Proper food for baby

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.

Your child:

  • 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: The 10 best foods for babies

These 10 first foods are ideal for your baby because they're full of essential nutrients, reasonably priced, easy to prepare, and delicious.  Avocados contain healthy fats, while bananas are loaded with potassium. Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants, whereas broccoli offers fiber and folate. Both lentils and meat are packed with protein. Prunes can help with constipation, and yogurt helps form healthy bones and teeth. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are great sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's important to offer your baby a variety of healthy foods. There are lots of healthy, baby-friendly foods out there, but these 10 recommended by doctors and dietitians alike stand out from the pack. From vitamin-rich fruits and veggies to meats and beans loaded with protein, these superfoods are full of essential nutrients, reasonably priced, easy to prepare, and delicious.

Many are also favorite first foods. Before introducing solids, talk to the doctor about your baby's readiness for solids, and which foods to introduce and when. Then introduce foods one at a time, waiting at least three days after each new food to watch for any allergic reaction.


BabyCenter parents are all about avocado as a first food. This buttery fruit-vegetable is rich in healthy unsaturated fats that help boost brain development. In fact, the fat composition of avocados is somewhat similar to that of breast milk.

Serving ideas: Mash avocado with a fork, or make baby guacamole.


Known as a good source of potassium, this grab-and-go fruit also contains vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and magnesium.

Serving ideas: Make banana and mango puree. Or, for your little one's first smoothie, puree banana and peach chunks with whole-milk yogurt.


Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants. The deep, brilliant blue of these berries comes from flavonoids that benefit your baby's eyes, brain, and even urinary tract.

Serving ideas: Blend or mash blueberries well and swirl a spoonful of the juicy purple puree into yogurt, or top silky coconut milk rice pudding with blueberry compote.


This cruciferous vegetable is a rich source of essential nutrients, including fiber, folate, and calcium. Introduce your baby to broccoli's bold flavor early, and you'll be expanding their tastes and encouraging a lifelong love of green vegetables.

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Serving idea: Steam until soft, cut into pieces small enough for your child to eat safely, and then chill. Steaming takes the bite out of broccoli, and some babies prefer the texture and taste when it's cold.


Beans and other legumes pack lots of lean protein and fiber. But unlike larger beans, little lentils simmer into a pleasing mush just right for baby bites. They're also one of the cheapest healthy foods you can buy.

Serving ideas: Cook finely diced carrots along with the lentils. As your baby gets older, double up on nutrient-rich foods by making lentil and spinach stew.


Lack of iron can cause anemia. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends meat as a first food because it's such a great source of protein, zinc, and iron, especially red meat and dark poultry meat. Plus, babies absorb iron more easily from meat than from iron-fortified cereals, another common first food.

Serving ideas: If your baby is new to solids, try our easy turkey or chicken puree recipe. As they get older, introduce new flavors with chicken curry with green beans and zucchini or shepherd's pie.


Whether you call them "prunes" or "dried plums," these humble fruits don't sound glamorous – but they're soft, sweet, and full of fiber. Your baby may suffer from constipation when switching to solids, as it's a big change for their system. Add pureed prunes to your baby's diet to aid digestion and keep things moving.

Serving ideas: Serve pureed prunes alone or mixed with other foods, such as oatmeal, cereal, or applesauce, for a naturally sweet treat.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of the more popular first foods for babies, who tend to like both their sweetness and texture. These colorful root vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and minerals, including iron and copper.

Serving ideas: Serve sweet potato puree alone or swirled into pureed chicken or turkey.

Winter squash

Orange- or yellow-fleshed hard winter squashes such as butternut, acorn, and pumpkin boast many benefits, one of which is they're exceptionally rich in beta-carotene, recognized for being great for eyes. Squash is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Natural sweetness and a creamy texture add to the appeal of winter varieties.

