Diet for babies from 0 to 12 months

Contributed by : Prachi Shah   
Diet for babies from 0 to 12 months

Gradual introduction of different foods leads to proper development in children.

Food in the first 6 months:

A baby receives all the nourishment during the first six months from either breast-milk or infant formula milk. Health experts recommend that babies should take solid foods after six months in addition to breast-milk (or the baby’s usual formula milk) to allow them to grow and develop.

Foods to avoid in first 9 months:

  1. Salt: Do not add any salt in babies' food as their kidneys are not fully developed.
  2. Sugar: Do not add sugar to foods or drinks you give to your baby. Sugar encourages a sweet tooth in children and leads to tooth decay.
  3. Honey: Do not give honey to a child under the age of one year, as it may contain a kind of bacteria which can produce toxins in the baby’s intestines and can cause a very serious illness (infant botulism).
  4. Nuts: It is recommended that nuts and products containing them should not provided to children. This is to protect children who may be at risk of nut allergy. Whole nuts should never be given to children under the age of five because of the risk of choking.
  5. Foods which contain gluten, e.g. wheat flour, bread, breakfast cereals made from wheat, rusks, spaghetti or other pastas
  6. Citrus fruits, including citrus fruit juices, e.g. orange juice

Food from the 7th month:

  • All family foods can be offered at this stage – remember not to add salt while cooking or at the table.
  • Mash food with a fork. This will encourage the baby to learn how to chew.
  • By this age the baby should be having three meals a day and eating more at each spoon feed.
  • The amount of milk can be gradually reduced as the baby eats more solid food.

Food from the 9th month:

  • During this stage babies will move on from mashed to chopped foods.
  • Continue to offer all family foods at this stage.
  • Continue to give three meals a day plus 1–2 snacks.
  • At this stage babies will continue to receive 3–4 breastfeeds each day
  • Encourage babies to eat a wide variety of foods
  • By this time introduce cups to your baby.

By the age of 12 months, the baby should be introduced to all kinds of vegetables and fruits. Dried fruits should be introduced after one year.

Bee Suggestions

Signs that indicate babies are hungry

Irritability is probably the most common signs among babies that indicates a child is hungry.

Fussy eaters and giving food to them

You can gradually make your fussy eater child accustomed with all kinds of food.

Developing healthy food habits

Children learn from your behaviour. Changing your eating habits will help them develop healthy eating habits as well.

Overweight Child

For overweight children, you cannot just take away interesting food altogether. It needs to happen gradually over the time.

Gluten free diet for children or not

It is very important to maintain a balanced diet for the proper growth and development of the baby. Going gluten free or not is an individual's choice. It is better to look into the pros and cons before taking the decision.

Helping child to chew food properly

Kids tend to skip chewing and try to swallow the food directly. Do not get angry, try to be patient and address the problem.

Food at the right age

Introducing food at the right age will make your child habituated with eating all kinds of food.

Child being choosy about food

It is not right to completely put the blame on kids for their disinterest in healthy food. As parents, we need to reflect on ourselves and take necessary measures for the same.

Underweight child

Underweight children require foods and diet that can provide them with enough nutrition and sufficient calories.

What to do if child does not drink milk?

If your child does not like milk or takes time to have a glass of milk every morning, do not get impatient.

Helping Children eat food on their own

When a child is ready to eat food on its own, (s)he will give you signals. Look for the signals and you will know how to help your baby.

Dealing with a child’s sugar eating habits

Sugar is a very tempting food item. Keep the sugar intake in check since the first day a child learns to eat; this way things will not out of hand.

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