Baby feeding: 6 months

Time flies by, it seems like yesterday when your little one was a newborn, and now he has passed the first semester of his life. The transition to solid foods characterizes the baby’s feeding at six months.

In the first months, breastfeeding plays a vital role in the nutrition of our baby. As they grow, their needs increase, so they should start consuming other foods after six months of life.

Adriana Rihani Suárez, a nutritionist and member of Top Doctors Mexico, explained that complementary feeding is the process that begins when breastfeeding is not enough to cover the nutritional requirements for infants; therefore, it is necessary to introduce other foods without giving up breastmilk.

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New stage, new food

She stressed that the consumption of solid foods by our little ones should be little by little and according to their age, implementing them in the following way:

  • Six to seven months: meats, vegetables, fruits, and cereals with iron.
  • Seven to eight months:
  • Eight to 12 months: egg, fish, and dairy
  • One year: Citrus fruits and whole milk.

“It is favorable for the baby to start with the following textures: from liquid to mash and then introduce purees, crushed, finely chopped and finally in small pieces”.

Dr. Adriana Rihani Suarez

Starting at six months, babies should start with solid foods. Photo: Pixabay
Starting at six months, babies should start with solid foods. Photo: Pixabay

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Healthy baby, healthy child

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that babies of this age should consume 200 kcal per day, just from food two or three times a day, and then gradually increase the frequency and amount of food. So, she recommends the following:

  • Continue breastfeeding. At least until two years of age to ensure optimal growth and nutrition.
  • One new food at a time. This way, you will identify if he has an allergic reaction or if the new food causes discomfort.
  • Try a different food each week to give your little one time to become familiar with the taste of the new food and accept it.
  • Do not add salt or sugar. It’s best to let him know the natural flavor of food. Otherwise, he will get used to intense flavors and keep looking for them.
  • Avoid industrialized mash. These foods contain high amounts of added sugars and salt, which will distort his taste and food preferences.
  • Let him play. Babies must use all five senses to learn to enjoy food to know all the textures, smells, flavors, colors, and noises that can be made with different foods.
The senses help your little one to know the food. Photo: Pixabay
The senses help your little one to know the food. Photo: Pixabay

The international organization indicates that the transition from exclusive breastfeeding to complementary feeding is a phase of “great vulnerability” because the child can develop malnutrition if good habits are not followed.

The Alliance for Food Health explains that complementary feeding is a fundamental stage in forming habits since it is when babies create their food preferences, which will continue throughout their lives.

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What foods can’t my baby eat?

Some foods can be very heavy for our little ones or cause an infection. The National Library of Medicine recommends avoiding the following foods:

  • Honey: It can have a toxin that causes botulism in babies, so they should not eat it before their first birthday.
  • Cow’s milk: It does not contain all the nutrients that babies need and cannot be digested; Its consumption is recommended after a year.
  • Unpasteurized drinks or foods: Such as juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese, as they can cause infection by E. Coli, a bacterium that causes severe diarrhea.
  • Candy, popcorn, nuts, and grapes: Due to their size, they can cause suffocation in babies of this age, so their consumption is recommended after three years.
  • Industrialized juice: This product should not be consumed before the first year of life due to its high sugar content.
Foods with a lot of sugar can affect your baby. Photo: Pixabay
Foods with a lot of sugar can affect your baby. Photo: Pixabay

Remember that the diet at this stage will mark your baby’s habits and tastes for his entire life.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: Here