New food guidelines for babies
When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition
For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old. Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.
- Sits up alone or with support.
- Is able to control head and neck.
- Opens the mouth when food is offered.
- Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
- Brings objects to the mouth.
- Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
- Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.
What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.
If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.
How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?
Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.
Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.
Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.
Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.
Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.
Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.
How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?
At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.
Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.
Here are some tips for preparing foods:
- Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
- Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
- Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
- Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
- Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
- Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
- Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
- Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
- Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
- Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.
Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.
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Baby's first foods: How to introduce solids to your baby
Babies are typically ready to start solids between 4 and 6 months, as long as they're showing signs of readiness, such as being able to sit upright with good head control. Talk to your baby's doctor about which foods to introduce first, particularly if you're concerned about a risk for an allergy. In general, infant cereal and pureed, one-ingredient veggies, fruits, and meats are great first foods. Try spoon-feeding or baby-led weaning, and keep up the breast milk or formula until your baby's first birthday.
When do babies start eating baby food?
It depends. As long as your baby shows signs of readiness, your pediatrician will probably give you the go-ahead to start baby food (also called solid food or solids) any time between 4 and 6 months.
Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs. Infants don't yet have the physical skills to swallow solid foods safely, and their digestive system isn't ready for solids until they're at least 4 months old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of your baby's life and introducing solids at 6 months old. The AAP advises breastfeeding until age 1 – and longer if you and your baby want to.
Signs your baby is ready for solids
Your baby will give you clear signs when they're ready. Look for:
- Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep their head in a steady, upright position.
- Sitting well when supported. Your baby needs to be able to sit upright in a baby seat or highchair to swallow well.
- Losing the "extrusion reflex." Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with their digestive system. To start solids, they should be able to move food to the back of their mouth and swallow it, instead of using their tongue to push food out of their mouth.
- Curiosity about food. Your baby may start showing interest in what you're eating, reaching for your food or even opening their mouth if you offer them a spoonful.
Starting solids by 6 months old is important for your baby's oral motor development (the use of their lips, tongue, jaw, teeth, and hard and soft palates). Also, solid foods can provide specific nutrients your baby needs, such as iron and zinc. (These are especially important if your baby has been exclusively breastfed.)
What are the best first baby foods?
Start your baby with any pureed, single-ingredient food. Although it used to be standard for parents to give rice cereal as a first food, that's not necessary. In fact, pediatricians often don't recommend baby rice cereal since it can contain inorganic arsenic, and it's not as nutritious as some other first foods.
Good first baby foods include
- pureed squash
- mashed bananas
- mashed avocado
- pureed peaches
- pureed pears
- pureed meats
- whole-grain, iron-enriched baby cereal such as oatmeal
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If your baby is breastfed, the AAP suggests meat as a first food because the iron in beef, chicken, and turkey helps to replace iron stores, which start to diminish at about 6 months of age.
How to introduce solids to your baby
The traditional way to start solids is by spoon-feeding your baby cereal or purees, but some parents use a different method called baby-led weaning. Using this method, you put chunks of soft, developmentally appropriate food on the highchair tray or table and let your baby grab the food and feed themself.
Here's how to start spoon-feeding your baby:
For your first few feedings, start with just 1 or 2 teaspoons of pureed solid food or baby cereal about an hour after nursing or bottle-feeding (so your baby isn't too hungry or full).
Use a soft-tipped plastic spoon to feed your baby to avoid injuring their gums. Put a small amount of food on the tip of the spoon and offer it to them. If your baby doesn't seem very interested, just let them smell the food for now and try again another time.
If you're feeding your baby ready-to-eat jars or pouches of baby food, put some into a small dish and feed them from that. (If you dip the feeding spoon into the jar, it's not a good idea to save the leftovers because bacteria from your baby's mouth will now be in the jar. ) Store leftovers in the fridge and throw away any opened baby food jars or pouches within a day or two of opening them.
If you decide to start with cereal, give your baby 1 to 2 teaspoons of diluted infant cereal. Add breast milk or formula to a tiny pinch of cereal. It will be very runny at first, but as your baby starts to eat more solid foods, you can gradually thicken the consistency by using less liquid.
