Feeding your child means of course making them eat, but also watching their reactions, adapting, communicating with them, accompanying them towards their autonomy… Meals are important moments in the parent/child relationship. This little guide accompanies you; providing a baby feeding chart,in the diversification of your child’s diet, from the moment they start to take something other than milk until they eats – almost – like a grown-up. The first three chapters offer useful tips, a baby feeding chart by month, and guidelines from the beginning of the diversification process until they are 1 year old. The following chapters deal with the different dietary recommendations for your child according to their age.
Baby Feeding Chart from Birth to 4 Months
When we talk about the first 4 months of a baby´s nutritional diet, we may see 3 main groups of Baby Feeding Charts depending on your personal conditions:
- Milk, nothing but milk: Breastfeeding is a personal decision but very essential in the feeding chart for babies. If you decide to do so, you should know some breastfeeding tips to ease you and your baby. For a mother, being supported by those around her and having the advice of trained professionals makes it easier to start and maintain breastfeeding in particular to provide a newborn baby milk feeding chart. It is recommended to breastfeed until the child is 6 months old, but even if it is for a shorter time; it is beneficial to the health of the child and the mother. If you want to extend, you can breastfeed as long as you want. The breast pump allows you to continue breastfeeding when you go back to work.
When breastfeeding is well established, you can also alternate with
- Bottles of infant formula (or “infant milk”): if needed (for example, if the mother is absent…) When you are not breastfeeding or no longer breastfeeding, you may always use infant milk. Give then a formula for infants, which is called “1st age milk”, until you start to diversify your child’s diet (between 4 and 6 months). You will then switch to a follow-up formula.
- “2nd age milk”: as soon as your child has at least one complete meal without milk per day. Vegetable drinks are often sold with the name “milk” (“almond milk” for example) when they are not; even if enriched with calcium, they do not meet the nutritional needs of children under 1 year old. Soy “milk” and all soy-based products are not recommended for children under 3 years old because they contain a component suspected of being an endocrine disruptor.
Baby Feeding Chart by Month: 4 to 6 Months
In the baby feeding chart between 4 to 6 months; your baby starts tasting everything. Start this tasting process when you want: from 4 months or a little later, especially if your child is premature you may always use a premature baby feeding chart. If this is your case seek medical advice. But remember that after 6 months milk alone is no longer enough to cover his needs. You can start diversifying at the mealtime that best suits your family’s schedule. This can be in the evening. What is the right time? It’s yours and your baby’s decision.
Nowadays, it is considered that there is no specific rule to respect or to present the diverse food groups between 4 and 6 months. Nevertheless, our suggested baby feeding chart by month includes:
- Vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, meat, eggs, dried vegetables (lentils, beans, chickpeas…), starchy foods (pasta, rice, semolina, bread even wholemeal bread), dairy products…
You may think that all these foods may be a lot for your baby. However, you don´t have to worry about it, in fact, it doesn´t necessary that you give everything in your baby feeding chart by week, at once! You can, for example, start with vegetables at noon or in the evening, and fruit at 4 pm. Your child will accept new foods even better if vegetables, fruits, etc. throughout the week so that your child can discover different tastes and colors.
Discovering tastes… A baby can start to discover all the family’s food between 4 to 6 months, including those that can cause allergies. Now let´s look at the other groups of alimentation of baby feeding chart by age:
- Eggs, peanuts, almond, or hazelnut powder… The same goes for gluten.
Indeed, we recognize currently that as much as priorly children taste them, further they develop their tolerance to these alimentation groups. However, you can ask the advice of your doctor if there is a problem with your child or if there are allergies in the family.
- Nuts, only in powder form: Half a teaspoon of unsalted nuts in powder form (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts) can be mixed from time to time into a puree.
