When can babies eat normal food
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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When Can My Baby Start Eating Solid Foods? (for Parents)
A friend just started giving her 3-month-old applesauce and rice cereal. My son is just 2 weeks younger than hers, and I am wondering if I should be introducing solids soon too. When should I start?
Doctors recommend waiting until a baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Starting before 4 months is not recommended.
At about 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — such as iron and zinc — that solid foods provide. It’s also the right time to introduce your infant to new tastes and textures.
Some babies may be ready for solids sooner than 6 months, but don't start until your baby is at least 4 months old.
How do you know it’s the right time to start solid foods? Here are some signs that babies are ready:
- They have good head and neck control and sit up in a high chair.
- They're interested in foods. For example, they may watch others eat, reach for food, and open their mouths when food approaches.
- They don’t push food out of their mouths, which is a natural tongue reflex that disappears when they’re between 4–6 months old.
- They weigh twice their birth weight, or close to it.
Talk to your doctor about the right time to start solid foods.
How Should I Start Solids?
When the time is right, you can start with a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk, formula, or water. Feed your baby with a small baby spoon. Don’t add cereal or other food to a baby's bottle because it can lead to too much weight gain. Let your baby practice eating from a spoon and learn to stop when full.
When your baby gets the hang of eating the first food, introduce others, such as puréed meat, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, or yogurt. Try one food at a time and wait a few days before trying something else new to make sure your baby doesn't have an allergic reaction.
Foods that are more likely to cause allergies can be among the foods you introduce to your baby. These include peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, seafood, nuts, wheat, and soy. Waiting to start these foods does not prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about food allergies, especially if any close family members have allergies, food allergies, or allergy-related conditions, like eczema or asthma.
Infants with severe eczema or egg allergies are more likely to have allergies to peanuts. Talk to your doctor about how and when to introduce these foods to your child.
When starting your baby on solids, avoid:
- foods with added sugars and no-calorie sweeteners
- high-sodium foods
- honey, until after the first birthday. It can cause botulism in babies.
- unpasteurized juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese
- regular cow's milk or soy drinks before 12 months instead of breast milk or formula. It’s OK to offer pasteurized yogurt and cheese.
- foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn, and nuts
Also, do not give fruit juices to infants younger than 12 months old.
Over the next few months, introduce a variety of foods from all the food groups. If your baby doesn't seem to like something, don’t give up. It can take 8 to 10 tries or more before babies learn to like new foods.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: February 2021
0.5-3 year old child - Tarkvanem ‹ Food - Tarkvanem
Main page / Food / 0.5 - 3 year old child
- An infant between the ages of 6 months and a year must begin to receive complementary foods in addition to breast milk in order to cover the need for energy and all nutrients.
- Gradually, as the child grows, you can switch to regular food (prepared from unprocessed raw materials, without the addition of salt and sugar).
- Babies over 1 year of age can continue to receive breast milk in addition to complementary foods or normal foods, but by 2 years of age, the baby should mostly switch to regular food. In addition to the protective properties of breast milk, depending on the mother's diet, the milk tastes slightly different each time, which further helps the baby to accept different tastes when forming eating habits.
- When choosing complementary foods and regular meals, it is important to ensure that there is a variety of meals on offer. Both when breastfeeding, and when switching to complementary foods and regular food, babies can experience colic or allergies. Therefore (including during breastfeeding) those foods should be avoided or used with caution, in relation to which the mother herself or the father of the child was sensitive in childhood or remains sensitive in adulthood.
- For children over 2 years of age, the recommendations for nutrition and food selection are similar to adults, but in absolute terms, the recommended amounts are smaller.
- Remember not to teach your child to drink juice, let alone sugary drinks.
MealsThe baby's belly is small, so they need to eat more often and in smaller portions. At the same time, in terms of dental health, you should not eat more than 5 times a day. That is, 3 main meals and 1-2 small snacks are ideal.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - it provides the body with energy so that the child can play and learn new skills.
- If the child is already on a regular diet, porridge is the best choice for breakfast. Make it with a variety of grains, mixed grains, or whole grains. Porridge can be cooked with milk, water or a mixture of both (for children under the age of one who do not receive breast milk, with a subsequent milk formula). Milk mixtures cannot be boiled, so they are always added to food at the end of cooking. Do not add salt and sugar. Instead, flavor your porridge with a variety of fruits and vegetables (e.g. banana, peach, carrot).
- Egg dishes work well, but try to add vegetables to them too.
- For a young child, the best drink is milk (breast milk, formula milk) or water.
- You can give your child a few glasses of juice a week, but it's best to have it as a snack to make breakfast more energizing. Always prefer whole fruits to juices.