Begin with one daily feeding in the morning whenever your baby isn't too tired, hungry, or cranky. Your baby may not eat much at first, but give them time to get used to the experience. Don't be surprised if your baby is confused or rejects solid food at first. Some babies need practice keeping food in their mouths and swallowing.
Eventually you can start giving your baby more solid food until they're having a few tablespoons a day, over two feedings. In general, your baby could start with pureed or semi-liquid food, then move on to strained or mashed food, and finally graduate to small pieces of finger foods.
Signs that your baby is full
Your baby's appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so a strict accounting of how much they've eaten isn't a reliable way to tell when they've had enough. Look for these signs that your baby's probably done:
- They lean back in their chair
- They turn their head away from food
- They start playing with the spoon
- They refuse to open up for the next bite (Sometimes a baby will keep their mouth closed because they haven't finished the first mouthful, so give them time to swallow.)
Food allergies and introducing solids
Experts recommend that you introduce one food at a time to your baby, and wait 3 to 5 days before introducing another food, so you can watch for any allergic reactions. It's also a good idea to write down the foods your baby samples. If they have an adverse reaction, a food log will make it easier to pinpoint the cause.
You don't have to hold off on giving allergenic foods such as eggs, peanut butter, or soy. There's no evidence that waiting to introduce certain foods will help your baby avoid allergies. In fact, there's evidence that the opposite is true.
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), incorporating commonly allergenic foods into your baby's diet starting at around 4 to 6 months (and continuing through childhood) may actually help prevent the development of food allergies.
Start with traditional first foods, such as iron-fortified infant cereal, pureed veggies, fruits, and meats. Once you've tried a few of these foods and your baby seems to be tolerating them well, you can introduce more commonly allergenic foods, such as soy, eggs, wheat, fish, and peanut products.
Food manufacturers have products on the market designed to help you incorporate commonly allergenic foods into your child's diet. These stir-in powders and finger foods may contain one commonly allergenic protein or a blend of several.
Special precautions need to be taken with certain babies. If your child falls into any of the following categories, consult with your baby's doctor or an allergist to create a customized feeding plan before adding solids to your baby's diet:
- Your baby has a sibling with a peanut allergy.
- Your baby has moderate to severe eczema despite following a doctor's treatment plan.
- Your baby previously had an immediate allergic reaction to a new food or has been diagnosed with a food allergy.
If your baby is allergic to a new food, you'll see signs of a reaction within a few minutes or hours. Most children with food allergies have mild reactions. If you notice a few hives, a new rash, or diarrhea, call your baby's doctor for advice.
If you notice wheezing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, facial swelling (including the tongue and lips), or more than two body systems affected (such as hives and vomiting), your baby may be having a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Baby food feeding tips
- Offer fruits or vegetables in any order. Some parents may tell you to start with vegetables instead of fruits so your infant won't develop a taste for sweets. But babies are born with a preference for sweets, so you don't have to worry about introducing sweet or savory foods in any particular order.
- Feed cereal with a spoon only. Unless your baby's doctor asks you to, don't add cereal to a bottle – your baby could choke or end up gaining too much weight.
- Encourage adventurous eating. You don't have to stick with bland and boring. See how to make your own baby food and use spices and seasonings to create delicious baby food flavors.
- Give new foods time. If your baby turns away from a particular food, don't push. Try again in a few days.
- Check for added sugars and too much salt. Check the Nutrition Facts label on canned, frozen, or packaged foods for "Added Sugars. " If there's 1 gram or more listed, give your baby something else. Also look at sodium amounts. Babies shouldn't have no more than 1,200 mg of sodium per day.
- Avoid unsafe foods. Don't give your baby foods that could cause choking, such as whole grapes or popcorn. Babies under 1 can't have honey, cow's milk, or soy milk. Also, unpasteurized juices and undercooked fish, meat, eggs, or poultry could be a source of bacteria.
- Watch for constipation. Your baby's poop sometimes changes when their diet does. Although it's usually temporary, your baby may have constipation after you introduce solids. If you notice that your baby is having less frequent bowel movements, or that their stools have become hard or dry and seem difficult to pass, let their doctor know. Some doctors recommend adding high-fiber fruits such as pears, prunes, and peaches to a baby's diet, or giving a few ounces of prune, apple, or pear juice every day until bowel movements are back to normal.
