Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Baby Food


Feeding your baby

This article is provided by 
The Women Child's Health Network


Breastmilk is the best and most natural food for babies. Breastmilk is all the food and drink you baby needs for the first 6 months.
If your baby is not having breastmilk, use infant formula.
Starting babies on solid foods is an important milestone in their life. Until around six months of age, breast milk or infant formula meets all of your baby's nutritional needs. Even after your baby has started on solid foods, breast milk or infant formula is still an important source of nutrition.
There are many topics on this site about feeding babies
  • Breastfeeding - for example 'Breastfeeding – a new baby'
  • Formula feeding - for example 'Bottle feeding- all about infant formula'
  • Starting solid foods – for example 'Foods for babies (solids) 1 - how and when to start'
  • Eating safely – for example 'Choking on food and other objects'
Let's Start!

Starting babies on solid foods is an important milestone in their life.
Until around six months of age, breast milk or infant formula meets all of your baby's nutritional needs. Even after your baby has started on solid foods, breast milk or infant formula is still an important source of nutrition.

When should I start solid foods

At around six months of age solid foods are needed to meet your baby's increasing nutritional and developmental needs.
Signs that your baby is ready to start solid foods: 
Your baby:

  • is able to hold his head up and sit with support
  • is able to control his tongue
  • is interested in what others eat (looking, reaching and grabbing for food)
  • seems hungry even after a full breastfeed or bottle.
Starting solid foods too early is not good for your baby as her swallowing skills may not be ready. Her digestive system may also not be ready to cope with foods. It is also important not to leave it too late to start solid foods as this can lead to nutrient deficiencies (such as iron deficiency) and feeding problems.
If you are unsure whether your baby is ready for solid foods talk to your Child and Family Health nurse, doctor or dietitian.

How do I feed my baby?

Find a quiet place where you and your baby can concentrate on what you are doing.
A mealtime routine can be started right from the very first solid meal.

  • Start with small tastes of food given after a breastfeed (or infant formula) once a day, and then two to three times a day as your baby gets used to solid foods.
  • Begin with a smooth consistency and progress to thicker and lumpier textures as soon as your baby is eating a range of smooth foods.
  • first tastes (smooth foods), learning to chew (soft lumps),
  • self-feeding
  • family meals.
Most babies push the food out of their mouth for a little while when they start learning to take food from the spoon. This is normal and does not mean they don't like the food. It may take many tastes before a new food is accepted.
Feeding your baby can be divided into stages
Use the tables in each section as a guide for what foods are suitable for your baby. Babies go through these stages at different rates – the ages given are a guide only.

First tastes

Smooth foods – from around 6 months to about 7 months
In the beginning offer a breastfeed (or infant formula) first then try a small amount of solid foods. You may like to wait an hour after a feed to give your baby solid foods. Begin with a smooth consistency and progress to thicker and lumpier textures as soon as your baby is eating a range of smooth foods.
Start by offering once a day, and then two to three times a day as your baby gets used to solid foods.
Babies need extra iron in their diet at around six months so it is important to include at least one iron-rich food regularly in your baby's first foods to prevent iron deficiency. Iron- rich foods include:
  • Iron fortified cereals (eg baby rice cereal)
  • Pureed meat and poultry dishes
  • Cooked pureed tofu
  • Cooked pureed legumes, lentils and beans
Other than recommending the use of iron-rich first foods in your baby's diet, there are no strict rules on the order in which foods should be introduced or the number of new foods that can be introduced at a time.
Food group
Examples of foods to introduce (iron rich foods are in bold and underlined)
Grains
Iron fortified baby cereal (eg rice cereal) mixed with full cream cow's milk, breast milk or formula
Meat, poultry, fish and eggs
Pureed meat, poultry and fish 
Pureed tofu
Fruit
Pureed stewed fruits (eg apple, apricot, pear, berries) 
Well-mashed banana
Vegetables and legumes
Cooked and pureed vegetables (eg pumpkin, potato, zucchini, sweet potato, peas, cauliflower, carrots) 
Cooked and pureed lentils and legumes (eg baked beans)
Dairy
Baby yoghurt (these are often lower in added sugar)
Other regular full fat smooth yoghurts (eg Greek yoghurt)
Custards
Drinks
Breast milk (or infant formula) should still provide most of your baby's nutrition. 
Your baby can also start trying to drink from a cup at around 6 months. Use tap water, expressed breast milk, infant formula or small amounts of cow's milk
Things to remember about this stage:
  • To prevent iron deficiency make sure iron-rich foods are included in your baby's first foods.
  • A good first food to start with is iron-fortified baby rice cereal (made up with cow's milk, breast milk or infant formula). You may like to add pureed fruit.
  • Babies often push food out of their mouth when starting solid foods. This is normal and does not mean they don't like the food.
  • It may take 8–10 times of tasting a food before it is happily accepted by your baby. Breast milk or infant formula is still important. Give solids after or between milk feeds.
  • Once your baby is eating a range of soft, smooth foods, it is very important to move onto the next stage... THICKER, LUMPIER TEXTURES.

