Breast-milk contains all of the nutrients your baby requires from new born to about a year. Most specialists recommend introducing solid foods from 6 months if breast fed and 4 months if formula fed. If you are using formula milk, it is important to prepare the formula with boiled water which has been cooled to no lower than 70° Celsius, as there has been a small but significant number of infant illnesses throughout the world, caused by the bacteria, E. sakazakii. This temperature of water will ensure the bacteria has been killed and will greatly reduce the risk of infection.
Another thing to think about is Vitamin D supplementation. A recent surge in the incidence of Rickets in Irish infants, which is due to a deficiency in Vitamin D, has precipitated a need for children under the age of 12 months to be given a supplement of the vitamin as this age is a crucial growth stage for humans. Our main source of Vitamin D is sunlight but with Ireland's northerly latitude and dark winter months, mothers may already be deficient in the vitamin while pregnant and as babies get 50-60% of their vitamin supply when born from their mother, many children are already deficient. The foods that vitamin D is found in are usually not given to children under 12 months so supplementation is the only route. Abidec is currently the only vitamin D supplement on the Irish market that is suitable for infants and this is in multi-vitamin format. Abidec provides vitamin D at the recommended dosage for infants of 0.3ml
Baby foods from 4-6months+
Breast/formula milk primary drink.
Introduce 3 small meals no more than 1/3 of a cup.
First introduction should be pureed vegetables. Sweet potato, avacado and carrot areall fantastic first foods.
Introduce one new food once a week so baby can get used to it.
3 solid meals 1/3 cup to ½ cup.
Introduce iron rich foods and coarser foods to encourage chewing and muscledevelopment of jaw.
Finely chopped red and white meat, remove all fat and skin.
Lentils well cooked and mashed.
Iron fortified cereals.
Soft fruit: pear, banana, melon.
If giving juice, dilute it well and never give it in a bottle.
Soft cooked veg, give variety for texture, colour and flavour e.g. broccoli, cauliflower etc.
Baby custards made with formula/breast milk.
Egg yolk (check if there is any family allergy).
3 meals ¾ cup-1 cup.
Finger foods, encourage hand mouth co-ordination.
Sandwiches, toast soldiers, cheese sticks, soft fruit and veg (boiled-choking hazard).
Pasta or rice with sauce.
Mash potato and beans.
Encourage lots of different textures and flavours.
What not to give:
Wheat based products before 6 months.
Whole eggs before 12 months and only egg yolks at 9 months.