - up to 7-8 years. The amount of juice: from 1 year to 1.5 years - up to 100 ml, should not be exceeded. At 2 years - 200 ml.
It is best to give green apple or pear juice first. Juice from plums, apricots, peaches - it is better to give at an older age, they have a slight laxative effect.
Then you can give a mixture of juices from 2 or 3 fruits. You can give a mixture of cherry, cherry, currant, raspberry juice, orange juice, pineapple, mango, grapefruit and mixtures thereof. It is better to give grape juice from 5-6 years old, there are a lot of carbohydrates.
It must be remembered that:
- Apple, carrot and pear juice - strengthen
- Plum, pumpkin, apricot, peach - weakening
This can be used if there are digestive problems.
If we choose industrial juices - carefully read what is written on the label, there should be no artificial additives, dyes and preservatives. Do not use opened packages. Should I give industrial juices for baby food? Why not? They are made from high quality, proven, specially selected raw materials, production is strictly controlled, they have balanced compositions and optimal taste. Until the age of 3, buy juices for your child only marked “baby food” on the package.
Introduction of fruit and fruit puree - European recommendations
If your young child has already tasted vegetables and accepted them, it's time for fruit. The season is always for them, but the best is in autumn, when the most delicious apples, pears and plums appear. Fresh fruits from all over the world are available in stores all year round, but it's worth starting with seasonal, locally grown ones. And these are: apricots, raspberries, apples, pears, plums. They contain not only vitamins, dietary fiber, but also minerals, including valuable microelements, which should be present in the child during the expansion of the diet.
Fruit is usually recommended from 6-7 months of age. Complementary foods often begin with fruit or vegetable purees. But it is better to start with vegetables. Fruit puree tastes better, is sweeter, and the child may then eat vegetables worse. But vegetable puree will not affect the baby's desire to eat fruit dishes. Therefore, more often pediatricians are advised to give fruit dishes after the introduction of vegetables and cereals. Start complementary foods with fruits in the form of mashed apples or bananas or pears. Then you can add fruits that grow in your area of \u200b\u200bresidence. Then you can include fruit and fruit and vegetable mixtures.
Fashionable but exotic fruits or with strong flavors - strawberries, mangoes, kiwis, currants - are best introduced later. But there is no strict ban.
Fruit puree should be started with 1 teaspoon in the morning, increasing to 100 g over 2 weeks.
Homemade or factory made? As you wish, subject to the basic hygiene rules of cooking. If you have time, make your own fruit puree. Plums, apricots, banana can be mashed in a mortar or blender. Grate apples and pears on a fine plastic grater. For the first time, the apple can be boiled, then it will be soft. Pour the prunes with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes. Do not add sugar!
Homemade fruit puree - don't forget about hygiene
Pour boiling water over a grater, preferably a plastic one or a blender, wash and peel the fruit.
Gradually make the fruit puree coarser.
Start with liquid puree, at 8 months - finely ground puree, at 10 months of age. - puree from larger particles.
When the child has 6-8 teeth, you can give pieces of fruit and he will eat them on his own.
Properties of various fruit purees
- Banana puree is a good source of trace elements: magnesium and potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Bananas rarely cause allergic reactions
- Prune puree can act as a mild laxative that increases intestinal motility. Contains potassium, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin).
- Blueberry puree contains tannin - tannin, contains pectin, which has a disinfectant and anti-inflammatory effect, contains a large amount of provitamin A - beta-carotene, which is good for vision, manganese. In addition, blueberries are low allergenic. Apricots are an excellent source of potassium, carotene, vitamin C and pectin.
Advice from Nyankovskikh Healthy Child University
- Fruits are sweet and can be used instead of sweets.
- Fruits should be included in the child's diet as the second food group after vegetables. They can be given quite early, when the baby is four months old (between 17 and 26 weeks of age).
- Initially it can be a mousse (or puree from a jar) and then an apple scraper with a spoon.