Between 4 and 6 months is a good time to start what is called “dietary diversification”.
But what is food diversification?Dietary diversification is the fact of introducing foods other than milk into Baby's diet, milk remaining essential and unavoidable.
When does it start?It starts in the sale of the mom!
Indeed, towards the end of the 3rd month of pregnancy, Baby's taste receptors develop. From the 4th month of pregnancy, Baby can distinguish between salty, sweet, bitter and sour. He will gradually perceive everything his mother eats. So the more varied Mom eats, the more Baby receives different tastes in utero and it's the same process if Baby is breastfed since molecules pass into breast milk.
More conventionally, it is currently said that dietary diversification begins in a healthy infant at the earliest after the age of 4 months and at the latest at the age of 6 months (but this has changed a lot over the years). time).
We know today that a baby can begin to discover all the families of foods between 4 and 6 months knowing that this also concerns foods that can cause an allergy such as, for example, eggs, peanuts, baking powder. almonds or hazelnuts…. The same is true for gluten.
It is therefore considered today (but this has not always been the case!) that the earlier children taste them, the more they develop their tolerance to these foods.
Why the choice of this period to diversify Baby's diet?
- before the age of 4 months, there is a risk of food allergy
- from 4 months, his body and in particular his gastrointestinal functions are ready to digest foods other than milk
- after the age of 6 months, even in children at risk of allergy (in the family: allergic father, mother, brother or sister), the milk which is essential in Baby's diet no longer covers all their nutritional needs. It must therefore be supplemented with new foods.
To remember :
every baby is different, so everyone has their own pace. Some babies will be curious to discover new tastes from 4 months and others later around 5 or 6 months. Do not panic: nothing abnormal in that! Baby decides!
there is one absolute rule to follow: you should never force Baby to eat! Again, every baby is different. If Baby does not want to eat, there are several possibilities: he may no longer be hungry or he is surprised by a new food, a new texture, a new taste. Well, it doesn't matter! We'll try again later.
- From 6 months, milk is still just as essential, but it is no longer enough on its own to feed Baby well. It is therefore necessary to provide it with other foods that will contribute to its growth and good development.
the pediatrician, the attending physician or the PMI (Maternal and Child Protection) are the parents' best partners for Baby's health, so do not hesitate to ask them any questions that arise. In particular, if there are allergies in the family, their opinion and advice are essential.
How do you know if Baby is ready?We give you some clues:
- Baby cries after feeding or bottle feeding: he may still be hungry and the milk is therefore no longer enough for him
- Baby brings objects or foods to his mouth that he has managed to catch on your plate
- Baby is very interested in your plate and scrutinizes your every move when you take your meals
- Baby tries to imitate you when you chew your meal
- Baby is able to hold his head up straight and turn it to the side to express refusal
- Baby begins to sit up supporting himself with his hands
- Baby no longer pushes his tongue out of his mouth like for breastfeeding when you gently insert a small spoon into his mouth. On the contrary, he closes his lips over it.
Then, it can be fed with a spoon, of a size perfectly adapted to its mouth and very flexible.
How do we do ?
We go step by step, ingredient by ingredient, gently.
We start from 4 months, in order, with vegetables, then fruits and from 6 months, we introduce proteins (meat, fish, egg).
Purees, compotes and meat meals given to Baby must be particularly smooth at the start. The thicker textures and then the small melting pieces will gradually arrive to accompany Baby's development and in particular the arrival of his first teeth.
At Happylal Baby, we have developed our little dishes with a pediatrician-nutritionist in order to follow Baby well in the different stages of his development and meet his nutritional needs.
From 6 months, our meals weigh 150 grams, including 12 grams of meat, and have a smooth texture such as simmered carrots and beef, stewed parsnips and veal, or milled sweet potatoes and chicken.
From 12 months, our meals such as stewed butternut squash and beef or ground sweet potatoes and chicken weigh 220 grams, including 20 grams of meat and contain small, melt-in-your-mouth pieces that can be crushed with a fork if necessary ( except our hodgepodge of peas and turkey, which is coarsely ground because you have to be careful with the skin of this vegetable). no addition of salt because Baby's body is absolutely not ready to assimilate salt, especially as the ingredients may already contain it naturally.
To obtain a smooth texture, you must mix the food very finely, using a little cooking water if necessary.