Learning to chew

Soft lumps – from around 7 months to 8–9 months
Most babies can manage thicker textures and soft lumps soon after starting solid foods. Once your baby can sit alone and make chewing movements she can be encouraged to bite and chew, even if she doesn't have teeth.
When introducing lumpier textures, your baby may spit the food out or even gag the first few times.
  • Gagging is a normal part of learning to eat. This does not mean she is not ready for lumps; she just needs to keep practising!
  • Continue to offer lumpier textures and pieces of soft food. The chewing action helps to develop your baby's muscles for eating and talking.
Babies learn by watching what you do – show your baby how to eat lumpy foods by showing her the chewing motion yourself and saying 'chewing' or 'chew the food' as you do so.
After a few times doing this your baby will learn what to do.
Offer your child a variety of foods from all the food groups. This table will give you some ideas about the texture of foods that are good for your baby at this stage of eating.
Food group
Food ideas (iron rich foods are in bold and underlined)
Grains
Porridge, wholegrain breakfast biscuits (eg Weetbix), iron fortified baby cereals made to a thicker texture
Add pasta, rice and other grains such as cous cous and quinoa to meals to create a lumpy texture
Meat, poultry, fish and eggs
Minced or finely chopped meat and poultry
Flaked fish (eg salmon or tuna)
Mashed tofu
Well-cooked whole egg (eg scrambled or hard boiled and mashed)
Fruit
Soft chopped or mashed fruits (eg banana, avocado, peach)
Grated apple
Vegetables and legumes
Mashed or diced cooked vegetables
Mashed legumes (eg baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans) and lentils
Dairy
Yoghurt with soft lumps
Grated cheese
Drinks
Breast milk (or infant formula) is still important in your baby's diet.
Allow your baby to practice drinking from a cup. Use tap water, expressed breast milk, infant formula or small amounts of cow's milk
Things to remember about this stage:
  • Gagging is a normal part of learning to eat and it usually frightens the parents more than the baby. Keep offering lumpy foods to your baby so they can learn how to eat them.
  • Make sure you include iron-rich foods regularly in your baby's diet to prevent iron deficiency.
  • Give solids 3 times each day. You can begin a meal pattern of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Eat with your baby as much as you can – babies learn by watching what you do.
  • Breast milk or infant formula is still important. Once your baby is managing larger amounts of solids you can start to offer them before a breastfeed or infant formula feed.

