Babies: 0 – 4 Months
The growth of your baby is the fastest during the first twelve months of his or her life. She needs fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals for a healthy body.
Breast Milk – Nutrition
Health experts opine that breast milk is one of the best natural foods for a baby. Your baby does not require any other food other than breast milk, until she is four months old. Breast milk meets the nutritional requirements of your baby, as it has the right balance of fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and antibodies.
Milk and Food
Over time, as the baby grows, the quality of the breast milk also varies to keep up with the infant’s growing requirements. A breast-fed baby will eat more often, than a baby who is on infant formula. Such a baby feeds about 12 times per day, and the frequency slows down once the baby is four months old.
Babies, who are not on breast milk, can receive nutrition through commercially designed infant formulas. There are nutritional, calorie and taste differences between two milks. These products comprise of complex fats, vitamins, sugars and proteins and works as the best alternative to mother’s milk.
Babies on infant formula have slower digestion due to variations in the formula composition. Therefore, such babies need about seven feeds a day (6-8 ounces per feeding), which decreases, as the baby grows older.
Babies flourish both exclusively on breast milk or commercial formula. A combination of both the methods also works well. Remember to feed the baby on demand, in either case, unless specified otherwise, by your doctor.
Babies: 5 – 12 Months
When your baby is ready with one or more of the following milestones, you can introduce her to dense foods.
- Sits with support
- Holds her head up
- Easily swallows without choking
- Opens mouth to eat
- Curious to try foods.
You may try out this food chart:
|Age||Breast milk/formula||Solid Foods||Examples||Quantity|
|4-6 months||Yes (4-5 times/day)||Cereal mixed with breast milk/formula||Rice, iron-fortified cereal||one teaspoon and gradually increase to two tablespoons|
|6-8 months||Yes (3-5 times)||Strained fruits, pureed meat, mashed legumes and plain vegetables||Sweet potatoes, carrots, beans, boiled apples, melon, peaches, green peas, beets and pears.||Two or three tablespoons – four servings a day|
|8-12 months||Yes (3-4 times)||Soft finger foods, ground meat, fruit sticks along with fruits and veggies||Boiled carrot pieces, boneless fish, mashed lentils, beans, small banana pieces, chopped egg, cooked cauliflower/broccoli, tiny chunks of cheese and ground meat.||Three or four tablespoons – serve vegetables and fruits four times/dayEggs – thrice a week
Meat – once a week.
Checkout other articles in this series: