What Should Be My Baby’s First Food?

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The infant feeding scheme introduces the principle that the parent decides what to give to the baby, while the baby decides whether and how much to eat. The timing of the introduction of complementary foods depends on the infant’s nutritional needs. It is recognized that at the age of 6 months, the supply of breast milk alone to a baby may not meet the requirements for energy and nutrients. The European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition has determined that the gradual introduction of liquids and solid foods, other than breast milk or baby formula, to an infant’s diet should not begin before 17 weeks but should not be delayed beyond 26 weeks the baby’s life.

Start with Vegetables

If the baby accepts the taste of vegetables at a young age, it will more willingly consume them during childhood and adulthood. Studies have shown that if infants are introduced to vegetables first, they will eat more vegetables later in life than children who start with fruit. Because vegetable flavors are more difficult to accept, vegetables should be the first complementary food in a child’s diet. The first fruit flavors should be introduced after about two weeks after vegetables.

A baby’s first meal may be, for example, a boiled carrot. Other vegetables and fruits introduced in the cooked form are potatoes, pumpkins, beetroots, chard, and parsley.

Simple Flavors Are the Best

It is worth starting to supplement the baby’s diet with simple, single-ingredient meals. Gradual thickening of milk through the addition of gruel and cereal porridges is a practical and recognized by experts way to introduce new consistencies to the baby. Porridges and gruels are easily digestible, neutral in taste, and allow for a wide variety of consistencies, from almost liquid to thick and mushy, suitable for spooning.

Consider brown rice one of the first porridge to give to your baby. Round rice seems to be optimal, which is easier for the baby to digest.

Keep the Portions Small

It is recommended to introduce new foods gradually, observing the infant’s reaction and starting with small amounts, around 1-2 teaspoons at a time. When introducing gluten, it is also important to start with small amounts. Experts recommend starting with one flat teaspoon of gluten porridge, such as semolina. 

In the first year, breastfeeding or formula feeding remains the most important part of nutrition. Therefore, be sure to keep breastfeeding your little one while expanding its diet. If you use baby formula, consider using an Organic’s Best formula from the leading European manufacturers. At the very beginning of expanding the diet, it’s just a matter of trying and getting used to the new taste and texture.

Remember About Proper Hydration

The recommended fluid for babies and toddlers, apart from breast milk, is water. The infant can be given additional water on hot days and during active play or travel. It is also necessary to give the baby water when it has a fever and/or is vomiting. Spring waters and natural low-sodium waters (< 20 mg of sodium ions/1), as well as low-mineralized waters (< 500 mg/1 of dissolved ingredients) are recommended.