- On Sunday mornings, for example, pancakes can be offered. We repeat, cook them without adding salt and sugar, but add either immediately to the dough, or then berries-fruits.
- If the child attends kindergarten, weekday breakfasts should be adapted according to whether the child eats breakfast in the garden and what time he eats it. Breakfast does not need to be eaten immediately after waking up, but it is useful to have breakfast within an hour.
- Snacking is important on infants and young children's menus because a young child can only eat a small amount of food at a time. Snacking gives him energy and various important nutrients needed for development and growth.
- Snacks should be as unprocessed as possible (eg, fresh or dry fruits and berries, vegetables, bread, juice, oatmeal, sandwiches, unflavored yogurt, also cottage cheese for children older than one year).
- Candy, crackers, cookies, soft drinks, juice drinks, ice cream, etc., are not good snacks. Even one candy or cookie between meals can ruin a child's appetite for the whole day.
- Do not give your child food as a prize or consolation, or if the child is bored.
Lunch and dinner
- Lunch and dinner can be heavy especially lunch. Soups and a slice of bread with soup go very well, as well as a dessert using a minimum amount of sugar, or even a small second.
- The smaller the child, the more it is necessary to use stewing-cooking in the preparation of his food. Great for a variety of casseroles. Since children want to see what ingredients food is made of, teaching a child to eat mixed dishes from infancy can hide vegetables in them that children do not really like.
- For dinner, a hearty vegetable salad is suitable, to which you can add an egg, cheese, fish, meat, homemade cheese or something else. If the child eats properly in the garden, the food offered at home should not be very energy intensive. Dinner can be a specific time that the family spends together where they can talk about the events of the day and be together. Here you can discuss the menu for the next day, as well as prepare for the weekend.
- A child should be taught to eat right and healthy from an early age. Habits formed in childhood often influence the choices we make later in life. Some children are quite selective in terms of what he eats and what not; It is important that you, as a parent, be an example to your child and encourage and support healthy eating habits.
- Breast milk tastes sweet, so most babies have a natural craving for anything sweet. At the same time, a child who received breast milk is more even about new tastes, because through breast milk he felt different tastes and it is easier to offer him new dishes.
- Sometimes a child may refuse certain foods, it may take up to 15 attempts before the child gets used to a new food. Be consistent in your decisions, feed your child with all the products necessary for his development, do not give up even when the child refuses for the first time or the first time. If the child actually completely refuses to eat something, change this product to something similar. The most important thing is not to give up. If you are breastfeeding your baby often enough at the same time, there is no need to worry about the baby, even if it takes several months to introduce new foods along with breast milk.
- Young children in their food preferences are guided by two main factors - whether they are familiar with food and the taste of food (sweetness). For children under 4 years old, the most important thing is that the child knows what kind of food it is. Therefore, new products must be introduced carefully and in small quantities, leading by example. Getting used to new foods takes time. If you do it carefully and in a playful way, the children will be very interested. The more natural flowers will be presented on the plate, the more beautiful and appetizing the dish will be, the more it will contain various essential nutrients.
- When eating, the child's mood and environment are important (for example, whether the TV is playing or there are guests), as well as whether the child is hungry.
- For eating, it is imperative to set aside time to enjoy food. When eating together with the family, the child will eat faster, the example of parents is important from early childhood. Enjoy each other's company while eating.
- Appearance and correct food temperature are important for a child. The child will eat with great appetite if he sees what ingredients the food was prepared from. Try different foods and cook them in different ways to ensure food variety and availability of different nutrients.
- Teach your child to choose foods from different food groups so that he understands the diversity of food. Give your child the opportunity to choose their own food from suitable foods: this or that fruit, various grains, various vegetables, etc. Teach children to eat plenty of vegetables from an early age. To quench your thirst, offer water, not juice.
- A child should never be scared about food. Food is not a means of punishment or reward. Do not force the child to eat, rather attract. If you force a child to eat, it greatly affects the psyche and behavior of the child and can leave a negative imprint on his entire subsequent life.
The most important child nutrition keywords:
- communal meal
- availability of suitable food
- explanatory work
- choice and decision making
- When a baby is born (recommended already during the mother's pregnancy), it is the last time to review the eating habits of the whole family.
- An example is one of the factors that will begin to shape the nutrition of a young child.
- A child's eating habits are also shaped by what choice of food is available to the family (including the child), how meals are organized at home, etc. First of all, they will begin to influence a child over a year old.
- Many children aged 2-3 are already in nursery or kindergarten, and often spend time at home only in the evenings or on weekends. These meals should form a conscious choice. Children can discuss with children and direct their nutritional wishes.
There are many ways to offer fruits and vegetables to your child:
- The child likes to eat with fingers, sticks, matches. Why ban it?
