Many parents, especially first time ones, wonder what to feed their babies during the crucial growth phase of birth to 12 months. We have compiled a guide to the types of food, and quantities that the average baby needs. Don’t worry too much if your baby eats a little more or less though as every baby is different! Check out www.first1000days.ie
for ideas .
The Department of Health recommend starting to wean your baby onto solid food at around 6 months – certainly not before 17 weeks (4 months) and not after 26 weeks. By four to six months, your baby may be showing signs of being ready to try solid foods. These signs include being able to hold their head up, a birth weight that has doubled, the ability to sit up in a high chair, and making chewing motions.
Other signs of readiness for food include showing interest in food, the onset of teething, and being able to manipulate food in the mouth without pushing it out with their tongue. At this age, a specially formulated baby’s rice is a popular choice to introduce solids. Their regular milk feeds will still supply the majority of his or her daily nutrients. You can also try puréed vegetables and fruits as a great first food. Do this slowly, introducing foods one at a time, with a three-day gap between new food introductions to make sure your baby is not allergic.
Foods you can try to include mashed avocado, mashed banana, pureed sweet potatoes or puréed pear and apple.As you move through the stages of weaning, your baby should be chewing away nicely, be able to transfer an object from one hand to the other, and have mastered the pincer grasp of thumb and forefinger. Add finger foods, like cooked pasta or chopped bananas or softly cooked carrot batons.. It is also important to add protein to your child’s diet, in the form of cooked, mashed beans, peas, or lentils, or cooked and finely chopped meat poultry or fish. Tofu is another good baby food for children this age, as it can be easily mashed. Your child is also ready to try diluted, non-citrus juices at mealtimes.
At ten to twelve months, your baby will have mastered chewing and swallowing and no longer push food out with their tongue. By twelve months, most children will be eating a wide variety of foods, but you should still exert caution and do not add sugar or salt to their food .