Weaning

First baby food at 6 months: ingredients and preparation. How are meals and feedings organised?

Proteins, vitamins, iron and zinc are the essential nutrients that a milk diet is no longer able to provide adequately . So then it is essential to start administering other foods, even if it may take several attempts.

Reference Intake Levels (6-12 months)
Energy (kcal/kg/day) Protein Carbohydrates Lipids
75-79 <15% 45-60% 40%

To provide a practical example, if a 6-month-old baby weighs 7kg, his requirement will be equivalent to 70 kcal*7kg=490 kcal per day .

The first porridge

The first meal usually replaces the midday feed: it is equivalent to a “single dish” whose consistency can vary according to the child’s tastes. The fundamental basis of this porridge is made up of:

  • Vegetable broth (initially made up of potatoes, carrots and courgettes) with or without vegetable puree: 150-200 g;
  • Cereals (rice or corn cream and tapioca): 2 tablespoons (20 g);
  • EVO oil : 1 teaspoon (5 ml);
  • Steamed meat 10 g (2 teaspoons of fresh food or equivalent quantities of homogenized or freeze-dried food) and homogenized with a little broth;

Procedure 

Boil the seasonal vegetables and herbs in 1 liter of water until the liquid is reduced by half (1 liter of broth).

  • Composition of the broth in summer : 1 potato, 1 carrot, 1 courgette, 1-2 tomatoes, basil, celery, parsley, onion, lettuce.
  • Composition of the broth in winter: 1 potato, 1 carrot, a few chard leaves, a few spinach leaves, a few lettuce leaves, celery, parsley, onion.

Pass the vegetables through a vegetable mill.

Prepare the porridge with broth and vegetable purée according to the quantities indicated.

Add the cream of rice, the meat and the EVO oil.

It is also essential not to accustom the child to the “sweet” taste prematurely, by sweetening foods with honey or sugar, in order to avoid the habit of consuming excessively sweet and energetic foods .

As far as fruit is concerned, it can be offered in grated form or with baby food, paying close attention to the quantity of sugars; it is essential to always read the labels !

What else will the child eat during the day?

  • Breast milk 3-4 meals (600-700 ml).

or

  • Formula 3 sure (600 ml)

After 2-4 weeks, the second meal can be introduced in the evening, varying the cereals as much as possible.

How to proceed? 

Food should be offered with a spoon, without forcing the child, possibly allowing him to touch food on the plate and eat with his hands. You shouldn’t insist if you don’t like some food but alternate foods that are different in color, flavor and texture. However, the food that was not initially accepted must be patiently re-proposed on subsequent days, possibly prepared in a different way.

All this must always be accompanied by the advice of the pediatrician who will be able to provide specific indications depending on the child. However it is desirable, where possible, to maintain breastfeeding during weaning, trying to progressively reduce its frequency over the months. Furthermore, the prolonged production of milk will promote postpartum weight loss in the mother .

Infant formula or follow-on formula may be used in addition to or instead of breast milk if the mother cannot breastfeed or does not have enough breast milk to adequately cover her milk needs.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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