Iron rich first foods for baby

Iron | Nutrition | CDC

What Does Iron Do?

Iron is a mineral that has many functions. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen through the body and supports a child’s ability to learn. Having enough iron in the body can help prevent iron deficiencyalert icon and iron deficiency anemia.alert icon

What Happens If My Child Does Not Get Enough Iron?

If your child does not get enough iron, your child may develop anemia.alert icon Anemia is when there are not enough red blood cells in the body or your child’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body is lowered. There are many causes of anemia. In young children, one common cause is not enough iron. Children who do not receive enough iron either from iron-rich foods or supplements are at greater risk for developing anemia.

When Does My Child Need Iron? And How Much?

All children need iron. It is important at all stages of your child’s development. Babies fed only breast milk, only formula, or a mix of breast milk and formula have different needs when it comes to iron.

Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about your child’s iron needs at his or her next check-up.

Preterm babies often need more iron than full-term babies.

In addition, preterm babies may need extra iron beyond what they get from breast milk or infant formula. Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about your child’s iron needs at his or her next check-up.

Breast Milk

  • Talk with your child’s nurse or doctor about if your child needs iron supplements before 6 months old.
  • Once your child starts to eat foods, it is important to give foods with iron to meet nutritional needs.


  • Your child’s iron needs can be met by standard infant formulas for the first 12 months of life.
  • Choose a formula that is fortified with iron. Most commercial infant formulas sold in the U.S. contain iron.
  • Standard iron-fortified infant formulas contain enough iron (12mg/dL) to support your growing child’s needs.
  • Once your child starts to eat foods, introduce your child to foods that contain iron.

Mix of Breast Milk and Formula

  • Once your child starts to eat foods, it is important to give foods with iron to meet nutritional needs pdf icon[PDF-30.6MB]external icon.

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Once My Child Starts to Eat Solid Foods, How Can I Make Sure My Child Gets Enough Iron?

When your child is about 6 months old, you can start giving solid foods to your child. Make sure to choose foods that contain iron. Iron found in foods comes in two forms: heme and non-heme iron.

Heme iron is commonly found in animal products and is more easily absorbed by the body. Sources of heme iron include:

  • Red meat (for example, beef, pork, lamb, goat, or venison)
  • Seafood (for example, fatty fishexternal icon)
  • Poultry (for example, chicken or turkey)
  • Eggs

Your child needs to be screened for anemia.

At around 12 months, your child’s doctor or nurse will likely test to see if your baby has anemia. Anemia can occur among children who do not get enough iron. Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about anemia and iron at your baby’s next check-up.

Non-heme iron can be found in plants and iron-fortified alert icon products. This type of iron is less easily absorbed by the body and will require careful planning to get enough iron for your baby. Sources of non-heme iron include:

  • Iron-fortified infant cereals
  • Tofu
  • Beans and lentils
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

Pairing non-heme iron sources with foods high in vitamin C can help your baby absorb the iron he or she needs to support development. Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetablesexternal icon include:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges
  • Berries
  • Papaya
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

Making sure your child is getting enough iron is important. Some children may need more iron than others. Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about iron at your child’s next check-up.

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Guide to Best Iron-Rich Foods for Babies, Toddlers & Kids

Home » Recipes by Age » 6-9 Months » Best Iron-Rich Foods for Babies, Toddlers & Kids

In this complete guide to iron-rich foods, we will go over everything you need to know about what iron is, how much baby, toddler, and kids need in their diets, lists of the best iron-rich foods, plus over 50 easy iron-rich recipes that contain both animal and plant-based iron sources.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Iron Rich Foods for Baby

Confused about what iron is and why your child needs it? Then you have come to the right place!

Iron is essential for growing babies, toddlers, and kids, as it helps with brain development. It’s also essential for producing red blood cells, which sends oxygen from our lungs to different parts of the body. While babies are born with enough iron stores to last them until 6 months of age, it is important to make sure you are providing enough iron in their diets after their iron reserves are depleted.

In this complete guide to iron, we will go over everything you need to know about what iron is, how much baby, toddler, and kids need in their diets, lists of the best iron-rich foods, plus over 50 easy iron-rich recipes that contain both animal and plant-based iron sources.

Check it out! Looking for even more great recipes for your little one, then be sure to check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes.

Iron Rich Foods Video

Watch to see what iron-rich foods are best for your baby or toddler.

Why is Iron Important?

Iron plays a role in many different functions in our body. Most notably, it is important in producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen from our lungs to different parts of the body. Iron helps support the immune system and helps regulate body temperature. It’s also needed for brain development and maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails, and making hormones. 

What is Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency anemia happens when there is not enough iron in the body to properly make red blood cells. This can affect brain growth and development in children, which can lead to learning and behavioral problems. Some side effects of iron deficiency anemia are fatigue, weakness, irritability, pale skin, fast heartbeat, cold hands and feet, more frequent infections, brittle nails, headaches, poor appetite, or cravings for non-food items like ice or dirt. 

Babies who drink cow’s milk before the age of 1 (which is not recommended) and toddlers who drink too much cow’s milk are at risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia because it can interfere with iron absorption. Ensure your toddler is not drinking more than 16-24 ounces a day of cow’s milk.  

  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Poor appetite or craving non-food items (like ice or dirt)
  • Brittle nails

Most infants are usually screened for iron-deficiency anemia by 12 months of age, but if these symptoms sound like they are describing your baby, please contact your pediatrician.

Does my Baby or Toddler need an Iron Supplement?

Babies usually have enough iron stores to get them through their first four-six months. If your baby is breastfed, it is important to give baby iron-rich foods when they are ready to start solids or give a supplement. This is because breast milk lacks iron. On the other hand, most infant formulas are fortified with iron, so this is not as much of a concern for these babies. In many cases, a diet full of iron-rich foods can raise iron levels to where they need to be. But your baby may need an iron supplement if her iron is low enough to warrant one, and your pediatrician feels that diet alone may not be enough to raise it. Your pediatrician may also recommend a supplement if your baby is premature, has a low birth weight or has a health condition that affects iron absorption.

