A major milestone in a child's life is the first meal next to breast milk or bottled milk. However, this exciting step in development also raises numerous questions for many parents: what is the best way to start? What is a baby allowed to eat? And which foods are unsuitable for infants? Here you will find an overview of the most important information for your successful start with solids for babies!
Between the fourth and sixth month it is time for the gentle transition from breast milk or bottled milk to solid food. In addition to breastfeeding or bottle feeding, the first attempts at complementary solids can now begin.
The WHO recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life. However, this is particularly true in less developed countries where there is no other good food supply. In industrialized countries, on the other hand, an earlier start to solids is recommended IN ADDITION to breastfeeding, because it is assumed that some children already need more nutrients.
How to tell that your little one is ready for solid food:
When first attempting to feed your baby with solids, it is sufficient to provide small amounts of finely pureed food, around 2-3 teaspoons, and then gradually increase this quantity. When babies move their heads forwards to reach the spoon, this usually means "yes, I want more". Turning the head away and being easily distracted are the typical signs of "I've had enough now" (offering of breast milk again afterwards ensures that your baby is really full).
By around their first birthday, infants should be eating at the same time as the family – i.e., at breakfast, lunch, and dinnertime. However, as the little ones still need a lot of energy to grow, a snack in the morning and afternoon is recommended. Incidentally, this process usually happens almost automatically, because babies signal that they are hungry after about 3 hours at the latest.
After the gentle introduction of a finely pureed mash of individual vegetables or fruits, it is recommended to supplement the mash with further vegetables, potatoes, and meat or fish. This is largely due to the better supply of iron and zinc. Around one month later, add milk and cereal puree or cereal and fruit puree.
What your baby IS ALLOWED to eat:
What are babies NOT ALLOWED to eat?
In addition to the careful selection of food, the following points should also be taken into account when starting to introduce solids:
That's all the information but now to the most important point: have fun cooking – and eating!
Sources: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1423; https://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2008/01000/Complementary_Feeding__A_Commentary_by_the_ESPGHAN.21.aspx