Also, don't be surprised if your baby's poop changes color and odor when you add solids to their diet. If your baby has been exclusively breastfed up to this point, you'll probably notice a strong odor to their formerly mild-smelling stools as soon as they start eating even tiny amounts of solids. This is normal.
If your baby shies away from new foods, here are a few things you can try:
- Test a range of textures. If your baby doesn't like pear puree, try giving them pieces of very ripe pear instead.
- In a similar vein, try different cooking methods. If your baby doesn't like steamed veggies, try giving them roasted vegetables.
- Serve food at different temperatures. Some babies prefer broccoli cold rather than warm, for example.
- Combine the new food with a familiar favorite. If your baby rejects a new food on its own, mix it in with something you know they like.
- Add a dipping sauce! Try shredded chicken with applesauce, yogurt with baked apple slices, or hummus with well-cooked pieces of carrot.
- Above all, be patient. Sometimes it takes a while for a baby to get used to new flavors and textures, so keep trying and eventually they'll accept the new food.
How many times a day should my baby eat solids?
At first your baby will eat solid food just once a day. By around 6 to 7 months, two meals a day is the norm. Starting around 8 to 9 months, they may be eating solid food three times a day plus a snack. A typical day's diet at 8 months might include a combination of:
- Breast milk or iron-fortified formula
- Iron-fortified cereal
- Small amounts of protein, such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, poultry, lentils, tofu, and meat
- High-allergy foods, if appropriate
See our age-by-age baby feeding guide for more detail on how much to feed your baby and when.
How much breast milk or formula does my baby need after we introduce solids?
Even after your baby starts solids, breast milk or formula will provide the majority of their calories and nutrition until they're 9 months to 1 year old. Breast milk and formula contain important vitamins, iron, and protein in a form that's easy to digest.
You may notice that as your baby starts to eat more solid foods (around 9 months old), they'll gradually decrease their intake of formula or breast milk. This is normal. Over time, your baby will take fewer bottles with more ounces in each.
Here's how much breast milk or formula babies need after starting solids:
- 4 to 6 months old: 4 to 6 feedings a day (breastfeeding, or bottles with 4 to 6 ounces)
- 6 to 8 months old: 3 to 5 feedings a day (breastfeeding, or bottles with 6 to 8 ounces)
- 8 to 12 months old: 3 to 4 feedings a day (breastfeeding, or bottles with 7 to 8 ounces)
What equipment do I need to introduce solids?
It's helpful to have:
- A highchair
- Baby bowls and plates
- Baby spoons
- A splat mat on the floor
You may also want to introduce your baby to a sippy cup soon after you start solids.
If you're making your own baby food, you'll need:
- A tool to puree the food, like a blender, food processor, or baby food maker
Storage containers for refrigerating and freezing extra portions (Some parents use ice cube trays – or similar devices made just for baby food – to store and freeze individual portions.)
Proper nutrition of a child is a guarantee of health - Children's City Polyclinic No. 1
Every parent wants his child to grow up healthy, smart, happy.
From childhood, we must teach our children to choose from the variety of foods that are really good for health. The nutrition of children is somewhat different from the nutrition of adults. If the child's nutrition system is built correctly, then the child develops normally, both physically and mentally. nine0007
Make your family's way of life by introducing your child to proper nutrition every day. There is no need to arrange constant lectures from this on the topic of what is useful and what is harmful. By actively communicating with your child, setting an example, you instill good eating habits.
Only good things should be spoken at the table. The situation should help the child to relax, then the appetite will be good and the mood will be friendly. Children can help you with serving and decorating dishes. When serving vegetables and fruits, ask the children what vitamins and minerals they contain and why they are so useful. nine0003 In order to organize the proper nutrition of the child, you need to follow several important rules:
Food should be varied.
This is an important condition for the child's body to receive all the substances necessary for growth and development. Every day, the child's menu should include: fruits and vegetables; meat and fish; milk and dairy products; grain products (bread, cereals, cereals). Insufficiency or excess of food consumed by a child can adversely affect the activity of the gastrointestinal tract, contribute to metabolic disorders, increase overweight (even to various degrees of obesity) or lead to malnutrition. nine0007
If the child refuses, there is a healthy dish, offer him to experiment and make the dish unusual.