How Much Iron Does my Baby or Child Need?

Infants 0-6 Months: need .27 mg a day, which is usually met through breastfeeding or iron-fortified infant formula. After six months, natural iron stores are depleted and iron needs increase due to rapid growth of your child. 

Infants 7-12 Months: need 11 mg a day, which can be met with complementing breast milk or formula with iron-rich foods or an iron supplement.

Best Iron Rich Foods for Babies

Fortunately, there are a ton of great iron-rich foods that are great for your baby as a puree or as a finger food if you are doing baby-led weaning.

  • Beef, Pork, Lamb: ground, pureed, served on the bone for baby-led weaning or made into meatballs
  • Dark Greens: great in a puree, smoothie or egg muffins
  • Lentils: can be added to any puree, or gently mashed and handed to baby as a finger food
  • Eggs: pureed, mashed, hardboiled, or scrambled
  • Chicken, Turkey: pureed and added to favorite puree, chopped or in strips for blw
  • Quinoa: great as baby cereal, or made into a mini muffin
  • Beans, Lentils and Tofu: great option to add into a puree or gently mashed and handed to baby
  • Broccoli: can be pureed or offered as a finger food
  • Sweet Potatoes: can be pureed or offered as a finger food
  • Oats: can make your own oatmeal or use instant oatmeal baby cereal
  • Fortified Baby Cereal: easy store-bought option

Note: heme iron, most concentrated in animal sources, will be better absorbed by the body, as opposed to nonheme iron, which is mostly found in plant sources. If you do not follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, try to serve a mix of animal and plant sources of iron to your baby. 

Favorite Iron-Rich Recipes

With thousands of views, these recipes are our reader’s favorite recipes.

How to Serve Meat to Baby: Chicken Meatballs

5 stars (9 ratings)

These soft and tender chicken meatballs are a great finger food for babies. Plus, this post has 5 more simple meat recipe ideas for baby – puree, mashed into a chunky puree, served on the bone, shredded, or served in strips as a finger food or for baby-led weaning.

Get the recipe

Scrambled Eggs for Baby

5 stars (4 ratings)

These Easy Scrambled Eggs are the perfect finger-food for baby – soft, fluffy and delicious! Great for Baby-Led Weaning!

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Homemade Quinoa Baby Cereal (4+ months)

4.53 stars (51 ratings)

This smooth and creamy Homemade Quinoa Baby Cereal has an earthy and robust taste and is loaded with protein, fiber, iron, folate and magnesium. It’s great served as a meal itself or mixed with baby’s favorite fruit or vegetable puree.

Get the recipe

Spinach Apple Baby Puree (Stage Two)

4.70 stars (36 ratings)

This Spinach Apple Baby Puree is high in iron and a perfect food to introduce to baby around 6 months. With the addition of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, this stage two combination puree tastes amazing!

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Easy Spinach Muffins

5 stars (7 ratings)

These easy Spinach Muffins are a hit with babies, toddlers and kids! Made with wholesome ingredients and filled with green spinach!

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Best Iron Rich Recipes for Babies
  • Beef + Sweet Potato Baby Food Puree with Thyme
  • Apple Kale Baby Food Puree
  • The Best Sweet Potato Baby Food Puree
  • Basic Beef Baby Food Puree
  • Chicken, Squash + Cauliflower Baby Food
  • Mango Kale Baby Food Puree with Ginger
  • Spinach Apple Baby Puree
  • Baby’s First Spinach Smoothie
  • Apple, Spinach + Broccoli Baby Food Puree
  • Eggs for Babies – 10 Easy Recipes
  • Spinach Avocado Oatmeal Breakfast Cereal for Baby
  • Oats, Spinach + Avocado Baby Food Puree
  • The Best Broccoli Baby Food
  • Sweet Potato for Baby – 6 Delicious Ways
  • Spiced Sweet Potato Mini Muffins
  • Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Cereal
  • Broccoli, Apple + White Beans for Baby
  • Apple, Green Beans and Broccoli Baby Food Puree
  • Banana, Tofu + Pear Baby Food Puree
  • Easy Scrambled Eggs
  • Basic Chicken Baby Food Recipe
  • Homemade Quinoa Baby Cereal
  • Apple, Carrot + Sweet Potato Baby Food Puree
  • Grinch Mini Muffins
  • Sweet Potato, Beets + White Beans Baby Food Puree
  • 4 Breakfast Egg Muffins

Best Iron Rich Recipes for Baby-Led Weaning
  • Kale Pesto Chicken Quesadilla
  • Spinach Basil Pesto
  • Freezer-Friendly Spinach Waffles
  • Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes
  • Grinch Mini Muffins
  • Baby’s First Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Eggs for Babies – 10 Easy Recipes
  • Baby’s First Spinach Smoothie
  • Broccoli, Apple + White Beans for Baby
  • Easy Scrambled Eggs
  • Chicken, Squash + Cauliflower Baby Food
  • Sweet Potato Pancakes
  • Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites
  • Monster Frozen Yogurt Bark
  • Sweet Potato Wedges
  • Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
  • 4 Breakfast Egg Muffins
  • Avocado Egg Toast
  • Broccoli Egg Cups
  • Mexican Sweet Potato Boats
  • Roasted Broccoli Finger Food
  • Mild Curry Chicken & Veggies
  • Veggie-Loaded Hummus
  • Sweet Potato for Baby – 6 Delicious Ways
  • Spiced Sweet Potato Mini Muffins
  • Easy Cheesy Garlic Broccoli Pasta
  • Baked Seasoned Chicken Tenders
  • Baked Seasoned Tofu Nuggets

How Much Iron does my Toddler or Child Need?