- As a snack before dinner, after coming home from kindergarten or while watching TV, offer your child instead of chips carrot slices, apple slices, etc.
- Children love sliced carrots, paprika, cucumbers and pieces of cauliflower with dipping sauce on the birthday table. Why not offer fruit on a skewer (melon, pear, watermelon, grapes).
- If you're in a hurry and don't have time to eat, keep a fruit handy that you can give your child a snack.
- For children, the size of fruit or vegetable pieces and how they are processed may be important. A child may prefer a whole carrot over a grated carrot salad or a stewed carrot dish.
- Young children do not like to chew on large and hard carrots, but they will eat carrots cut into slices with pleasure. It is especially difficult for children to cope with carrots with a hard core.
- If the child does not eat fresh fruits and vegetables at all, then cut them into molds (a month, a heart), maybe you will like it? Why not do it with the kids?
- The child can happily eat a small round sandwich with a face made of vegetable pieces.
- If you are making a salad for children, consider their wishes. As a rule, children like to eat different foods separately.
- A child who does not eat boiled rutabagas or carrots happily eats them raw. A child who does not want to eat raw carrots will gladly eat them boiled in vegetable stew.
There are many different uses for fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables do not have to be eaten fresh or boiled, they can be discreetly added to various dishes:
- soups, vegetable stews, casseroles, wok
- pasta, sauces, cereals, meatballs
- herbs (e.g. dill, parsley) for seasoning dishes
- in pies, cakes, pizzas
- fresh berry sauces for desserts, fruits in jelly and jelly
- in smoothies, milk and juice drinks
Teach your child to enjoy a variety of simple salads, such as carrot or kale salad. But to get the child used to different tastes, try other salads, for example, a salad of sauerkraut, pumpkin, onions (bulb and green).
Children grow in periods, which means that there may be times when the child eats too little, and there are times when he eats more.
- It is useful to ensure that food intake and energy expenditure are balanced.
- If the child is very active, he should eat more.
- If the child seems to be eating too little or too much, keep a food diary - for about a week, write down everything that and how much the child ate and drank.
- If the child has a bowel movement every day, then the amount of food for the child is sufficient, there is no need to worry. Often it turns out that the problem is not in the amount eaten, but in the choice of food. After all, you can get as much energy from a couple of candy cookies as from a good portion of soup. Therefore, it is unreasonable to immediately grab a jar of vitamins and minerals, first of all, nutrition should be reconsidered - sufficient, balanced and varied nutrition will provide the necessary substances. The only exception is vitamin D, which all children should receive as a dietary supplement.
- As long as a varied and balanced diet is available to a child, he grows and develops according to his age, there is no cause for concern. If parents still feel that the child may not be getting all the necessary nutrients in sufficient quantities, from time to time blood tests can be done by a doctor to check the health.
- Ideally, it would be better not to give sweets (sweets, chocolates, cookies, soft drinks, etc.) to children under 3 years of age.
- Candy or biscuits should never be given to children as a consolation, reward or boredom dispersal - on a subconscious level, this may affect his eating habits in the future. This recommendation is quite difficult to follow if the family has older children, but in this case, avoid bringing home sweets (sweets, cookies) and keep them on the table. Instead, put peeled-cut fruits and vegetables on the table.
- To satisfy the desire to eat something sweet, nuts and dried fruits and berries are suitable, but one should not be too zealous with them either. Babies and young children can only be given nuts in a ground or highly ground form, and make sure that children do not have an allergic reaction to them. Clean water should always be available to quench thirst. You can drink up to two glasses of juice per week. If necessary, dilute the juice yourself, do not buy nectars, juice drinks and syrups in the store, not to mention soft drinks. While vitamin-fortified water is thought to help you get enough vitamins, one 750 ml bottle actually contains about 40 grams of sugar, which is about the daily dose of sweets for an adult. A varied, balanced, and regular diet (including cereals, fruits and vegetables, and other food groups) ensures adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, as well as energy, and reduces the desire to eat something sweet.
- The risk of being overweight in adulthood is higher in infants who received formula and complementary foods instead of breast milk in infancy.
- It is very likely that an obese child will grow into an obese adult. Fortunately, serious obesity among children aged 0-3 years is very rare and is primarily associated with more serious diseases. At the same time, it is absolutely possible to feed a 2-3-year-old child if he is indiscriminately offered sweets, chocolate, cookies, pastries, soft drinks, etc.
- To check whether the child is growing and gaining weight normally, you can look at the growth and weight curve of infants and children, and in case of underweight or overweight, it is imperative to consult a family doctor or pediatrician for further instructions. You can not limit the nutrition of the child, guided by their own ideas.