So, with the help of dried fruits and nuts, you can put a funny face on porridge, use ketchup and greens to draw a pattern on scrambled eggs, put mashed potatoes on a plate in the form of a snowman figure, etc.
What should not be used in children's nutrition:
- Offal, except liver, tongue, heart; blood, liver, raw smoked sausages. nine0045
- Deep-fried foods and culinary products, chips.
- Curds, condensed milk with vegetable fats.
- Koumiss and fermented milk products containing ethanol (more than 0.5%).
- Cream confectionery containing vegetable protein.
- First and second courses based on fast food concentrates.
- Vinegar, mustard, horseradish, hot peppers and other hot spices and food products containing them, including hot sauces, ketchups, mayonnaises and mayonnaise sauces. nine0045
- Pickled vegetables and fruits.
- Natural coffee and carbonated drinks, apricot kernels, peanuts.
- Products, including confectionery, containing alcohol.
- Food products containing a large amount of food additives in their composition (information is indicated by the manufacturer on consumer packaging).
- Dry concentrates for cooking first and second courses (soups, Dosherak vermicelli, cereals).
The child should eat regularly.
Compliance with the diet of children is of great importance for the absorption of nutrients by the body. Preschool children are recommended to eat 4-5 times a day, every 3 hours, at the same time, distributing the diet as follows: breakfast - 25%, lunch - 35%, afternoon snack - 15%, dinner - 25% . At school age, it is advisable to have four meals a day, every 4 hours with an even distribution of the daily ration: breakfast - 25%, second breakfast - 20%, lunch - 35%, dinner - 20%. nine0007
Try to stop snacking and teach your child to eat only at the table. If this still doesn't work, offer fruit, biscuits, juice for a snack - food that will help drown out hunger, but will not ruin your appetite.
Proper organization of meals at school in the form of hot school breakfasts and lunches is an important health-improving measure for student children in extended day groups, whose diet should be 50-70% of the daily norm, which, unfortunately, parents do not have enough are paying attention. Eating sandwiches, pizza, chips, chocolate bars is harmful because - this food is inferior in composition and also irritates the stomach, contributing to the development of gastritis. nine0007
A child's diet should replenish his daily energy expenditure.
If your child is overweight, limit the amount of sweets and high-calorie desserts, empty the refrigerator. Put a bowl of fruit on the table, a plate of whole grain bread. Children can eat fruits without any restrictions, it is almost impossible to overeat them, and they are very useful. With a lack of any mineral substance or vitamin, the child himself will ask for the apple or even greens he needs. nine0007
Try to get your child involved in sports, take walks together, even if little by little, but regularly.
Thus, building proper nutrition for children requires taking into account the characteristics of the child's body, knowledge of certain rules and principles of healthy nutrition.
The material was prepared by the editorial and publishing department of GBUZ JSC "CMP" - 2020
Peculiarities of baby foodPeculiarities of baby food nine0113
Meals for children has its own characteristics and complexities.
When planning a child's diet, consider certain features of the child's body.
The main difference between baby food is the growth of the child's body. That is, a baby needs more protein than an adult. Knowing about it many adults make the mistake of focusing on creating a high protein diet, although even the usual protein food consumed by adults contains
more protein than breast milk.
Another feature of baby food is that children are very mobile in different from adults. Greater mobility of the child's body contributes to exchange normalization. If children are forcibly restricted in their movements, this provokes insufficient secretion of growth hormones, diseases, and as a result - developmental delay.
Consumption of sweets
Due to the high metabolic rate, children, unlike adults, are able to absorb significantly more sweets without much harm to themselves. However, they should not be encouraged to do so. Although sweet foods are natural origin are very beneficial for the child.About cholesterol
In addition, children are much more active than adults. use cholesterol. It is very important for health, is the main component of the membrane, which surrounds cells throughout the body. And the child grows, and he forms a lot new cells. nine0119 An important nuance is the fat cells that make up the "fat" according to most are formed during the first years of life. Subsequently they grow and grow in size. Therefore, what it looks like an adult is largely associated with nutrition in childhood.