Children ages 1-3 need 7 mg a day
Children ages 4-8 need 10 mg a day
Children ages 9-13 need 8 mg a day

For reference, here are some of the top foods my kids eat and how much iron they have:

  • Peanut Butter: 0. 6 mg
  • Cereal (iron-fortified): 3.4 mg
  • Chicken: 1.8 mg
  • Eggs: 0.6 mg
  • Spinach Smoothie: 2.7 mg

Thankfully there are plenty of good sources of iron in easy-to-find and low-cost foods that can be found at most grocery stores. And chances are you are probably already serving some iron-rich foods to your child. An easy way to make sure they are getting enough iron is to aim for them to eat 2-3 servings a day of any of the foods listed below.

While that may seem like a lot, remember that toddler and child portions are generally smaller than you would think, and it may be possible they are already eating the recommended amount.

Serving Sizes for Toddlers and Kids

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, these are the recommended serving size for a child between:

1 and 3 years of age

  • Grains: 1/4 – 1/2 slice of bread, 1/4 cup of cereal, pasta or rice
  • Vegetables: 1 tbsp for each year of age
  • Fruit: 1/4 cup canned or 1/2 piece of fresh
  • Dairy: 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 oz cheese, or 1/3 cup of yogurt
  • Protein: 1 oz (equal to two 1-inch cubes of solid meat or 2 tbsp of ground)
  • Eggs: 1/2 any size, yolk and white
  • Beans: 2 tbsp

4 and 6 years of age

  • Grains: 1/2 slice of bread, 1/3 cup of pasta or rice, 1/2 dry cereal
  • Vegetables: 1/4 cup cooked or 1/2 cup salad
  • Fruit: 1/3 cup canned or 1/2 piece of fresh
  • Dairy: 1/2 cup of milk, 1oz cheese, or 1/2 cup of yogurt
  • Protein: 1oz (equal to two 1-inch cubes of solid meat or 2 tbsp of ground)
  • Eggs: 1 egg any size, yolk and white
  • Beans: 1/3 cup cooked

7 and 10 years of age

  • Grains: 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of pasta or rice, 1 cup dry cereal
  • Vegetables: 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup salad
  • Fruit: 1/3 cup canned or 1 piece of fresh
  • Dairy: 1 cup of milk, 1oz cheese or 3/4 cup of yogurt
  • Protein: 2-3oz of meat
  • Eggs: 1 or 2 eggs
  • Beans: 1/3 cup cooked

Best Iron Rich Foods for Toddlers and Kids
  • Beef, Pork, Lamb
  • Dried Fruit: apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, etc
  • Dark Greens: spinach, kale, collard green, etc
  • Lentils
  • Eggs
  • Chicken, Turkey
  • Quinoa
  • Beans, Lentils and Tofu
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peanut Butter
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Iron-Fortified Grains: such as cereals, bread or tortillas

Best Iron-Rich Recipes for Toddler + Kids
  • Kale Pesto Chicken Quesadilla
  • Freezer-Friendly Spinach Waffles
  • Baby’s First Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Kale + Spinach with Apple Quesadilla
  • Spinach Basil Pesto
  • Eggs for Babies – 10 Easy Recipes
  • Green Tropical Smoothie Popsicles
  • Easy Blender Spinach Pancakes
  • Easy Scrambled Eggs
  • Sweet Potato Pancakes
  • Mexican Sweet Potato Boats
  • Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
  • Easy Cheesy Garlic Broccoli Pasta
  • Veggie-Loaded Hummus
  • Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites
  • Mild Curry Chicken & Veggies
  • Baked Seasoned Tofu Nuggets
  • Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Green Bean “Fries”
  • Black Bean Tostadas with Strawberry Salsa
  • 3 Green Smoothies for Toddler + Kids
  • Broccoli Egg Cups

Foods with Vitamin C

To achieve maximum absorption, it is important to serve foods with vitamin C alongside foods with iron. Here is a list of foods that are high in vitamin C.

  • Red and Green Bell Peppers
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Pineapple
  • Cauliflower
  • Mango
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes

Some great combinations would be to add in chopped red or green peppers while cooking ground beef or chicken, adding in oranges to a spinach smoothie, cooking broccoli and egg cups, serving a piece of fortified bread with peanut butter with a side of pineapple chunks as a snack, etc. There are plenty of easy options that allow you to get both vitamin C and iron into your child’s diet.

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk, regular, almond, coconut, hemp, etc
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste, optional
  • Prep: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 8 muffin tins with silicone muffin molds or generously spray with cooking oil to prevent sticking.

  • Whisk: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.

  • Stir: Add in the broccoli, cheese, salt and pepper and stir until combined.

  • Pour: Carefully pour the egg mixture into the muffin tins until 3/4 the way full.

  • Bake: place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs have set and the cheese is golden brown.

Age: 6+ months

Storage: in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Reheat Frozen: to reheat the frozen egg cups, simply place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave in 30-second intervals until warm.

Stackable Glass Bowl Set

Muffin Pan

Silicone Muffin Cups

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How to enrich the first complementary foods with iron and prevent anemia in a baby / An expert tells - an article from the "Correct Approach" section on

Russian mothers are familiar with two types of complementary foods: pediatric and pedagogical. The first is a clear scheme for introducing products for the baby, and the second gives room for creativity, because its main goal is the formation of healthy eating habits in the child.

There are a lot of schemes for pediatric complementary foods, sometimes it seems that each author is trying to bring his own vision. And as a result of such a variety of advice, it is difficult to understand where to start and what to give your baby as a first food.

What is complementary food

Complementary food is an acquaintance of a child with food familiar to an adult. With new products, the lack of trace elements that do not come from breast milk is compensated.

What foods to start complementary foods with

By six months, the child develops iron deficiency. This is due to a lack of iron in breast milk, although it is absorbed almost completely. Therefore, it is important to replenish it with complementary foods and start with iron-rich foods.

According to WHO recommendations, you can start complementary foods even with meat: just 10 g per day has a positive effect on the hemoglobin level of children from 6 to 12 months.

