Baby Diet Plan - Tips

Baby Diet Plan - Tips

Suggested first foods

First foods can be prepared easily and cheaply at home without salt, seasonings and sweeteners. The foods should at first be mashed and smooth, but you can quickly move on to coarsely mashed foods and coarser textures. General suggestions include:

§  Start with a single food rather than a mixture.

§  Offer infant cereal first as it is fortified with iron and makes an ideal first food. Mix with expressed breast milk or formula to a smooth texture.

§  Otherwise, there is no particular order for foods:

§  Give vegetables and fruits, introduce meats, or chicken, and ‘finger foods’ such as toast..

§  Always sit with your baby while they are eating.

§  Encourage drinking water from a cup.


Later feeding skills – from 8 to 9 months

While a baby’s first solids should be mashed and smooth, they soon need variety in the texture as well as the type of food. Other suggestions include:

§  Give finger foods, such as pieces of cooked vegetables and crusts, to encourage chewing and self-feeding.

§  Give baby a small spoon to encourage self-feeding, even while you continue to give most of the food.

§  Progress from food that is pureed to food that is mashed then chopped into small pieces.

§  By the end of 12 months, your baby should be ready to eat a wide variety of family food.

§  Offer more variety of fruit, vegetables, meats, chicken and well-cooked fish

§  Introduce pasta, rice and bread

§  Small amounts of cows milk on cereals, as custard, cheese and yogurt. The main milk for babies less than 12 months should be breast milk or infant formula. However, it’s okay to introduce and use cows milk as part of custard, yogurt and on cereal from seven to eight months of age.

§  Stay with your baby when they are eating. Let them sit with the family to watch and learn.

At around nine months your baby will develop other feeding skills. These include:

§  Showing an interest in self-feeding

§  Ability to chew lumps in food

§  Independent eating with some assistance.

Always avoid small hard foods, such as nuts and hard uncooked vegetables, because babies might choke. Fruit juice is not suitable for babies.




Introducing cows milk

Suggestions include:

§  Cows milk is a poor source of iron and is never a substitute for breast milk or formula for babies under 12 months. Continue breastfeeding or using infant formula until your baby is at least one year old.

§  Cows milk contains higher levels of protein, salt, potassium and calcium than breast milk or formula. This can increase the load on the kidneys.

§  Cows milk may be included from about eight months in small amounts as custard or yoghurt or on cereal.

§  Milk should not be the main drink until after one year of age or until a range of food is eaten each day, including meat or meat alternatives.

Allergy and vegetarianism

There are issues to consider when you introduce solids to your baby, especially if your baby has shown signs of allergies or your family eats a vegetarian diet.

§  Allergy – if there is a strong history of allergy in your family, seek advice from your doctor or maternal and child health nurse.

§  Vegetarians – your baby may need extra nutrients if fed on a vegetarian diet. Seek advice from your doctor or maternal and child health nurse.

Unsuitable foods

Some foods are not suitable for babies under 12 months. These include:

§  Honey – there is a potential risk of bacterial infection from honey.

§  Tea – contains tannins that can restrict vitamin uptake.

§  Whole nuts – should be avoided due to the risk of choking.

§  Fruit juice – contains no nutritional benefit and can reduce the amount of milk consumed.

§  Reduced fat milk – is not suitable for children under two.