It is recommended to include each new food separately in the baby feeding chart, without mixing it, in order to introduce also the taste of the food. You can then very quickly, next to the pureed vegetable, offer
- 1 teaspoon of mixed fish or poultry, from time to time
- Mix a little grated yellow cheese in a puree; let him taste a little smooth puree of lentils or chickpeas…
Baby Feeding Chart by Month: 6 to 8 Months
Depending on the age at which you started to diversify, it is important to gradually offer new textures to your child in the framework of your baby feeding schedule chart. This will help them progress their capability to chew properly. Present simply one different texture in one mealtime. If you are giving different brands and recipes, the consistency and size of the pieces will change from one consistency, and size of pieces change from one product to another.
Introduce new textures on your baby feeding chart: Your child will become familiar with the spoon, the cup… later with the fork. Let them also take soft pieces with his fingers. They will knead them, suck them, chew them and then swallow them. You can also give them water by the glass, helping them to drink. It is important that your child is seated and under your gaze during the meal. What meals are included in the baby feeding chart by months 6 to 8?
- All chopped or coarsely crushed foods with a fork (granular purée)
- Purées with the addition of alphabet pasta, semolina, or well-cooked rice,
- small pieces of poultry, tender meat or fish, chopped hard-boiled egg
8 Months Baby Feeding Chart to 1 Year Old
- Despite all the nutrition groups included previous to your baby’s feeding chart, in this period you may also include very soft pieces of food that crush between the tongue and the palate or between the fingers (e.g. banana).
Baby Feeding Chart by Month: 10 months to 1 year Old
- Food in pieces to be crunched, to chew with teeth (cooked foods, raw fruits, and raw vegetables) in small pieces will be perfect for your baby’s feeding chart by age.
Baby Feeding Chart from the Age of 1 Year
Your children at this stage eat almost like a grown-up. Little by little, your child will eat almost the same things as the whole family, in quantities adapted to their age and baby feeding chart by weight. Accordingly, it’s so vital that the family diet is varied and balanced. As you have already experienced, pregnancy and the arrival of a child is often an opportunity to adopt or resume healthier habits to be maintained over the long term.
From the age of 1, even if your child eats other dairy products:
- They still need to drink milk (about 500ml per day) at breakfast and snack time. Breastfeeding is still possible; otherwise, from 1 year and until 3 years old, give if possible “growth milk” because it is enriched in iron. Powdered formulas are less expensive.
- You can also alternate growing-up milk with UHT whole cow’s milk (e.g.: 1 bowl or 1 bottle out of 2). You should use whole milk because the fat requirements of children up to 3 years old are more important than those of adults.
Some Tips Which Make the Baby Feeding Chart Work
Once each food has been accepted on its own in your baby feeding chart, you can mix it alone; you can mix it with another food:
- Mashed vegetables and potatoes
- Vegetables and poultry, etc.
- Dried vegetables: We know today that we should not hesitate to offer dried vegetables (lentils, chickpeas beans…) in a smooth purée from 4/6 months, making sure that the child digests them well. These foods are rich in fiber, also contain iron and proteins and are recommended for all ages.
- Added fats, indispensable: Children up to 3 years of age have high lipid (fat) requirements to ensure their proper development.
- Breast milk or infant “milk and other dairy products: Give yogurt, small yellow cheese, and unsweetened cottage cheese, a little grated cheese from time to time to melt in the purées, is possible from the beginning of diversification, in addition to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Alternate these dairy products throughout your baby’s feeding chart. It is not necessary to give “special baby” dairy products that are more expensive. The dairy products ½ skimmed, skimmed and 0% MG are not suitable for infants, they do not provide enough fat which is essential at this age for good development. What not to do….:
- Do not give raw milk or raw milk cheeses, because of the risk of infection
- Meat, fish, and eggs, always should be well cooked because of the risk of infection, always cook meat, fish, and eggs thoroughly. Do not give raw or undercooked egg preparations or undercooked eggs (such as homemade chocolate mousse and mayonnaise).
- Fish requires various nourishing assets; nevertheless some sorts of fish may contain toxins. This is why it is important to vary the species; some fish should also be avoided or limited in the baby feeding chart until the age of 3.