There is a lot of iron in eggs: in chicken - 2.5 mg, and in quail - 3.2 mg, in fish, for example, in mackerel - 1.7 mg. These foods can be introduced as early as six months of age.

If your child has a medical condition or is on a pediatric diet, introduce potentially allergenic foods no earlier than eight months of age.

Among the products of plant origin, legumes occupy a leading position in terms of the amount of iron. There are almost 12 mg of iron per 100 g of lentils. According to WHO recommendations, it is allowed to introduce legumes from six months. Due to the fact that beans are not the easiest product for digestion, we advise you to include this product no earlier than 9-10 months, after soaking it in water.

Broccoli is low in iron: only 0.73 mg of iron per 100 g. Zucchini has even less - 0.4 mg.

It should be noted that iron is poorly absorbed from plant products, so it is better to give them together with foods rich in vitamin C. For example, the same broccoli contains up to 76 ml per 100 g. It is worth including sweet peppers, tomatoes, berries and citrus.

Another purpose of complementary foods recommended by the WHO is to provide the child with alternative sources of energy. But broccoli with zucchini alone is unlikely to cope with this task. Much more nutritious will be avocado, banana and seeds, which can be crushed and added to porridge.

Closer to 9 months, try introducing nuts to your baby. Make sure that the baby does not have a hereditary predisposition to this strongest allergen. If the family has already experienced allergic reactions, wait a while with the introduction of nuts.

Offer your child a choice of foods from different food groups that are rich in micro- and macronutrients: vegetables, fruits, protein and cereals - the choice is huge. This will ensure that your child is getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that they need. And don't be afraid to try. ⠀

Do not feed your child only vegetables. Complementary foods should be high-calorie, and in vegetables, there are very few calories.

Calculate the daily caloric intake of a baby's food according to the table recommended by Rospotrebnadzor.

How to make a menu for a child

A simple rule will help you not to make a mistake in the portion size: the portion should be the size of a baby's fist. Five servings of vegetables and fruits a day is the norm for a child.

In order not to have to retrain the baby to eat healthy food in the future, it is worth taking care of this from the first year of life. Show by example a balanced meal, tell and show your child what is on the plate for both him and you.

Include all food groups in your main meal: fruits, vegetables, grains and starches, protein sources.

Cereals and starches: rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, bulgur, pasta, bread, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes.

Sources of protein: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy and sour-milk products, legumes.

Snacks should also be varied, and they can consist of two or more groups.

The more varied the colors of fruits and vegetables, the more different vitamins the baby will receive. Opt for seasonal fruits and vegetables and don't be afraid of frozen options: when frozen, foods retain their properties.

Make food lists and menus for the week so that you know in advance what is missing in your diet. Thanks to the prepared list, you will not get lost among the shelves in the store and will definitely not miss anything.

What can be done?

Design your own complementary feeding schedule, taking into account your child's nutritional needs. Try introducing different foods and see how your baby's body reacts to them.

See also

  • How and when to introduce complementary foods and do everything right

  • How much water should babies drink under one year old

  • How to help your baby establish a healthy relationship with food

Rules for the introduction of complementary foods to a child 4-12 months: first complementary foods, menus, charts, tables, principles of nutrition for a baby


Modern principles of complementary feeding for children is a kind of fusion of practical experience and the latest scientific developments. They are based on the recommendations of the European Association of Pediatric Gastroenterologists, Hepatologists, Nutritionists ESPGHAN , American Academy of Pediatrics AAP and national guidelines from relevant ministries and associations.

Complementary foods: online course

Modern recommendations are based on the analysis of the results of many studies on the composition, timing of the introduction of complementary foods in Europe for healthy full-term newborns, taking into account various aspects of the introduction of complementary foods, its impact on physical and mental development. Timely introduction of complementary foods contributes to the optimal development of all systems and organs of the child, physical parameters, psychomotor development, and the activity of the nervous system. The period of introduction of complementary foods is very important for the growth and development of the child, as well as an outstanding stage in the transition of the child from breastfeeding to feeding from the general table.

