During his first months, a baby’s diet consists exclusively of milk. But, at around 6 months, the baby must discover new foods. Which ones should he choose? How to go about it? This post tells you more.
6-month-old baby, where does he stand?
At 6 months:
A baby weighs about 7 kg.
His teeth start to appear, and the lower central incisors are the first to come out.
His energy and nutrient needs are more significant than before.
Good to know: before 6 months, babies have insufficient saliva production and not enough enzymes to digest foods other than milk; they are also more likely to suffer from allergies because of their immature immune system. However, introducing foods known to be allergenic (peanuts, eggs…) is recommended at the beginning of food diversification (between 4 and 6 months) precisely to reduce the risk of developing food allergies.
Feeding a 6-month-old baby: where to start?
Milk (breast or infant) remains the basis of a 6-month-old baby’s diet, but this is also the time to discover new foods:
Introducing only one new food at a time is recommended to detect intolerances or allergies. However, foods known to be allergenic should be introduced early in the diversification process, between 4 and 6 months of age.
Offer small amounts of food first, and supplement with milk.
The best foods to start with are iron-rich foods, vegetables, and fruits.
Good to know: introducing sweet products should be done at the latest possible age and in a limited way.
Meat: lamb, chicken, turkey, veal, beef, pork.
Fish: prefer lean fish, such as whiting, sea bream, or hake.
Give it in the form of a purée. Eggs: Start with egg yolk before offering a whole egg.
Note: meat and fish pieces should be well cooked, without fat.
Start with mild vegetables: carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes (yellow or orange vegetables).
Then add green vegetables: green beans, zucchini, and green peas.
Then diversify even more: asparagus, corn, avocado, cauliflower, broccoli.
It is also recommended to add fat to homemade preparations systematically.
Start with apple, banana, peach, or pear.
Then add a plum, pineapple, etc.
Good to know: vegetable or fruit purées can be kept for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator, while meat, poultry, or fish purées can be kept for 1 to 2 days.
Note: there is no need to add sugar to the fruit you offer for baby food.
Feeding: not always so easy for a 6-month-old baby
Baby can be fussy:
He rejects hard things (this is called the extrusion reflex). Therefore, it is necessary to offer him perfectly liquid foods without pieces.
He may refuse the spoon, so don’t hesitate to offer him a second-age pacifier, specially adapted to porridges, soups, and even compotes.
Once food diversification has started, experts advise offering a new food often (up to 10 times): “a baby may need time to appreciate it”, but not to force a child to eat. In addition, it is necessary to “trust the child’s appetite” and to be attentive to the signs of satiation.
Hope this post will help you feed your baby healthily. We would like to hear from you, and we are sure you have a lot of experiences to share with us, so please jot down a few words in the comments below.