Learning to self-feed

Finger foods and firmer lumps – around 8–9 to 12 months

At around 8–9 months of age many babies like to feed themselves. Encourage their efforts by offering 'finger foods' that they can hold, bite and chew.
Babies learn by watching what you do. Show your baby how to bite and chew by showing him the motion yourself and saying 'bite and chew' as you do so. After a few times doing this your baby will learn what to do.
Learning to self-feed is an important but messy step in your baby's development.
  • Be patient and allow your baby to get messy with the food served.
  • You can let your baby start practising using a spoon with easy foods like custard or yoghurt.
  • Playing with food is part of the way babies learn about different foods.
  • Manners can be taught when your baby is older.
Remember to always watch your child while she eats, and avoid foods that may cause choking - see Choking on food and other objects
Offer your child a variety of foods from all the food groups. This table will give you some ideas about the texture of foods that are good for your baby at this stage of eating.
Food group
Examples of finger foods (iron rich foods are in bold and underlined)
Grains
Strips of bread or toast Sandwiches (eg with avocado, hummus, commercial spread eg Vegemite, peanut butter or cream cheese)
Cooked pasta shapes (eg spirals)
Pikelets
Savoury biscuits (eg Cruskits, rice crackers, Ritz)
Meat, poultry, fish and eggs
Strips of well cooked, lean beef, lamb, chicken and fish
Pieces of well cooked meats from casseroles
Cubes of tofu
Meatballs and meat or fish patties (cooked meat or fish can be finely chopped and mixed with mashed potato then shaped into balls or patties)
Boiled egg
Fruit
Chopped banana and strawberries
Large sticks of rockmelon / watermelon with seeds removed
Orange or mandarin segments with peel removed
Canned fruit (eg diced mixed fruit or peach slices)
Grated or soft stewed apple or pear
Grapes cut into half
Stone fruit (eg plums and nectarines) with skin and stone removed
Vegetables and legumes
Soft cooked cubes or sticks of vegetables (eg pumpkin, potato, zucchini, broccoli)
Thick mashed potato (try rolling into balls)
Baked beans and other cooked beans (eg kidney beans, cannellini beans)
Dairy
Sticks, cubes or grated cheese
Things to remember about this stage:
  • Self-feeding is messy! It is important to allow your baby to explore food and practice self-feeding skills. A helpful tip is to put a plastic mat or old sheet down to catch the mess. 
  • At around 9 months of age most babies are having 3 meals a day along with breastfeeds or infant formula feeds. You may like to start to offer 1–2 snacks each day. 
  • Let your baby guide how much food she takes at each meal. 
  • Always watch your baby eating and provide safe foods 
  • Eat with your baby as much as you can – babies learn by watching what you do. 
  • Breast milk or infant formula is still important for your baby.

12 months onwards

12 months onwards – family meals with some changes
By 12 months of age your toddler should have small amounts of nutritious foods at regular times throughout the day.
  • Toddlers have small tummies and appetites so need to be offered small regular meals and snacks.
  • Offer three meals and one or two snacks each day.
  • Your toddler can now be offered modified versions of family foods and meals.
  • Take care to continue to avoid foods that may cause choking and always supervise your child eating.
Breastfeeding can continue for as long as both you and your baby desire. A toddler should not need to be breastfed overnight.
After around 12 months of age your toddler can start to have cow's milk as his main drink. Choose 'full cream' milk (not reduced fat or low fat varieties) as fat is an important energy source for young children.
Too much milk can fill toddlers up and make them less hungry for food. This can make mealtimes difficult and may cause them to miss out on other important foods. It is best to offer your toddler milk in a cup (not a bottle) and limit to 500mls each day.
The best drinks for toddlers are breast milk, cow's milk and plain water.
Fruit juice, cordial and sweetened drinks are not needed. It is best for your toddler to eat fruit rather than drink juice. If you offer juice, limit the amount to no more than half a cup of diluted juice (1 part juice to 3 parts water) a day and serve it in a cup (not a bottle). Large amounts of fruit juice should be avoided, as it can cause tooth decay and lead to diarrhoea.
Toddlers have big variations in the amount of food they need to eat from day to day. It is normal for toddler's appetite to vary from day to day and meal to meal as they have small tummies and appetites. Children are good at knowing when they are hungry and when they are full. They can easily lose this skill if they are forced to finish everything on their plate.
Never force feed or bribe your child to eat. Parents and carers need to decide what type of food is offered and when it is offered. It is up to the child to decide how much to eat.
There is more information in the topics
  • Feeding toddlers
  • Feeding toddlers - 10 tips for happy meal times
  • Feeding toddlers – what and how much?