Serving ideas: Roast a winter squash like butternut, scoop out the flesh, and puree it for an easy first food. As your baby gets older, introduce new flavors and textures with dishes like smashed chickpea and butternut chili.


Creamy yogurt is rich in calcium and vitamin D, necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Your baby can have it at 4 to 6 months, long before they'll be ready for cow's milk.

Opt for plain yogurt with no added sugar. Also look for a brand with the most live cultures, which help regulate the good bacteria in your baby's digestive tract. Make sure you pick up whole-milk yogurt – babies need the calories from fat.

Serving ideas: Yogurt is fine on its own, or swirl in pureed berries or other fresh fruit, applesauce, or mashed avocado.

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:

Rule 1

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:

  1. Offal, except liver, tongue, heart; blood, liver, raw smoked sausages. nine0045
  2. Deep-fried foods and culinary products, chips.
  3. Curds, condensed milk with vegetable fats.
  4. Koumiss and fermented milk products containing ethanol (more than 0.5%).
  5. Cream confectionery containing vegetable protein.
  6. First and second courses based on fast food concentrates.
  7. Vinegar, mustard, horseradish, hot peppers and other hot spices and food products containing them, including hot sauces, ketchups, mayonnaises and mayonnaise sauces. nine0045
  8. Pickled vegetables and fruits.
  9. Natural coffee and carbonated drinks, apricot kernels, peanuts.
  10. Products, including confectionery, containing alcohol.
  11. Food products containing a large amount of food additives in their composition (information is indicated by the manufacturer on consumer packaging).
  12. Dry concentrates for cooking first and second courses (soups, Dosherak vermicelli, cereals).

Rule 2

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

Rule 3

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.

How to eat: healthy nutrition for children

Immunity, physical and mental development of the child, his eating behavior in adulthood depend on the quality of nutrition. To teach your baby to choose healthy foods when there are so many temptations around, a clear action plan of 12 simple steps will help. nine0007

Why healthy nutrition is important for children

First of all, insufficient consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, cereals, wholemeal bread leads to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body. Because of this, not only working capacity decreases, but also immunity falls, colds occur more often [1] .

Abuse of sweets, soda and fast food, frequent snacks provoke a set of extra pounds. And if it is customary in the family to encourage the good behavior of the child with a tasty treat, then wrong eating habits are formed in him. This, in turn, provokes a desire to seize stress in adulthood [2] .

In addition, the lack of protein, mineral salts, fluorine, as well as the increased consumption of simple sugars (cookies, sweets) contributes to the development of caries. Bacteria in the mouth break down sugar and form acids that demineralize the hard tissues of the tooth [3] .

The principles of proper nutrition

Numerous epidemiological studies conducted in recent years by specialists from the Research Institute of Pediatrics of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the Scientific Center for Children's Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and other medical institutions in Russia have revealed significant violations in the structure of nutrition and the nutritional status of children and adolescents [1] . Skipping breakfast, overindulging on sweets, snacking instead of lunch or dinner, and lacking variety in your diet are just some of the problems.

In order for the nutrition to bring only benefits to the child, it is recommended to follow the advice of specialists.

  1. Maintain a balance between the incoming food and the child's energy expenditure. Daily energy consumption in children depends on age: at 7–11 years old, 2,100 kcal per day are needed, from 11 to 14 years old - 2,300–2,500, from 14 to 18 years old – 2500–2 900 kcal [4] .

  2. Maintain a balance between proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In accordance with modern concepts, the daily diet of a healthy child should have a ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates 1:1:4 [4] . A varied diet, including fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, meat, legumes, and dairy products, will help provide the body with vitamins and minerals.

  3. Maintain a consistent diet. From the point of view of physiology, it is useful to eat 3–4 times a meal at the same time during the day with intervals of no more than 4–5 hours [5] .

