For a healthy start to your life, your baby needs only the mother’s milk in the first few months. It provides exactly the nutrients your baby needs for its development. According to World Health Organization (WHO), mother milk is the best food in the first six months.
The antibodies present in the mother’s milk also protect the baby from infections in the first few weeks. Breastfeeding is also of great importance for the bond between mother and child. Especially when the allergy risk is increased within the family, the German Society of Nutrition (DEG) recommends mother milk as the only food for the infant in the first half year.
Practical at the mother’s milk: It is always available, properly tempered and hygienically perfect. How often your baby drinks can determine it independently. Just look for the needs and needs of your baby. Do not worry: you can not over-feed your child with mother’s milk.
If breastfeeding is not possible or mothers do not want it, they can avoid industrial milk production. Specially adapted to the nutritional requirements of a newborn, the so-called pre-milk is recommended for the first months. Depending on the age of the child, the milk food is available from level 1 to 3. Milk food is enriched with vitamins and nutrients, which are important for the healthy development of the child.
From mother’s milk to baby food
At the earliest, between the beginning of your baby’s 5thand 7th month of life, you can begin slowly with the baby food. It is best to follow the needs and interests of your little one. Some children are interested in eating their parents early and would like to try them.
Other babies cannot be separated from mother’s milk or milk from the bottle. As in many other situations with children is also true of food: Please be patient with your child and do not rush anything.
It is perfectly fine if your child wants to eat only two spoons of his porridge. Already for the hand-mouth coordination, the children need some exercise.
The principle of baby food: Your baby’s breastfeeding times are gradually replaced by three brewing times.
At the earliest from the 8th month onwards, your child will be able to participate step by step in family meals. With the beginning of the baby food, young parents have many questions: What brew do I start with? Am I still quiet? What vegetables are in the first porridge? Do I cook myself or do I feed ready-made jars?
The Forschungsinstitut für Kinderernährung Dortmund provides a good overview of an optimal and nutritious food for your baby, Using a dietary table, you will learn which porridge is suitable for which age.
Can you cook or make baby food from the glass?
Many young parents are uncertain about whether or not you want to give your child an industrial baby food from the supermarket, or whether they cook their own daily with fresh ingredients. The advantage of the self-cooked food compared to the finished vials: you have control over what ingredients are in your baby’s porridge.
Also, determine for yourself what spices such as salt or herbs give you in what dosage in baby’s mash. Some baby bubbles are completely spiced with ingredients such as salt, pepper or onions for small children. Another advantage of self-boiled babies is that the taste is more natural by the few selected ingredients.
In the case of industrially manufactured baby food, the advantage is that the ingredients are made from strictly controlled organic cultivation in the case of brands such as Hipp, Humana, Alete or Holle and have been hygienically prepared.
However, you should always take a look at the list of ingredients when making baby bunnies: not infrequently, you will find a high content of sugar or albumen for toddlers. Even unwanted aromas, nuts or even chocolate are found in some mash jars or in instant mash.
If you want to cook for your baby by yourself, be sure to buy your food in organic quality. This is especially true for heavily polluted fruit and vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and grapes. It is best to buy fresh, seasonal vegetables from your region.
A tip: As an alternative to fresh organic vegetables, the use of frozen food is very good. Vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and broccoli are frozen. When preparing, however, you must ensure that the vegetables are steamed and not boiled for a long time. This is the only way to preserve the important vitamins and nutrients for your child.
It is perfectly fine to change between the glass of food and the self-cooked food. Especially on the way, the finished meals are practical, because you can be fed directly from the glass. In addition, the vials are much more hygienic than, for example, a uncooled food you have prepared yourself.
The vegetable potato and meat broth from the 5th month
To prepare your baby very slowly for the new and exciting world of foodstuffs, start with a vegetable potato-meat slurry. This porridge replaces the still or milk meal at noon. For a cautious start, prepare a mush with only one vegetable.
So you can quickly find out what your little treasure likes and more importantly: whether it reacts to certain foods allergic. Ideal for the first vegetable mash is, by the way, mild vegetable varieties such as carrot, parsnip, pumpkin or fennel, which naturally taste sweet.
Babies like this mash very much, because it reminds the taste of the slightly sweet mother’s milk. Puffing vegetables such as beans, for example, should take you out of your shopping cart. They are difficult to digest for babies and can lead to stomach pain.
If your baby is able to tolerate the vegetable sludge, you can add potatoes to the mush after a week, and another 30 g of lean meat of beef, veal, poultry or pork. Since the child’s own iron reserves are exhausted after about 4 to 6 months, the trace element present in the meat is important for development.
Tip: You can save a lot of time by cooking a large portion while preparing the vegetable potato and meat mash. Small portions are filled into an ice cube container and frozen. For lunch, you only have to warm up the portions.
The milk-cereal mash from the 6th month
The dairy meal in the evening is replaced by a saturating milk-cereal mash between the 6th and 8th month . You can make this porridge very easily: You first stir milk powder after packing. The infant milk is then mixed with instant cereal flakes and some fruit pulp or fruit juice. For the milk-cereal mash, gluten-free cereal flakes such as millet, corn or rice are recommended.
This porridge is an excellent protein and calcium supplier and is important for the development of the teeth and bones. However, ready-made milk and cereals are also available, which you only have to stir with boiled water. However, you should always look at the list of ingredients in these cases: sugar, aromas or additives such as chocolate are often hidden there.
The cereal fruit porridge from the 7th month
With about 7 months you can replace the last milk meal with a cereal fruit porridge in the morning. The cereal flakes are stirred with some water and mixed with vitamin-rich fruit. You can use fruit sludge from the jar or mild fruit such as apple, banana or pear.
Fruits like pineapples, tangerines or oranges should be avoided. Because of the high acid content, children often get a sore throat. With the introduction of the cereal fruit mash, you can start giving your baby additional fluid. Ideal are calorie-free drinks such as tap water as well as unsweetened fruit and herbal teas.
To avoid damaging the teeth, give your child a cup or a cup to drink.
From the 8th month: From mash to solid food
At the earliest from the 8th month, you can replace the morning porridge with a bread. The bread should be finely ground and not contain large grains. As a start, thin margarine or butter, low-fat sausage as well as vegetarian bread spreads are suitable. So that your child can eat the food easier, cut the bread best into mouth-loving pieces.
Also, cereal flakes with some crushed fruit are great as breakfast. At the lunch meal, the vegetable potato-meat-porridge is no longer pureed, but only coarsely crushed with the fork. This allows your child to slowly get used to lumpy food.
In the evening you can offer your child bread with low-fat sausage or fresh cheese. Soft or grated vegetables is a tasty and vitamin-rich supplement. The Research Institute for Child Nutrition Dortmund also recommends two intermediate meals per day. Small fruits and vegetables, cereal, yoghurt and crispy corn and rice waffles are all suitable.
12th to 18th month: Balanced child nutrition
After the 10th month, you can gradually change your child to normal family life. Instead of several small portions, children should get used to three main meals and small snacks. Above all, the child learns to eat and drink independently with his hands during this time.
You no longer have to prepare the meals specifically for your child and can try out a lot of food. However, you should take care that the food is not over-spiced. Caution is still required in the case of very bubbly foods. Another guideline: Children should eat fish once or twice a week, as well as once or twice a week. Instead of pasta made from white flour, you should choose the full grain variant more often.
Of course, children of this age can have a snack, such as biscuits, cakes or a few gummy bears. You should only pay attention that the portions are not too big.
A dose of 600 mg per day is recommended for small children aged 1 to 2 years.
It is best to give your child water or unsweetened fruit teas. But there is occasionally no objection to a dilute apple scab. You should, on the other hand, try to drink drinks with a high sugar content, such as in sodas or pure fruit juices.
Be careful with these foods!
Your child can have a lot of food for a year. However, you should be careful with the following foods: An absolute taboo in the first 12 months is honey since the intestinal flora in infants is not yet fully developed. The natural product can contain bacteria which can cause a life-threatening intestinal infection, so-called botulism, in children.
Because of the risk of swallowing, you should not give your child small and hard foods such as nuts, currants or sunflower seeds. To avoid painful flatulence, do not use legumes or cabbages in small children.
Nutritional plan for the first 18 months at a glance
- From birth to 6 months mother’s milk or milk food is the best food for your baby
- At the earliest from the 5th month: Beikost-Start with a vegetable potato-meat-porridge
- From the 6th month: milk-cereal mash
- From the 7th month: cereal fruit porridge
- From the 8th month: transition from porridge to solid food
- After the 10th month slow acclimatization to child-friendly food with three main meals and small intermediate meals.
Tricks for the nutrition of small children
Some children develop an early dislike of certain foods. If your child is a small fruit and vegetable mousse, try to drop the healthy food nicely on a plate. A funny face of cucumber, tomato, and apple can (almost) no child resist.
If you have a blender, you can also simply purify mild fruit varieties. A beautiful glass with a colorful fruit juice and a straw is a miracle for children. Vegetables can also be “hidden” in a pureed sauce or soup.
Baby-led Weaning: Fingerfood instead of porridge
Baby-led Weaning is a relatively new, easy-to-use variation and is called “baby-led weaning”. Instead of eating food in bread form, babies should decide from the outset what and how much they want to eat. In the case of the BLW method, which originates from the UK, the baby is not fed but eats handy fruit and vegetable pieces.
Suitable are mild vegetable varieties such as carrots, potatoes, and parsnips. As a supplement, the baby is further breastfed as needed. With the baby-led weaning can be started as with the normal baby food from the 6th month.