Booklets developed by the Nutrition Department of the Women's and Children's Health Network

Contents

Babies need the right foods to:
  • grow
  • learn to eat
  • help them to learn to talk.
     

Birth to around 6 months

Breastmilk is the best and most natural food for babies.
  • Breastmilk is all the food and drink you baby needs for the first 6 months.
  • If your baby is not having breastmilk, use infant formula.

Foods to prepare for babies 6 months and older

rice cereal, custard, yoghurt, cheese, fruits, vegetables, rice, bread, pasta, lamb, beef, chicken, beans, fish
Talk with your doctor if you are worried about food allergies.

6-7 months Smooth foods

Milk is still the most important food for the first year. If you choose not to breastfeed, use an infant formula.

What to offer

  • pureed food (smooth)Baby rice cereal mixed with full cream cows milk or breastmilk or formula.
  • Well cooked, well mashed vegetables and fruit - choose a variety of colours.
  • Smooth mashed banana, avocado 
  • Well cooked and finely chopped meat.
  • Baby yoghurt.

Remember

  • Breastmilk or infant formula is still important. Give solids after or between milk feeds.
  • Offer one new food at a time.
  • Start offering solids once a day and increase to 2-3 times each day.

7-8 months Mashed foods (soft lumps)

Milk is still a very important food for your baby. If you choose not to breastfeed, use an infant formula.

What to offer

  • soft lumpy foodBaby cereals, porridge, wholegrain breakfast biscuits.
  • Cooked and mashed vegetables and fruit (all sorts).
  • Soft fruit (banana, avocado).
  • Cooked and mashed meat, chicken and fish (remove all bones).
  • Full fat grated cheese.

Remember

  • Offer solids 3 times each day.
  • Give solids after or between milk feeds.
  • You can begin a meal pattern of breakfast, lunch and tea.
  • After 6 months, give tap water from a cup.

8-12 months Progress from lumpy, to chopped and finger foods

Milk is still a very important food for your baby. If you choose not to breastfeed, use an infant formula.

What to offer

  • chopped and finger foodsCooked or soft vegetables and fruit in small pieces (all sorts).
  • Minced meat and cooked pieces of chicken and fish.
  • Bread - wholemeal is best.
  • Cooked pasta, rice.
  • Lentils and beans.
  • Full fat cheese and yoghurt.
  • Well cooked egg.

Remember

  • Offer 3 meals a day and start to offer 1-2 snacks.
  • Let your baby guide how much food they take at each feed.
  • Let babies self-feed.

12+ months All textures (except hard foods)


What to offer

  • Family foods.
  • Keep offering new foods. It may take many tries to accept new foods.

Remember

  • Offer 3 meals a day plus 1-2 snacks.
  • Continue to breastfeed or replace with full cream milk from a cup.
  • Your child needs no more than 500mls of milk a day.
  • Continue plain tap water from a cup.

Making food for your baby
 

  • wash hands and use clean utensilsWash hands with soap and water.
  • Use clean utensils to make and serve food.
  • Home made food is good for babies.
  • Make up batches of food and freeze in ice block trays for later use.
  • Don't add salt or sugar.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge and use within 24 hours.
  • if the leftovers have been out of the fridge for less than 2 hours, they can be put into the fridge, but eaten straight away when taken out later.
  • If they have been out of the fridge more than 2 hours they should be eaten straight away. 
  • If they have been out of the fridge more than 4 hours they need to be thrown away.

Safe eating and drinking
 

  • Always watch your baby. 
  • Sit your baby up.
  • Honey is not safe for babies under 12 months old.

Choking

  • Children under the age of 4 years can choke on small hard pieces of food.
  • Do not give whole nuts, whole grapes, raw carrots and apple, pop corn and lollies.