How to teach a child to eat right

Lead by example. All homemade food should be healthy. This means a minimum of processing, sugar and frying. Do not eat a hamburger or pizza with a child. A simple analysis will help to calculate the weaknesses in the family diet and take a look at the usual diet from the outside - you need to write down all the foods eaten within a week. After that, it will become clear what you need to get rid of. It is easier for children to eat the “right” foods if it is a matter of course in their family. nine0007

Explain the benefits of products in plain language. It is difficult for a child to understand what excess weight, gastritis and caries are. Health problems seem to him distant and insignificant. It is better to go from the other side and explain to the child the specific benefits of the product. For example, meat will make him strong and it will be easier to pass physical education standards, buckwheat will give energy for games, and nuts will help you solve math problems faster. Teenagers can be taught about the impact of proper nutrition on appearance. nine0007

Work out the power mode. Rituals make the life of children understandable and stable, and parents save time and nerves. In addition, a clear regime helps to avoid endless snacking, and the habit of eating at the same time promotes better digestion. It is optimal to make intervals between meals 4-5 hours long and not to have dinner right before bedtime. At night, the body should rest and recuperate, and not digest [4] . It is better to gather with the whole family during meals. So it will be easier for the child to adopt healthy eating habits, learn table manners and discuss all the news. nine0007

Monitor the quantity and quality of snacks. If a child often bites during the day, then by lunch or dinner, he simply does not have time to get hungry. Snacking drowns out the natural feeling of hunger and interferes with the normal absorption of food. For toddlers, two snacks are allowed, for older students - one. It is desirable that they also consist of healthy foods: nuts, dried fruits, dairy products.

Bring food to school. It is difficult to control school meals, because the child will gladly choose a sausage in dough or a chocolate bar, rather than a hot lunch. To avoid this, you can cook him food with you. Lunchbox with homemade salad, healthy sandwiches and meatballs will help you stay healthy. nine0007

Don't force people to eat things they don't like. If the child does not eat a particular product, do not get hung up on this and try to shove it at any cost. Another vegetable or fruit that is rich in the same useful vitamins and minerals is perfect for a replacement.

Buy sweets in portions. No harmful food - no temptation to eat it. Therefore, you need to buy sweets in the amount in which you can immediately give them to children. So you don’t have to forbid “eat one more candy”. nine0007

Give choices. Let the child choose from several healthy food options which he likes best. That way he won't feel like he's being forced to eat something in particular. This means that there is no need to resist.

Use fantasy. If the child does not eat stewed zucchini, he may like zucchini pancakes. From cottage cheese you can make cheesecakes, casseroles or cheesecake. There are many ways to fool a child. You can also use the child's interest in everything new and involve him in the cooking process. This is not only a pleasant pastime, but also the study of products, the acquisition of new skills. And, of course, eating a dish that I cooked myself is very interesting. nine0007

Organize forbidden food days. To prevent food from becoming the number one goal for a child, you need to spend days of emotional unloading. Sometimes it is enough to go to a fast food restaurant or order food at home. It doesn’t matter if the kid likes a burger or pizza, it’s important not to make something special out of it.

Be consistent. It takes time to develop the habit of eating right. You can not give slack, no matter how much the child is capricious. It is also important to tell grandmothers and other relatives about the rules. The whole family should adhere to a single strategy in nutrition. nine0007

Encourage. When a child chooses healthy food, he should be praised. Just do not use products as a reward. A bad option is to promise a chocolate bar for an eaten plate of broccoli.

List of sources:
  1. Fayzullina R. A. Nutrition of modern schoolchildren: state of the problem, possible solutions. // URL: (date of access: 29.11.2020).

  2. Bardymova T. P., Mikhaleva O. G., Berezina M. V. A modern view on the problem of obesity. // URL: (date of access: 11/29/2020).

  3. Nelovko TV, Oganova KM, Fedorov SA Nutritional hygiene in the prevention of dental diseases. // URL: (date of access: 29.11.2020).

  4. Stankevich S. S. Nutrition of school-age children.

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