Many young children go to nursery from about 1.5 years old. This means that often on weekdays the child eats out three times - breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner. According to how much time the child spends in kindergarten, how many times and what he eats, it is necessary to form the child's home meals. The body needs to be regularly provided with the necessary amount of energy, so it is important to stick to daily meals. Keep up to date with the weekly menu in kindergarten, make different options for homemade dinners or weekend lunches. The more different tastes and dishes you introduce your child to from an early age, the easier it will be for him to get used to food in kindergarten.
In Estonia, food regulations have been developed in pre-school child care institutions, which are regulated by an order of the Minister of Social Affairs.
It is not so easy for children under one year old, even under 2 years old, to find the right food if you are not eating at home. Meals offered to children often include too much salt or sugar. Children's meals may appeal to children (often due to their high fat, sugar and/or salt content), but their nutritional value is often very low. Instead of children's meals, it is better to choose a regular dish or soup and ask for it to be prepared with as little salt as possible. The food offered in fast food places is generally not suitable for children under 3 years old (and in fact, adults).
- When a child turns one year old, the dishes offered on the occasion of his birthday are intended primarily for visiting adults and other children.
- Depending on the age of the children, their age recommendations can be used.
- Food offered to the birthday person must be prepared without salt and sugar. Sweets, soft drinks, potato chips and other products that are very popular at children's birthdays are best removed from the festive table of a child who is one year old, and even 2 and 3 years old.
- Dishes on the festive table of a 2-3-year-old child should have a mild taste with minimal or no added salt and sugar.
- Child-friendly chopped vegetables such as carrots, paprika, cucumber and cauliflower pieces with unflavored yoghurt dipping sauce.
- You can offer fruit on a skewer (melon, pear, watermelon, grapes).
- If desired, you can prepare more dense dishes (salads, homemade pizza, etc.), but they must be prepared from minimally processed raw materials.
- If you offer baked goods, try to find low sugar options (raw sugar, agave syrup, etc. are not good alternatives).
- Always read the label on food packaging! This will help you make a more informed choice.
- The allowable amount of supplements for children is usually less than for adults (the maximum amount is based on the body weight of an adult). Therefore, be careful with colored sweets, drinks, cookies with a long shelf life, desserts and sausages, products containing synthetic sweeteners.
- If the child is old enough to participate in the grocery shopping, let the child choose between suitable foods: one or another fruit, various cereal products, various vegetables, etc.
- Avoid the shelves with sweets, biscuits, soft drinks, etc., so that the child does not have a desire to buy sweets. Ideally, it would be to introduce the child to sweets, etc. in small quantities and rarely, and also as late as possible, and exactly after the third year of life. Unfortunately, this recommendation is difficult to follow if there are older children in the family.
- What to do if the child in the store constantly whines and cries to get what he wants? Read practical tips here.
- Children under 3 years of age should not and should not be given gadgets, especially with meals.
- The child should not be taught to watch TV while eating, as this diverts attention from eating and, in turn, creates poor eating habits in the child. While eating, all attention should be paid to the process of eating.
- Children under 3 are usually very active and need extra energy.
- The principle of a healthy lifestyle is that the amount of energy received from food and the amount of energy expended are in balance.
- All children should be as active as possible from an early age - climbing, crawling, walking, jumping, chasing a ball, playing in the yard. Parents themselves should orient their children to the movement, be an example to them.
- Mobility habits formed in childhood are the basis for adult mobility habits.
- Before eating and preparing food, you and your baby should always be thoroughly washed to prevent possible germs that cause disease from getting into the stomach. If food is interrupted (for example, due to a trip to the toilet), hands should be washed again before continuing to eat.
- Teeth should be taken care of before they erupt. Clean water and a soft brush can clean the gums of a two-month-old baby, and must be continued after the teeth erupt. Toothpaste should be used only when the child can spit it out. Teeth should be brushed in the morning and evening. After eating, you can rinse your mouth with clean water.
- In terms of teeth, there should be no more than 5 food contacts per day (3 main meals, 1-2 snacks), with a gap of at least 3 hours between meals.
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Why are spices bad? I'm not talking about sharp. But pilaf without seasonings??
I'm not talking about sharp. But pilaf without seasonings??
Usually you are completely switched to adult food by 5 years. Before this age, if you do not want to cook separately, then you will have to switch to non-fried food, but mostly boiled or stewed. Food should not be fatty and heavy. Seasonings should also be excluded. And do not use semi-finished products.
higher risk of developing obesity before the age of three years than those children who begin to feed solid foods later, "say researchers from Harvard.
Findings are significant because being overweight or obese in childhood increases the likelihood of staying permanently. There is a relationship between the timing of the start of feeding a child with solid foods and obesity in ...
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