  • It is inappropriate to develop separate recommendations for the introduction of complementary foods for breastfed or artificially fed children, the approaches in these cases are the same
  • mother's breast milk remains the gold standard of exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 months (17 weeks) of an infant's life, up to 6 months (26 weeks) of exclusive or predominant breastfeeding
  • The digestive tract and kidney function are mature enough for a baby to accept complementary foods at 4 months of age, and between 5 and 6 months the baby develops the necessary motor skills to consume solid foods. Therefore, at this age, it is important to give food of the right consistency and in the right way
  • A well-nourished mother can provide all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals her baby needs through exclusive breastfeeding up to a maximum of 6 months of age
  • Some children may need iron supplementation earlier than 6 months
  • It is important to continue breastfeeding in parallel with the introduction of complementary foods. This has been shown to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, as well as hospitalizations in a child
  • When comparing initiation of complementary foods at 4 or 6 months of age, no significant differences were found in the effect on growth and body weight, development of obesity during the first 3 years of life
  • At the same time, a high risk of developing overweight and obesity was established with the introduction of complementary foods before 4 months of age
  • Complementary foods (solid or liquid food other than breast milk or infant formula) should be started not earlier than 4 months and not later than 6 months
  • With age, when introducing complementary foods, the child should be offered food varied in texture, texture, taste, smell
  • Children have an inborn tendency to distinguish and prefer sweet and salty foods, reluctantly eat bitter, which we cannot change. But we can shape and adjust the child's taste preferences through training, systematically offering the child foods with different tastes, including sour, bitter green vegetables
  • Whole cow's milk is not recommended for children under 12 months of age. The use of cow's milk is associated with the intake of an increased amount of energy, protein, fat, and lower - iron. Therefore, children who consumed large amounts of cow's milk at an early age had a higher risk of developing iron deficiency anemia
  • Eating more protein when complementary foods increase the risk of overweight and obesity, especially in individuals with a predisposition to this, so protein intake should not exceed 15% of energy intake during the day
  • The baby's need for iron is very high during the entire period of complementary feeding, so it is necessary to ensure the provision of iron-rich foods, especially for breastfed children
  • Allergenic products can be administered from 4 months of age at any time, since it is during this period that immune tolerance to the allergen is formed. For example, children at high risk of developing allergic reactions to peanuts should be administered at 4-12 months of age under specialist supervision. No relationship was found between the timing of the introduction of allergenic complementary foods and the development of allergic or immunological diseases. However, this does not mean the need for early introduction of allergenic products to everyone, but it emphasizes that there is no need to postpone the introduction of allergenic products after 4 months for a longer period;
  • Gluten can be offered to a child aged 4-12 months, but large amounts of gluten should be avoided during the first weeks after the start of its introduction, thereafter a safe amount has not been established. The type of feeding (breast/artificial) was not identified with the introduction of gluten to reduce the risk of developing celiac disease, type 1 diabetes;
  • Sugar or salt should not be added to complementary foods, and sweetened drinks and juices should be avoided. Sugary drinks are liked by babies in the first months, but if they are not given, but after 6 months, the children no longer like them very much. Sugar affects future eating behavior. Sugar is an important factor in the development of caries - it contributes to caries, as glucans can be formed, which increase the adhesion of bacteria to tooth enamel, disrupt the diffusion balance of acid and buffer systems, which ultimately contributes to damage to the enamel.
  • Vegetarian diets are contraindicated in young children due to the risk of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, folate, long-chain fatty acid, protein and calcium deficiencies, which can lead to irreversible adverse effects and impaired cognitive development;
  • Vegetarian diet can be used only under the close supervision of a doctor and nutritionist, with the obligatory additional administration of vitamins B, D, iron, zinc, calcium, proteins, PUFAs, which can ensure the appropriate growth and development of the child. It is important that parents should be aware of the risk of irreversible harmful consequences (mental disability, death of the child) that may develop if they do not follow the recommendations of specialists.

General rules for the introduction of complementary foods for children of the first year of life:

  • Introduce the first complementary foods It is better in the morning feeding 9-11 in the morning to trace the reaction of the child to the new product.
  • Without added sugar and salt .
  • Give the first complementary foods to the child when he is calm and not tired .
  • Start with 0.5-2 teaspoons. If the child refuses, do not insist, try to give later or the next day.
  • If the reaction is normal - no rash, no skin changes, no change in stool, double the dose the next day. Gradually bring the baby's first complementary foods to the age norm 80-200 g
  • If there is an allergic reaction or other intolerance reaction - refuse to introduce this complementary food for three days, if the adverse reaction occurs again - do not give this product, contact your pediatrician.
  • Each subsequent new complementary food must be one-component only: marrow, cabbage, broccoli, buckwheat, meat, etc.
  • Mixed food dish give when the child has already become acquainted with all the products separately.
  • It is not advisable to introduce new products three days before and after vaccinations.

If you are thinking about introducing complementary foods, then your child should already have certain signs of readiness for this:
  1. Holds head
  2. Able to stand alone, practically without support, sit on a special highchair with side support
  3. Opens mouth when a spoonful of food is brought
  4. Turns away from a spoonful of food when not hungry
  5. Closes mouth with spoon in mouth holds food in mouth and then swallows rather than pushing or spitting it out

The first complementary foods at 4 months

The age of 4 months as the minimum for the introduction of complementary foods was also chosen because at 4 months the child’s gastrointestinal tract becomes more mature: the initially increased permeability of the small intestine mucosa decreases, the series matures digestive enzymes, a sufficient level of local immunity is formed, the child acquires the ability to swallow semi-liquid and thicker food, associated with the extinction of the “spoon ejection reflex”.

Therefore, to the question whether it is necessary to give complementary foods to a 3-month-old baby , one can unequivocally answer: no, it's too early!

But 4 months, this is the time when you can think about the introduction of complementary foods. At the same time, it should be remembered that at the age of 4 months, the child has enough mother's milk or a highly adapted milk formula for its full development. In addition, when they talk about complementary foods at 4 months, they usually mean the end of the 4th month of life. It is important to continue breastfeeding in parallel with the introduction of complementary foods.

Video: complementary foods at 4 months

If you enter complementary foods at the 4th month of the child’s life -this is usually a single-component Puree , if the child does not gain weight not well well gained well , then it can be gluten-free porridges: rice and buckwheat . It is better to start with vegetable puree. Kids are smart and if he tries a sweeter fruit puree, he can refuse vegetable puree for quite some time and you may have difficulty introducing this very healthy dish.

What is useful in vegetable supplements and what is the best way to prepare it?

Vegetable puree - for the first feeding can be prepared from cauliflower, zucchini, pumpkin, broccoli - these are low-allergenic foods, are among the ten most useful vegetables in the diet of children, contain a large amount of healthy proteins, fiber and vitamins, microelements ! Fiber helps move food through the digestive tract and promote beneficial microflora in the gut. Pectins absorb and remove toxins from the baby's body. Vegetables have a positive effect on the acid-base balance of the body, creating conditions for the proper functioning of all organs and systems.

Cauliflower - is a good source of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3 (PP), B6, as well as a small amount of vitamins K, D and tocopherol (vitamin E). In the inflorescences of cabbage there is a lot of magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron. It contains twice as much iron as green peas, peppers and lettuce. Cauliflower protein is easily digestible and its content is quite high. Cauliflower protein contains essential vitamin U (methionine). It is one of the essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body. Other essential amino acids are also present in a small amount: arginine, tryptophan.

Zucchini - rich in vitamins and microelements. It contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins C, B1 and B2 and others, folic acid. Which plays an important role in the processes of hematopoiesis. Zucchini is rich in such important trace elements as iron and copper. They are necessary for the formation of nervous tissue, normalization of metabolism, as well as for the formation of hemoglobin, which is a good prevention of anemia.

