Baby menu: what to give in the first months of life?

A balanced and healthy diet is essential at all stages of life.

This is because the adequate menu can reduce the risk of obesity and infant mortality, according to the Ministry of Health’s food guide for children, in addition to guaranteeing all the nutrients necessary for a good development.


Baby menu: what is important to eat?

Infant feeding starts exclusively with breast milk , except in special conditions. Then it evolves into baby food, until the stage when the child begins to eat the same meals as adults, with adjustments in texture and seasoning, according to the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics.

The guidance of the pediatrician facilitates this adaptation period and brings more confidence to the mother when preparing meals and feeding the baby, guaranteeing the nutrients and vitamins for the child’s good development.

From 0 to 6 months

In the first months, breast milk should be the baby’s exclusive food. It contains all the nutrients the newborn needs, such as substances that strengthen the immune system, protecting the baby from disease.

It is common in hot locations for mothers to offer water, tea and juices to the baby, but according to UNICEF (UN organization, focused on childhood) it is not recommended, as breast milk provides hydration to the newborn.

The breastfeeding mother, on the other hand, should consume a lot of water and a healthy diet.

From 6 months to 1 year

From the sixth month it is possible to introduce foods with a pasty consistency (porridge and purees) and, little by little, increase the consistency of the food. It is also time to offer water in small quantities.

This food is complementary to breast milk, so breastfeeding must be maintained. The guidance of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics is that in the sixth month, a main meal and two snacks are introduced.

When preparing meals, use salt in moderation, pay attention to food hygiene. Avoid sugar, coffee, fried foods, soft drinks, candies and processed foods .

Some suggestions for the little ones are:

  • Morning and afternoon snack : soft or mashed fruits, such as apple, pear, banana, papaya, guava, mango, watermelon;
  • Main meal (lunch) : purees and broths with rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, pumpkin, zucchini, carrots, beets, among others.

The diet should be varied, offering the child different foods, creating a healthy eating habit.

In the seventh month, it is time to introduce dinner. Therefore, there will be two main meals (lunch and dinner) and two snacks with fruit (morning and afternoon).

  • Dinner : the composition will be similar to lunch, in case of recommendation from the pediatrician this meal can be replaced by porridges.

From the eighth month, offer the family food in normal consistency and in small quantities, stimulating chewing, as this will help the birth of teeth and the development of speech.

Continuing to breastfeed is important as it fulfills the baby’s dietary needs.

From 1 to 2 years

From 1 year, the baby will continue to consume the family meal, similarly to the adults, but with the restrictions of spices and amount of salt.

It is contraindicated to give industrialized foods, rich in sugar, honey before 2 years of age.

The two main meals must have one food from each food group:

  • Cereals and roots: rice, manioc, potatoes, yams, yams, pasta, cornmeal, corn flour, cassava flour, baroa potato, sweet potato, tapioca;
  • Beans: all types of beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils;
  • Meat and eggs: fish, beef, pork, chicken, egg;
  • Vegetables and greens: pumpkin, carrot, beet, okra, green leaves, zucchini, green beans, chayote, cauliflower, pupunha, caruru, alfavaca.

Presentation of the meal in a creative way stimulates and creates healthy eating habits that remain until adulthood.

Remembering that UNICEF recommends that breastfeeding continue for up to two years.

What to give the baby to eat for breakfast?

Up to 6 months only breast milk is recommended in the morning

Up to 6 months, only breast milk should be offered as breakfast. After this period, add a fruit or porridge as a morning or afternoon snack after breastfeeding. Pay attention to the seeds, seeds, peel and the shape of the cut of the fruit if it is offered in natura.

Fruits that can be mashed, cooked or served in small pieces:

  • Banana;
  • Apple;
  • Pear;
  • Strawberry;
  • Melon;
  • Papaya;
  • Watermelon;
  • Peach;
  • Pineapple;
  • Avocado;
  • Mango.

Cereals and flours, such as oats, rice flour, corn starch and other options oriented by pediatricians and nutritionists.

What is the first fruit you can give your baby?

There is no rule as to which fruit the baby should try at the first complementary meal. It is recommended to introduce the ones that the family consumes more frequently and the softer ones, easy to knead and chew.

But it is always worth presenting new foods individually. That is, one at a time, because if there is any sensitivity of the child to the food, it is easier to identify which is the fruit that caused the allergy .

Menu for the baby who does not drink milk: what can you give?

In feeding the child who does not consume breast milk or cow’s milk, extra care and adaptations in the menu must be taken.

Restriction of breast milk

Children who are not breastfeeding have a higher nutritional risk, according to the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics. Until the age of 6 months, pediatricians will recommend the use of infant formula milk with a special formula, which will meet the needs of each age group.

From the sixth month onwards, complementary feeding should be introduced, just like children who received breast milk, always with specialized monitoring.

A higher frequency of meals is recommended by the SBP (Brazilian Society of Pediatrics): two main porridge and three powdered milk, in addition to fruits as an afternoon and morning snack.

Restriction of cow’s milk

In cases of milk allergy or lactose intolerance, or even the mother’s inability to breastfeed the child, in the first 6 months, the menu must be adapted with pediatric indication.

The newborn’s diet will be based on a special formula for the little ones, chosen according to each case. After 6 months, pediatricians will advise on how to adapt the formula. In general, food remains based on it.

The introduction of complementary food should be similar to that of other children, prioritizing fruits and vegetables in the form of baby food.

Planning the baby’s menu ensures good development for the child from the early stages of life, preventing diseases in the future.

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