Before serving Baby, it is very important to add a little fat, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, olive oil or from time to time a little butter because it is very important for the good development of Babe.
Regarding the quantities at the start, a few teaspoons of vegetable puree then fruit compote offered each day are sufficient.
Gradually, the quantities are gradually increased and animal proteins are introduced from 6 months. From this age, the recommended portions are thus 150 grams and must include approximately 10 grams of meat or fish because these ingredients of animal origin constitute the main sources of calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D and omega-3 in the child. There is therefore a risk of nutritional deficiency or imbalance if there is no meat or fish in Baby's diet at a time when his needs are greatest.
That's why the Happylal Baby dishes, certified halal by AVS, were created! They thus enable families to diversify their baby's diet in a balanced way by providing them with ready-prepared meat meals. Many parents write to us to tell us that their child will finally be able to eat meat in addition to fish meals and vegetable purees or that they are finally no longer forced to cook all their baby's meat meals. thanks to the halal certification of our small pots.
And since we have entrusted this halal certification of our meals to AVS, parents are guaranteed rigorous halal certification, quality and trust.
To remember :
we test only one ingredient / one taste at a time
we try to offer as much diversity as possible to titillate Baby's taste buds and optimally awaken him to taste
for small homemade pots, we try to favor seasonal vegetables and fruits
we do not add salt (vegetables already contain it naturally) but we do not hesitate to use aromatic herbs or spices
we add essential fats for the good development of Baby (rapeseed oil, walnut oil, olive oil and from time to time, a small knob of butter
for Baby to accept a new taste, you have to be patient and introduce him to the new food several times (between 10 and 15 times!). Little by little, he will get used to the novelty. And if the parsnip really doesn't pass (in the Happylal Baby team, there are absolute fans of this vegetable!), it doesn't matter, Baby may still appreciate it when he's older .
And the sense of smell in all this?Above all, we do not forget it! It is very important to name the foods that you give to Baby but also to make him smell them because we also eat with the nose.
We can also make him smell aromatic herbs for example.
It is the future promise of great pleasures...
Small homemade jars or small store-bought jarsBoth, Captain!
At Happylal Baby, we consider that there is no competition between homemade and ready-made meals: each family does as they want and as they can!
For small homemade pots, it is recommended to use fresh products, pulses and complete starchy foods, preferably organic if possible.
Without stressing, you can also use raw frozen products, that is to say not cooked but already prepared (washed, peeled and in pieces) such as vegetables, peeled fruit, plain fish fillets, etc.
For small commercial pots, do not hesitate to use it. Parents' days can seem endless and a little help to simplify everyday life is good! Because we work, we move with Baby or because quite simply, we want to let go of our pans.
On the other hand, you have to be vigilant about their quality: composition, share of vegetables, origin of products and in particular meat, place of manufacture.
And here, we take the opportunity to immediately specify that at Happylal Baby, all our small dishes are made according to the recipes of Julie's mother, the creator, with a minimum of 90% organic ingredients, at least 80% vegetables per meal, the just the right amount of meat according to Baby's age and meat must be of French origin. All certified halal by AVS and cooked in France! Cock-a-doodle Doo !
In short, lots of good reasons to give Baby a ready-made meal without feeling guilty for not having cooked yourself but rather by being sure to feed Baby with healthy and good food.
To remember :
the regulation on infant food which applies to small commercial jars is very strict concerning pesticides and makes it possible to obtain in ready-made meals ingredients that are sometimes "cleaner" than the commercial organic ingredients used for to cook.
And for the drinks?
Milk (breast or bottle) and/or water and nothing else!
For now, forget about overly sweet fruit juices.
Even when dietary diversification has begun, milk remains essential for Baby. If Baby is breastfed, he can continue to suckle at will (ideally until at least 6 months but we do as we can and as we want). If Baby is bottle-fed, follow the advice of the attending physician, the PMI or the pediatrician to know the quantities and the transition to the different "1st age" and "2nd age" preparations.
Test, innovate! You can have a failure one day, later transformed into a greedy success. Don't stress or panic if things don't go as planned right away. The pediatrician, the attending physician and the PMI are there to support you, particularly in the event of an allergy.
In short, when your child is in good health, trust yourselves as parents, follow your intuition and you will fully share with Baby this wonderful adventure of discovering tastes and the pleasure of eating which contributes to preparing good eating habits of tomorrow's adults!