Regulatory Excellence mechanisms
The most important feature of baby food . Regulatory mechanisms in the child's body controlling the inflow and outflow of energy, function perfectly. Him The body knows exactly what food and in what quantities it needs. However, if there is an abundance of deliciously cooked (with spices, fried, fatty and etc.) and sweet dishes, the appetite will be coordinated by the tongue, and not by the physiological need. nine0007
This level of regulation remains until the age of 14-17. Further it is preserved under the condition that a person leads a healthy lifestyle.
You can identify a number of general rules - recommendations, to which it makes sense to listen in order to provide the child with the right diet.
1 baby food rule - diet
Proper nutrition of the child involves the absence of strict dietary compliance.
What kind of lunch if you need to launch a rocket or put a doll to bed sleep? Such matters are as important for a child as love is for an adult, interesting work, rest. Children are tiny but full-fledged people who are still in need of care.
In addition, when there is no feeling of hunger, then eat the body is not yet ready to eat, eat without pleasure, therefore food won't go well. When hungry, the baby will ask for it. And there is no problem in that the child ate instead of three, two or five times a day. If food normal and do not use violence against the child, then there will be neither malnutrition nor overeating. nine0007
Baby food rule 2 - non-violence In most cases, the child is persuaded to "eat for dad, grandfather, mother, etc.", or they simply order "until you finish eating, you won’t get up from the table." And if we imagine how we would feel in such a situation? The baby's body does not need food at the moment, so he does not want to, only Total. Appetite may arise after some time, and there is no point in being offended. However, the appetite should be for natural products - porridge, potatoes, apple, milk, not sweets and cookies. In some cases, however, there are whims and tricks. nine0165 3 baby food rule - diseases
Separately, it is worth dwelling on proper nutrition a child with diseases. very wide the practice of "feeding" sick children is practiced. There is an opinion that this gives the body extra energy to fight the disease.
Paradox - in following: the body really needs strength, it mobilizes all the resources to restore the shattered balance. And the patient has no appetite because all the energy is directed to the fight against the disease, and it simply does not remains on the process of digestion. Animal instinct is at work here. is aimed at survival, and no food simply "climbs". For example, patients animals do not touch food, even if it lies in front of their noses. nine0119 And force-feeding for medicinal purposes directly harm the child.
Preferably, offer him hot drink - tea with honey, warm fruit drink, etc.
4th rule - freedom in everyday nutrition
In terms of everyday nutrition, it is better if children have choice of products. Thus, the problem itself is solved nutritionally balanced flax substances and dietary calories.
Based on long-term observations, it was found that with the presence of freedom of choice, children at the level of intuition or subconsciousness are able to create a menu that will be the best in every respect. adult function here - to orient the child in relation to the correct combination of products.
5 rule - fruit
Children can eat fruits without any restrictions, it is almost impossible to overeat them, and they are very useful. But if the child refuses, no need to force. With a lack of any mineral or vitamin, the child himself will ask he needs an apple or even greens. nine0007
It is only necessary to coordinate the combination of fruits with other products. These combination rules are objective for both children and adults. If the products are combined correctly, healthy children will lack gas emission, the stool will be odorless with a normal consistency, the tongue will be red and clean.
6 children's rule nutrition - protein food
Protein food should be given to the child 1-2 times a day for desire, but do not worry if he prefers rice or potatoes instead of cottage cheese or pea porridge. But an excess, like a lack of protein, can lead to unpleasant consequences. nine0007
You should not teach a child to sausage, because it unnatural food that deceives the taste organs. From natural products origin, the child should be able to choose from what they eat adults.
7 baby food rule - dairy products
Milk, curdled milk, kefir, yogurt represent makes great food for kids. However, they should not be combined with starches. A child at the age of one and a half should not be fed with cereals for milk. The best option is milk and dairy products (room temperature) give as a separate meal. good variation is a combination of cottage cheese with tomatoes (carrots) with kefir, yogurt or milk. nine0165 8 baby food rule - sweets
If you feed your child with sweets, then definitely not after eating. Better just give half an hour - an hour before the main meal. As a rule, they always give after.
Sweet is really necessary for the children's body. Sweets natural origin - fruits, honey, dried fruits cover the needs child's body.
In case of painful conditions, reduced immunity, good options will offer him soaked dried fruits, fruits, melons, watermelons and hot drinks. And no more dishes and products. Several of these days month will replenish the resources of the child's body.