Broccoli is a very healthy vegetable that is a type of cauliflower. Pleasant soft taste and good digestibility of the product, unique composition have a beneficial effect on the health of both adults and children. Eat unopened cabbage inflorescences. This is also a low-allergenic vegetable, rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, trace elements and even phytoncides. The content of calcium and magnesium is sufficient to balance the functioning of the nervous system, ensure the normal regulation of the child's sleep and wake cycle, and good stress resistance. A child with such nutrition becomes calmer, less excited and naughty.

Broccoli is the leader in choline and methionine content. Only 50 g of broccoli provides the baby with a full set of nutrients for a day.

Pumpkin - the largest vegetable on Earth. It is one of the ten most useful vegetables in the diet of children, contains a large amount of useful proteins, fiber and vitamins, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, E, K, iron, potassium, magnesium, trace elements that are indispensable for children's nutrition, as they strengthen immunity and help fight inflammation, have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. By the content of carotene, pumpkin exceeds carrots by 5 times.

Vitamins and microelements contained in pumpkin help the child grow, provide healthy sleep, are responsible for the condition of the skin and eyes, improve metabolic processes, and accelerate the removal of harmful substances from the child's body. Due to its beneficial qualities, pumpkin can be one of the first types of complementary foods for an infant.

All vegetable purees have a specific vegetable smell, this is absolutely normal


Introduction of vegetable puree

Vegetables should be introduced into the child's menu gradually. Start giving each new vegetable in the form of a monocomponent puree in the amount of ½ teaspoon, preferably at breakfast, so you can track the manifestations of food allergies or intolerance reactions to this product. If all is well, then the next day, offer him a teaspoon. So gradually you need to bring the portion to 50-100 grams. A serving of vegetable puree per day for an 8-month-old baby is approximately 80 grams. In a year, you can increase up to 150 grams. The next product can be administered no earlier than 4-5 days later. If a child has skin rashes, his stool has changed, then you need to remove the product from the diet and consult a pediatrician.

If the child does not like the dish, for example, broccoli, do not give up and continue to offer this vegetable in small quantities - 1-2 spoons a day, maybe not even once, but 2-3 times before meals, and after 7 - 10, and sometimes 15 days, the baby will get used to the new taste. This diversifies the diet, will help form the right taste habits in the child.

Fruit puree introduction

Fruit puree is a definite alternative and addition to vegetables. It can be made from apples, bananas - by the way, do you know what a berry is?, sweet varieties of pears. These fruits contain substances useful for babies, vitamins and minerals, including iron, which is extremely necessary for children. Prune puree is somewhat separate, it has a good effect on the baby's digestion, especially with a tendency to constipation, and, of course, also contains many useful substances.

Porridge in the diet of a child in the first year of life.

Porridge can be introduced into the baby's diet at the end of 4 months or at the fifth, sixth month of life. As a rule, they go as a second food after vegetable or fruit puree. But if your child is not gaining weight very well, or you have been feeding your child with breast milk or infant formula until almost the end of 6 months, then complementary foods can be started with the introduction of cereals.

It is important to start with one-component, low-allergenic cereals which does not contain gluten : this is buckwheat, rice, corn porridge .

gluten-containing cereals include: wheat, oats, rye, barley, millet .

According to modern data the period of introduction of gluten into the child's diet is not of fundamental importance, but the latest recommendations draw attention to the fact that its amount in the baby's diet should not be large. Therefore, it is better to add semolina and oatmeal to other porridge in a limited amount, and not to give it on its own. No relationship was found between the timing of the start of complementary foods that contain gluten and the development of celiac disease in a child. If your child hasn't tried porridge yet, start with a dairy-free, gluten-free, one-ingredient buckwheat or rice porridge.

Rice - very useful for growing baby. It has a low content of vegetable proteins, therefore it is easily digested and is especially useful for toddlers with unstable stools. Rice has a high nutritional value and, to a certain extent, protects the delicate intestines of the baby due to its enveloping effect. This is a hearty and nutritious dish with a good content of carbohydrates and proteins, potassium and magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, beneficial amino acids and vitamins. It replenishes energy costs, energizes and gives strength. Rice is not recommended for overweight children and those who suffer from severe constipation.

Gluten-free buckwheat porridge - very nutritious and rich in iron, fiber, rich in various vitamins and microelements. This is also a good option for starting a child's acquaintance with adult food. These porridges can be prepared with water, breast milk, milk formula, which your child is used to. No need to add salt and sugar.

Rules for introducing porridge into baby food

If the child already eats porridge from 5 months, then at 6 months you can offer a more complex porridge - for example, rice porridge with apricot or raspberries, rice porridge with banana (this is very successful a combination both in taste and in its properties) or even more complex porridge - corn-rice with banana.

Over time, you can start adding apple, banana, pear, plum and prunes, apricot and dried apricots, broccoli, carrots, berries to porridge, , provided that the child is not allergic to them.

The rules for introducing cereals are the same as for vegetable puree. In order for the child to get used to the new product and its consistency more easily, first prepare 5% porridge (5 g of cereal per 100 g of water), if you make it yourself. Porridge is usually cooked with water, but can be made with breast milk, infant formula. First, give the baby one teaspoon, then, within 7-10 days, bring the volume of porridge of the same percentage to the full volume of feeding (150 g). If all this time the porridge is well tolerated, i.e. there are no skin rashes, the child has stable stools, they switch to a gradual (starting from 20-30 g) introduction of porridge of the same cereal, but already at a 10% concentration (10 g of cereal per 100 g of water). In other words, a thicker porridge is administered no earlier than 7-10 days from the beginning of the introduction of porridge. The complete introduction of 10% porridge to the baby is also carried out in 7-10 days. The third week falls on the complete addiction of the child to a new dish. Only after that you can introduce a new cereal (in the form of 10% porridge) or the next complementary foods.

