To set a meal schedule, read the previous article Daily Meal Schedule.
Before dealing with the solid food your baby should get, remember that milk is the only food they should consume during the first six months of life. That said, if you start giving solid foods to a baby between four and six months, start with small portions. This is to not interfere with the quantity of milk they consume. It’s not good if you give your baby too much solid food and their milk consumption diminishes significantly.
To avoid this situation, here are some suggestions:
- Start with one teaspoon at a time. If after giving them this quantity their milk consumption remains the same, yet the baby wants more, you can give them a second teaspoon, and so on. Always base it on the appetite and growth of each child.
- After six months the baby’s requirements increase, and the quantity is about one ice cube per food. Variety is very important, and when one cube is no longer sufficient for each food category, add a second. Homemade purées taste better, and you also know the ingredients. There are also companies that sell organic baby purées without chemical additives.
- Sometimes you have to give the baby the same foods 20–30 times before they accept it! Don’t get discouraged. And don’t force the baby to eat!
Juices aren’t an essential part of a baby’s diet. Fruits that contain juice are better because they provide sources of fibre. After one year, you can occasionally give them juice (pasteurised and 100% natural) and dilute it with a bit of water to reduce the naturally sweet taste. If you give them juice, always in a cup. Never in a bottle to avoid cavities. And never serve them powdered juices, punches or “drinks” because they don’t have the same nutrients as 100% natural juices.
The water included in breast milk or formula is enough for your baby. This means that you don’t have to give your baby water before four or five months when they can drink it from a cup.
We advise that after six months, give them water during snacks so they get used to drinking this liquid. If you give water to a baby under four months, you have to boil it first. But after four months tap water is fine as long as your water source meets basic rules for health and safety. This applies to water wells on your property, for example.
Don’t forget to eat as a family with your baby. You also need stable meal schedules, and don’t forget that you’re their model. They want to imitate you. Have fun during meals, use positive reinforcement, congratulate them when they have eaten well, and reduce stimuli around the meal table. This will really help their learning process.
What does Baby Led Weaning (BLW) mean?
The term baby led weaning appeared over the past several years and it designates another way of giving solid foods to a baby. This approach consists of giving your baby pieces of food early on. Do this at the table to get them used to touching, reaching, bringing things to their mouth, exploring different textures and meeting their hunger needs by themselves. Please read my article on baby-led weaning for all the details.
I hope this article will guide you through this major transition in a growing baby’s life.
Here are links to other interesting resources:
And a Facebook Live video where I deal with the topic of introducing solid foods (French only):
The Baby Expert