The keys to successful complementary feeding
Gradual introduction of foods
To make sure this period is stress-free for your baby, it’s important not to introduce more than one new food every 2 to 3 days and to always give it in small amounts. If they refuse a food, don’t insist. It can take a baby weeks or even months to accept a new food, depending on the individual. To ensure the best conditions for the introduction of new foods, it’s important to choose a quiet time. Avoid mornings when your baby is very hungry, or evenings when she is tired.
The importance of milk (breast milk or formula)
From 6 to 12 months, breast milk or formula continues to form the basis of your baby’s diet. The recommended intake is at least 500 ml per day. The switch to follow-on formula is recommended from the time you start giving the first meals without milk. Breast milk and infant formulas provide baby with everything they need (proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D). However, cow’s milk is not appropriate since it does not contain enough essential fatty acids, nor enough iron or vitamins. It also contains too much protein and sodium, which can overload the kidneys.
To ensure a good protein, calcium and vitamin intake, baby can eat dairy products for babies from the age of 5 to 7 months (Petit Suisse, full-fat yoghurts, cream cheese). These do not completely replace breast milk or follow-on milk. From the age of 8 months, cheese can be introduced once a day. It should be noted that 100 g of a baby dairy product replaces 100 ml of breast milk or formula. Well-managed complementary feeding therefore helps limit allergies that may develop later. It also depends on the gradual introduction of foods aimed at developing and stimulating the baby’s immune system. For more information, read the article on “Complementary feeding: foods to give your baby ».