Video: feeding porridge

You need to give porridge with a spoon, better in the morning for breakfast. After porridge at the stage of its introduction, the child should be offered breast or milk formula. With artificial feeding, the volume of the mixture after a portion of porridge should be such that, together with porridge, it is 200 ml with five meals a day.

The norms for the introduction of cereals

In the future, the volume of the portion of porridge gradually increases, amounting to:

  • 7-8 months - 160-170 ml
  • 8-9 months - 170-180 ml
  • 9-12 months - up to 200 ml (there is a complete replacement of one feeding of the child with complementary foods)

Cereal schedule

  • Day 1 – 1 teaspoon (5 g)
  • Day 2 - 2 teaspoons (10 g)
  • Day 3 - 3 teaspoons (15 g)
  • Day 4 - 4 teaspoons (20 g)
  • Day 5 - 50 ml (50 g)
  • Day 6 - 100 ml (100 g)
  • Day 7 - 150 ml (150 g)

Meat complementary foods - the rules for introducing meat into the child's diet

Meat is usually the third, very important product of complementary foods, after vegetables and cereals. The meat contains amino acids, complete animal protein, B vitamins (B1, B2, B6 and B12), heme iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, which are necessary for the growth and development of the child. It is very important to understand that mashed meat contains iron, which is easily absorbed. And the addition of meat to vegetables improves the absorption of iron from them, from vegetables.

Iron deficiency can seriously affect the intellectual development of the child, his immunity, hematopoiesis. Since your task is to raise a healthy and intelligent child, meat complementary foods must be introduced without fail and in a timely manner.

Heme iron - found in meat products and easily digestible (red meat-veal, liver), absorption is about 25%.

Non-heme iron - found in plant foods (beans, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, tomatoes, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, apples, dried fruits, but it is absorbed much worse from plants - only 3-5% Iron absorption from other animal products (eggs, fish) is 10-15%. 0003

It is important to know that human milk enhances , while cow's milk reduces iron absorption .

Timing of the introduction of meat complementary foods

It is advisable to introduce meat puree to a child aged 6-8 months . This, to some extent, depends on when cereals and vegetable/fruit purees were introduced. if your baby has been eating vegetables and cereals since 4 months, meat can be introduced at 6 months. From 7 months it can be administered if the child is not gaining weight. From 8 months to children who started complementary foods at 6 months.

Children at risk of anemia are advised to introduce meat earlier at the age of 5-6 months.

It has been proven that only the daily use of children's enriched porridge and meat puree can fully meet the needs of children in iron, zinc and other micronutrients.

You can start meat complementary foods with lean beef, veal , but better with less allergenic poultry meat ( turkey, chicken ), or rabbit, these are the most easily digestible meats.

Goose and pork are fatty for the baby, and the meat of duck and other birds of the reservoirs is also not suitable for the first feeding. They are recommended to give only after 3 years;

Horsemeat is perfect for your baby. The product is rich in carbohydrates and proteins, but it is almost impossible to find horse meat for sale.

Meat should be introduced into the child's diet gradually, at lunchtime, at first, a quarter of a teaspoon and, gradually adding, bring it to the daily norm: At 8 months, about 50 g, at 9months-60-70 g.

Video: Power feeding meat

Scheme for the introduction of puree 9000 9000

  • Day 2 - ½ teaspoon
  • Day 3 - 1 teaspoon
  • Day 4 - 2 teaspoons
  • Day 5 - 3 teaspoons
  • Day 6 3-4 teaspoons + vegetables
  • At first, it is better to give meat with vegetable puree, which the child has already eaten, so he will better adapt to the new product, and iron is better absorbed. Children at the end of the first year of life can already be given 3 varieties of mashed meat.

    Baby menu at 7-8 months

    At 7-8 months you can start giving children

    8 baby cottage cheese

    8 Start with 1/2 teaspoon. Within a month, the daily volume of cottage cheese consumption by a baby can be increased to 30-40 g. In addition, a child of 8 months is recommended to give sour-milk infant formula. But ordinary yogurt from the store should not be given. At this age, the child should receive 5 g of butter and 5 g (1 teaspoon) of vegetable oil, ¼- yolk - 2-3 times a week.

    Baby's menu at 9 months old

    At the age of 9 months old Your baby is already familiar at this age already usually familiar with: , egg yolk . You may have already met meat . Therefore, at this age, they usually give more complex purees and porridges, less homogenized, of various tastes , gradually preparing him for adult nutrition, increasing the variety and quantity of complementary foods. It is desirable to feed the baby at the table with other family members, he must see how his parents eat with pleasure, he learns from them. The amount of food offered should be based on the principles of actively encouraging the baby to eat, it is necessary to continue to gradually change the consistency and increase the variety of complementary foods, adhering to the recommended frequency of introducing complementary foods.
    At this age, the child usually gets complementary foods 3 times a day . His diet depends on the age of the start of complementary foods. If the baby began to give new food at 4-5 months, the list of allowed foods will be much wider than if this happened at 6-7 months. Therefore, all this is very individual, there are no absolutely rigid frameworks and recommendations. On the Internet you will find a lot of different advice on baby food, if you are not sure about something, it is better to consult your pediatrician.

    From vegetables the baby can be given what he ate before, mixing them: pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and others, adding 1 tsp. vegetable oil . If the baby does not have skin reactions, then you can give beets . It is also possible to give two-, three-component vegetable purees and soups , but only on condition that he is already familiar with these products and has not had a reaction to them.
    If you have introduced complementary foods, then you need to remember that water is an important part of baby food. You can use purified water or special water for children .
    In addition, at 9 months you can give special baby wheat cookies , which the baby will be happy to eat on his own as an adult, white wheat bread, this improves hand motility, improves eating skills, but at the same time he must be supervised.
    At this age, you can start giving mashed fish from low-fat varieties: river perch, pollock, hake, haddock, zander, pollack - start with ½ teaspoon, bringing up to 40-50 g , watching the reaction of the child , give at lunchtime instead of mashed meat, 1-2 times a week. But a number of pediatricians do not advise giving it up to a year, it is a useful, but highly allergenic product.