The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor. 
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

Sweet potato puree and zucchini  (for 6 month old babies)

Recipe by Prisca of

MA CUISINE CR√ČOLE



Sweet potato is a great food for babies and it is a great alternative to potatoes and marries well with green vegetables. Boiled or steamed. It is rich in vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, C et magnesium.


To note :
vegetables in the caribbean are a gold mine of fiber, minerals and other protective for the intestinal flora of children; 

In respect the child age group, the variety of vegetables and tropical fruits can greatly develop the taste for toddlers; 

Organic is good but not essential as long as the vegetables are properly washed;

Frozen are a good quality alternative to imported fresh produce and enable us to gain some time for which we dear mothers, have no reason to feel guilty about!

For a perfectly balanced menu , complete this little dish full of flavor with fruit compote

Mashed sweet potatoes and zucchini steam

Preparation time: 5 minutes 

Cooking time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients


50g sweet potato orange 

00g zucchini 

30 ml of mineral water

 

Instructions


Wash, peel and cut sweet potatoes into medium dice. 


Wash, peel and cut the zucchini into small cubes means. 


Arrange the vegetables in a steamer for about 10 minutes. 


Mix the vegetables by adding a little water if necessary to achieve a smooth and homogeneous puree. 


For a perfectly balanced menu, fill the dish with a plain or fruit milk dessert.


Velvety giraumon/pumkin for toddlers

For 1 liter of soup
Preparation : 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

200g giraumon (or pumpkin )
1 potato
1 leek
1 cheese " Laughing Cow "


Instructions


Peel the giraumon and potatoes. Wash the leek carefully. 


Cut vegetables into medium size pieces (so they cook faster ) . Then put them to cook 20-30 minutes in unsalted water.

Mix finely the cooked vegetables and still warm with just enough broth . Add the cheese and mix again.

Serve warm .

Creamy yellow bananas , green beans and ham


Plantain has many advantages for toddlers by contributing to the proper functioning of their gastrointestinal tract. It is a strong antioxidant and nearly 100 kcal 100g , yellow banana is an excellent source of energy for our little ones who really need it ! 

8 months old babies
Preparation : 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 yellow banana (or green bananas)
100g fresh or frozen green beans
30 ml of infant formula ( 30 mL water + 1 dose of milk )
10g of ham

Instructions

Peel and rinse the yellow banana . Cut into 3 .
Prepare the beans : they are frozen , simply rinse with clear water . If its fresh wash and hull them .

Steam the vegetables or boil them in water, without salt for 15 to 20 minutes.
When the bananas are cooled down, remove the heart ( seed and fiber in the middle) .
Mix bananas, green beans and ham, while gradually add the milk which has been warmed until you achieve the desired texture.

Pumpkin and corn meal

From 6 months
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 5 min
refrigeration

Ingredients

100g Pumpkin
10 g fine wheat semolina
½ teaspoon canola oil
50 ml of water or weakly mineralized or eau de source

Instructions

Wash, peel, and cut the pumpkin √©grainez into very small dice. (1cm maximum) 

Place the cubes in a bowl, add water, cover with cling film and cook 5 min in a microwave oven at 900 W. Add the semolina, let it rise for 2 min. 

Mix using a mini chopper until a smooth puree, add the canola oil. Check the temperature before giving to your baby.

Bread Soup

From 8 months 

Preparation time: 10 min 
Cooking time: 20 min 
refrigeration 

2 slices of bread with stims removed 
leek (about 30 g) 
1 Carrot (optional)
400 ml water 
1 teaspoon of fresh cream 
1/2 teaspoon of butter

In a small bowl soak the bread in water.

In a saucepan, add water and carrots, when the carrots are cooked add the bread and its water and the diced leek and beat the mixture well to avoid lump.  Cook for five minutes and add butter and cream. When cooked remove from fire and place in a blender and blend and serve at room temperature.

