Complementary feeding: foods to give your baby
Fruit and vegetables
To provide vitamin C, minerals, carbohydrates and fibre (cellulose), baby can start eating some vegetables and all raw (very ripe) or well-cooked fruits. From the age of 4-6 months, you can give baby 2 teaspoonfuls (10 g) as a purée or from a baby jar, either by spoon-feeding if your baby is ready or otherwise in his bottle. At between 5 and 8 months, the amounts can be increased. It is also possible to blend or mash stewed fruits or purées. From the age of 9-12 months, 130 g of raw fruit, either blended or cut up into small pieces, and 210 g of vegetables cut up into small pieces can be eaten.
Meats and related products
Meat, fish, poultry and egg supply protein, iron, vitamin B and fat. In small amounts only (10 to 20 g of blended meat), baby can start eating these products from 5-6 months of age. From the age of 7 to 12 months, parents can give their baby 20 g of meat, fish or hard-boiled egg per day. These products should be eaten no more than once a day up until the age of 5 years.
Starchy foods (carbs)
Flours, cereals, potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, semolina and pulses provide slow sugars, fibre, vitamins and protein. From the age of 8-9 months, pasta, semolina, vermicelli and biscuits can start to be added to baby’s meals. Due to their high hard fibre content, pulses should only be introduced from the age of 15-18 months.
Butter, cream and vegetable oils provide essential fatty acids and vitamins. From the age of 7-8 months, 1 teaspoonful could be added to vegetables at lunch time, for example, to supplement your baby’s intake of essential fatty acids, which contribute to development of his brain functions. At 9-12 months, the amount of fat can be increased to 1-2 teaspoonfuls at lunch time.
Breast milk or formula (follow-on or stage 2 milk) is recommended, with a quantity of at least 500 ml per day. Bottled water with a low mineral content, such as Mont Roucous, is recommended. Diluted unsweetened fruit juices can be introduced from the age of 4 months. Coffee, tea, fizzy and sugary drinks are banned. At each stage in your baby’s development, certain foods seem to be suitable for gradual introduction into their diet. But all babies develop at their own pace and some products may be potentially allergenic for some of them. To get up to speed, read our article on “When to start complementary feeding?” and, especially, talk to your doctor.