    10 month old baby menu

    B 10 months usually 2 times a day the child receives mother's breast or special milk formulas . Various porridges : buckwheat, rice, corn, oatmeal, wheat, semolina porridge . 5-10 g of butter should be added to cereals . At this age, it is already possible to make complex cereals from 2-3 cereals with which the child is familiar, add various fruits, vegetables: apple, banana, pear, plum and prunes, apricot and dried apricots, broccoli, carrots, berries , provided that the child is not allergic to them, or use ready-made cereals with fruit.

    From vegetables the baby can be given what he ate earlier, mixing them: pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beets and others, adding 1 tsp. vegetable oil . It is also already possible to give two-, three-component vegetable purees and soups, but only on condition that he is already familiar with these products and he did not have a reaction to them.
    At this age, the baby already usually eats about 40-50 g of baby meat puree from chicken, turkey, rabbit , with good tolerance to cow's milk proteins from veal or beef. If he has been eating meat for a month or more, you can start giving him two-component meat purees , for example, from chicken and turkey.
    At this age, fish puree from low-fat varieties is usually started: river perch, pollock, hake, haddock, pike perch, pollock with ½ teaspoon, bringing to 40-50 g, following the reaction of the child, it is better to give at lunchtime instead of meat puree, 1-2 times a week .
    At 10 months, children's cottage cheese should be given 2 times a week. Start with 1/2 teaspoon if you have not given it before, the daily amount of curd at this age is 40-50 g .
    It is recommended to give special sour-milk baby formulas.
    At this age, the child can receive 5-10 g of butter and 5 g (1 teaspoon) of vegetable oil, and 2-3 times a week½ - yolk .

    Child's menu at 1 year old

    The child is one year old. He has already grown up, he already has 6-10 teeth, with which he gnaws everything he sees, he is interested in chewing food, his digestive enzymes already work well and he has already become acquainted with various products: vegetable and fruit purees, various cereal cereals, meat and fish, sour-milk mixtures. In fact, he is already prepared for the transition to a more adult diet. In a year, changing the diet involves turning to new products and gradually changing the way they are prepared and the degree of grinding.
    You need to eat 5 times a day with an interval 3.5-4 hours .
    semi-liquid dishes should still remain the basis of nutrition, but not only mashed dishes, but also containing small pieces of food . Too dry food should not be given to the baby yet, as he may have difficulty swallowing.

    In the year the child is already trying to eat with his hands and he should be encouraged to do so. Finely chopped, soft foods can be given eg: small pieces of soft fruit, vegetables, cheese, well-cooked meat, pasta , etc. and foods that dissolve quickly, children's biscuits, children's bread - as food with the help of hands.
    Must avoid products that can enter the respiratory tract and cause asphyxia - sausages and other hard meat products , nuts (especially peanuts), grapes, raisins, raw carrots, popcorn, round candies . Hold off on this for now.
    In a year, part of the children are without mother's milk. But if your baby is still not weaned - do not rush, if possible, give him a breast before bed at night. You can also breastfeed between main meals. At this age, the child receives all the main vitamins and minerals from food, but he can get a number of biologically active components from breast milk.

    Dairy products

    Dairy products still occupy an important place in the child's diet, it is a source of calcium, B vitamins, protein, milk sugar and fat. It is better to use special baby milk (marked with a triple on the packaging), baby fermented milk products: kefir, yogurt in total 500-600 ml per day .

    Cottage cheese

    The child should be given cottage cheese. The daily dose of cottage cheese after 1 year can be increased to 70 g per day . It can be given pureed or combined with fruit puree, pudding, casserole. This contributes to the development of chewing skills.

    Butter can be added to cereals or smeared on wheat bread, cookies in a dose of up to 12 g per day.

    Low fat sour cream and cream
    After 1 year you can give low-fat sour cream and cream in small quantities.

    Every year a child must be given various vegetables , it is good to combine them with protein products, meat . The vegetable diet can now be diversified with green peas, tomatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, spinach in the form of mashed potatoes. Legumes are still better not to give.

    Fruits and berries
    After 1 year, you can gradually introduce the baby to new fruits and berries: strawberries, cherries, cherries, kiwi, currants, gooseberries, chokeberries, sea buckthorn, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, cranberries and even citrus fruits . But do it gradually, watching the reaction of the child. Berries with a dense peel (gooseberries) are best mashed, while soft juicy fruits (peaches, strawberries, apricots, kiwi) can be offered to the baby in pieces.
    Daily dose of fruits - approx.

    Meat products

    Meat products can be given in the form of steam cutlets, meatballs, meatballs, meat soufflé and pudding in an amount up to 100 g daily - beef, veal, lean pork, rabbit, turkey, chicken.


    Fish can be given once or twice a week for 30-40 g per meal as a substitute for meat dishes

    Chicken, quail eggs give boiled or in the form of omelettes in milk, you can try with vegetables.

    Porridge can be cooked from rice, oatmeal, buckwheat, corn, millet, semolina. At this age, they should still have a uniform consistency, so it will be easier for him to swallow. You can use ready-made industrial, children's instant cereals, for example, various multi-cereal cereals, in which fruits, crackers, cereals have already been added. Give 1 time per day.

    Be sure to give the child to drink clean water, better than bottled water for children, as much as he wants . In addition to her baby can drink vegetable and fruit juices, dairy products, compotes, weak tea.

    No need to give:

    don’t give confectionery and sweets 0079 . From sweets at this age, you can sometimes give marmalade, dried fruits and cookies.
    Do not give sausages and sausages , they are rarely prepared from high quality meats and are rich in various food additives

    Calorie content and volume

    0077 1200 ml .

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