Vermicelli for babies

From 8 months 

Preparation time: 10 min 
Cooking time: 18 min 
refrigeration 

50 g vermicelli
15 g fresh salmon 
1 teaspoon heavy cream 
water or weakly mineralized source suitable for infant feeding 
½ teaspoon butter 

In a saucepan, add enough water to boil.  When water boils add the crushed vermicelli to cook over low heat. Water should just cover the top of the vermicelli.

When cooked, add the heavy cream and the butter and let it simmer for 3 minutes. 

Remove from heat and place all ingredients in a blender and blend until it achieves desired texture. check the temperature before giving to your baby.

Rice and black Beans sauce

From 12 months 

Preparation time: 10 min 
Cooking time: 18 min 
refrigeration 
20 g rice 
50 g black beans
50 g of carrot 
leek
1 sprig of parsley 
450 ml of water or weakly mineralized source suitable for infant feeding 
½ teaspoon of butter
In a small pot, add the black beans, parsley, leek and enough water to cook, when it is almost cooked add carrot.  When it is all cooked and cooled, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a fine soup and return to pot with half of the butter and let it simmer until it thicken a bit.

Meanwhile, in another pot, boil enough water and the butter to cook the rice.  When boil, wash the rice three times under cold water and add the rice to boiling water and let it cook until water evaporates and lower the heat.  The rice should be mush, blend it in a blender if necessary, depending on the age of the child. 

Serve the rice with the bean sauce in a plate by having two scoop of rice and two scoop of sauce.  check the temperature before giving to your baby.

Fish soup

From 18 months 

Preparation time: 10 min 
Cooking time: 20 min 
refrigeration 

10 g fillet of hake 
leek (about 30 g) 
Half potato 
1 Carrot 
400 ml water 
4 drops of lemon juice 
1 teaspoon of fresh cream 

Wash, peel and cut the carrots into slices, potato into small cubes. Wash and cut the leek into strips. In a pan (15-20 cm in diameter) of boiling water, add the leek, carrot and lemon juice. Cook for about 15 min. 
Add hake and cook about 2 minutes. 

Drain, mix (add cooking water to obtain the desired texture), add the cream and serve warm your baby.

Rice and Carrot

From 12 months 

Preparation time: 10 min 
Cooking time: 18 min 
refrigeration 

20 g rice 
50 g of carrot 
1 sprig of parsley 
450 ml of water or weakly mineralized source suitable for infant feeding 
½ teaspoon of sunflower oil 

Wash, peel and cut the carrots into very small dice. 
Boil water in a small saucepan, pour in the rice, diced carrot and mushrooms and cook 18 minutes over low heat. Add carrot diced, chopped parsley leaves and cream. 

Mix all in a blender. Heat 30 seconds  and check the temperature before giving to your baby.

Ham and Potato Compote

From 12 months

Prep Time: 8 min
Cooking time: 5 min
refrigeration

Ingredients
75 g of potato
75 g endive
15 g of ham
1 teaspoon grated emmental
1 teaspoon laughing cow
2 drops of honey
80 ml of water or weakly mineralized source
½ teaspoon of sunflower oil

Instructions

Wash , peel and cut the potato into very small cubes (0.5 cm). Remove the outer leaves of endive and the heart and chop it finely .

Place vegetables in a bowl with water. Cover and cook for 5 min. Add the honey, laughing cow cheese, grated cheese, oil and diced ham .

Mix quickly with a mini chopper to get thrown texture. Check the temperature before giving to your baby.

Peas, Carrot and Filet Mignon

From 6 months 

Preparation time: 5 min 
Cooking time: 5 min 
refrigeration 

40 g Carrots 
40 g  Peas 
10 g of pork tenderloin 
1 sprig of scallion 
½ tablespoon of butter

50 ml of water 
Cook filet mignon in a small saucepan with 50 ml of water for 4-5 minutes at a simmer. 
Finely chop the scallion and mix it with filet mignon drained and butter, add 1 teaspoon of Peas. 
In a pot add Carrots and prepared filet mignon and the Peas and cook. 
Serve warm your baby.
- bids5 - ww3