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On the lookout for new sensations, he amazes you with his curiosity and his smallest feats. At 4 months, finally arrives the moment of food diversification, that you waited impatiently. It must be done smoothly!
- You are very happy to see your baby discover new flavors and textures. This essential step represented by diversification must be done smoothly as it is accompanied by a major change of direction of the nutritional regime.
- Indeed, in the first months of life, lipids - fats - contained in milk represent 50% of the total energy intake. Over the months, the carbohydrates will gradually relay them to become the predominant nutrient. Dietary diversification will be gradually developed following the advice of your pediatrician to best match the physiology and nutritional balance of your toddler.
From spoonful to bowl of soup
- Diversifying your baby's diet does not mean replacing milk with the same amount of food overnight. During the first year, it is still the milk that covers its nutritional needs and not the vegetables and fruits introduced in low doses. It is a question of awakening his taste buds.
- Vegetables, fruits ... spoon, baby bottle? Relax! Start with a teaspoon of a vegetable or mixed fruit. Only one variety at a time for your baby to get used to these new flavors and textures. It also helps to monitor if it is not allergic to a food. Apple, pear, green beans, potatoes, zucchini ... But first avoid too tasty foods: leek, cauliflower. Observe how he reacts.
- Propel him with a spoon and, if he refuses, mix the puree or the compote with his bottle. In the same way, you will gradually make him discover cereals, meat, fish, and eggs. Mashed vegetables and proteins at noon, fruit compote at snack, vegetable purée at dinner ... The proportions increase little by little, according to the schedule established by your pediatrician, so that at the end of its first year one of the bottles is replaced by a meal with a spoon.
He has plenty of time to eat like a big guy!
- During the first years of his life, your child develops a multitude of psychomotor, cerebral and cognitive faculties. In one year, he triples his weight and increases his size by 40%. His body requires special needs that have nothing to do with yours. He needs more lipids to feed his brain, more iron to support his growth and fight against infections, more carbohydrates to meet his energy needs, as well as a moderate intake of protein so as not to overload his body.
- Today, medicine knows that nutritional errors made in childhood can have consequences on the health of the adult. Good eating habits adapted and introduced from an early age contribute in a major way to preserve and consolidate the health capital of your child until adulthood. Do not worry, the time will come when he will enjoy your Burgundian beef, but everything in his time!
4 pillars and 1 roof
Professor Patrick Tounian * shares his principles for a balanced diet for infants and young children:
"A balanced diet is a lot of common sense with the sense of good! It does not require specific recommendations, a child can eat everything provided 4 essential pillars:
Pillar 1. Iron: needs must be ensured by maintaining the growth milk until the meat is sufficient for iron supplementation.
Pillar 2. Calcium: needs must be ensured through dairy products and milk.
Pillar 3. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): vegetable oil, rapeseed, soy, nuts, added to its dishes or fish, offered once or twice a week, is a substantial source of AGE.
Pillar 4. Dietary diversity: different fruits and vegetables, once or twice a day, but also all other foods.
Once the foundations of the building are well laid, just add the roof: fun! Because a diet without pleasure is not pleasant. If he has to eat everything, the child must also be able to eat food that he likes. "
* Patrick Tounian is a professor in pediatrics and head of the Pediatric Nutrition Unit at Armand-Trousseau Hospital. He is the author of "Feeding the child from 0 to 3 years", ed. Masson.
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