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Baby's first year : Foods and Feeding

Four - Six months

The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

This is the time when you would introduce your baby to his first solids. Remember that this is only the first phase and he is only getting used to different textures and tastes. His milk (breast or formula) is still providing him with all the nourishment that his body needs.

First foods: baby rice, pureed vegetables like carrot, potato, suede, courgettes, pureed fruits like banana, apple or pear

Texture: smooth purees with no lumps at all

Taste: natural and bland with no sugar or salt added

Drinks: offer your baby cooled, boiled water in between meals. Juices are not really necessary if your baby is having fresh fruit and water. Juices tend to fill up the stomach quickly and cause damage to teeth if fed from a bottle. If you must, give juice prepared as per instructions and limit intake to meal times.

Milk: Your baby needs 600 ml/1 pt/20 oz of milk(breast or formula) along with her solids

Six - Nine months

Even though your baby will have just a few or no teeth at all, you must start making the food a bit lumpy as opposed to the smooth purees of before. This is also the time to introduce finger foods and start using a beaker for drinking.

Food: Almost all foods that your family eats. However, they need to be mashed or minced for to your baby's liking. You can now include eggs (scramble or hard-boiled), bread, pasta or other wheat based foods containing gluten

Finger foods: Cheese cubes, chappati, pitta bread, toast fingers, breadsticks, soft fruits

Texture: Food must not be blended to a smooth puree as before. Make it a bit lumpy and chewy. You can use full-fat cow's milk for cooking and mixing food

Taste: still bland with no added sugar or salt

Drinks: Clear fluid like water is the best alternative to milk. If giving juice, encourage your child to drink it from a beaker.

Milk: Your baby requires 600 ml/1 pt/20 oz of milk(breast or formula) along with solids

Nine-Twelve months

By now your baby should be eating with the rest of the family. He should be having 3 main meals a day (chopped or minced) and milk.

Food: All foods can be eaten now as long as they are bitesize and unsalted

Finger foods: Toast, chappati, pitta bread, steamed or raw vegetables like broccoli and carrots, soft fruits, chicken pieces

Texture: Chopped or minced

Taste: No added sugar or salt. You may need to add sugar in some combinations like when using gooseberries or plums.

Drinks: Water and juice

Milk: You should aim to feed your baby at least 350ml / 12 oz of milk each day

(drinking & food preparation).

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