Infant`s Food Diversification

Infant`s Food Diversification

  Autor dr. Molfea Camelia Data: 06.12.2005


Infant`s Food Diversification
By varied diet we mean the gradual and partial replacement of milk preparation used in infant feeding with other foods. After the age of six months your baby will receive about 500 ml. milk per day (2 meals x 250ml.), the other three tables will be solid foods, other than milk. 

When you notice that your child can do one of these activities, e.g.:
  • Acceptance of food with the spoon 
  • combined foods ingestion (solids and liquids) 
  • drinking by the cup 
  • Handhold and carrying food to mouth 
Means that he presents nerve maturation sufficient to permit the passage from the natural food to that artificial and diversified. 

Food diversification should observe the following rules: 


1. Any new food is introduced when the baby is healthy;
2. Foods are introduced gradually, starting with small quantities to assessgastrointestinal tolerance;
3. Do not simultaneously introduce two new foods, usually a new food aweek;
4. Diversification will be started by introducing the first solid food at lunch; the next meal where you can introduce a new food is breakfast, dinner is the last to be replaced with a new food; 
5. It is preferable that the new food, to be given with a spoon, especially when it is in small quantities; but it is good to use plastic spoon because it is less hard to gums; 
6. infant's taste is probed, some preferring warmer or cooler food, more salty or sweet, diversification should not be forced, if the baby is not customary in 2-3 days with the new food, give it for a few days and then resume, or to try other food; 
7. At the first signs of intolerance (vomiting, diarrhoea) eliminate the newly introduced food, resuming its introduction after the normalizing of the bowel transit; 
8. The administration of natural or suppressed food is preferable, long cooking destroying vitamins and minerals, do not use salt (it may affect infant kidneys). Avoid the introduction of spices and sugar in large or small amounts, the honey before the age of 1 year. 

By adding new foods, infant diet must remain balanced and rational, avoiding different types of deficiency and malnutrition, namely obesity. Regarding the optimal timing of initiating diversification there is currently an opinion of most paediatricians not to introduce solid foods before 4 months of age. 

As food diversification we can use fruits, vegetables, cheese, milk derivatives, farinaceous products, fat, meat and other animal protein sources, sweets and drinks. The first new introduced food in infant feeding is fruit juice (orange, apple, peach). In quantities up to 30 ml (6 tbsp) at the age of 3-4 months and then 50-60 ml. considering the juice used and the individual tolerance. Raw carrot juice can be also used with good results. 

Fruit juice is introduced to the 9 (10) o'clock meals, when you first give the amount of juice and then fill the meal with milk. Since the age of 4 months, fruit can be given homogenized, mashed, up to this age mashed banana can be also given. Introduction of pears, apricots should be done later than citrus, apples, peaches and bananas, by probing, taking into account the infant digestive tolerance. 

Do not add sugar in fruit puree, as we have also mentioned- the tendency to reduce the intake of sugar in infant feeding and to use unsweetened mashed fruit. 

Since the age of 4 months, we can insert the vegetable soup into the infant diet to replace lunch. Use fresh vegetables: carrots, potatoes, parsnips, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes and green. Vegetable soup is given initially strained, and then by the addition of mashed vegetables. Vegetable soup can be enriched with cereal, gluten free (rice, maize, millet). 

Spinach and leek should not be given before the age of six months, and then with caution, because they have a laxative effect and might cause diarrhoea. 

Vegetables should be well boiled, well homogenized, for cellulose to be crushed finely, avoiding bowel irritation. 

The third milk meal replaced is dinner (at 18), with gluten-free cereals (rice flour, Indian meal), since the age of 4-4.5 months. Pasta in large quantities can cause diarrhoea and subsequently dystrophy by flour excess. Given as broth and in reasonable quantities, pasta is an important food in infant feeding. Rice in the form of mucilage can be recommended since the age 2 months and the water of rice at any age. Rice has a constipating effect. Pasta is made from wheat flour; they are rich in gluten and can be 
given to the baby at the age of 8 months (noodles). A quantity of 30? 50g/day can be used once-twice a week, alternating with rice. 

The biscuits are very nutritious food being prepared from wheat flour, egg, milk, sugar and fat. They can be introduced since the age of six months, but biscuits should not be used in large quantities; to the age of nine months, they are used as food for snack enrichment. 

Bread can be given at the age of eight months (when chewing allows) or after the age of one year (according to some paediatricians). 

From the age of 5 months, cooked meat is introduced (chicken, beef) ? that is an important source of animal protein, whether fresh, chopped or mixed; it should be put in soup, or mashed vegetables. We shall begin with a spoon and increase to four teaspoons at a meal. The amount of meat per day will not exceed 30 g at the age of infancy. 

Since the fifth month of life it is also introduced cheese for the afternoon snack, enriched with baked apple, banana or cereal based on infant preferences. 

To 5.5 months broth may be recommended

The hard-boiled yolk is inserted into the diet at six months (whites can cause allergy); being rich in cholesterol, it is recommended only one or two times a week, starting with a quarter of a yolk, increasing progressively to a yolk that is incorporated into the mashed vegetables, soup or cottage cheese. 

Food will be crushed with a fork, mixing is no more absolutely necessary; the baby can be given foods that he can keep in hand. 

At the age of six months an infant should have a balanced diet; it should contain something of the following food groups every day: milk and dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat and cereals. 

At seven-nine months, the following foods are introduced: yogurt, sour cream, ground meat patties cooked in the form of soup, chicken liver, veal, pasta, fresh prepared fruit compotes. A nutritionally valuable food is fresh calf or chicken liver: boiled or passed in soup or mashed vegetables. White fish is a good food; it is given boiled (galantine), with a broth or mashed vegetables. The baby will be given food that can be kept in hand, to encourage him to eat alone. 

At 10 - 12 months children eat almost everything consumed by the other family members. Salami and sausages are high in fat and hard to digest: they are not recommended for infants. 

The brain is rich in fat, being considered indigestible: some paediatricians do not recommend it before the age of two years. Polenta with cheese and sour cream, cheese dumplings of cottage cheese, flour 
puddings with milk, jams, and soft dough cookies made at home, even creams are introduced. Diversification should be initiated neither too early (4-6 weeks) but nor too late (5-6 months). It is recommended that the optimal age for initiation of diversification be 3-4 months. Regime will be varied 
as much as possible, varied meaning changing the food periodically (or the way of preparation withother foods (or other 'recipes') allowed to that age. Monotonous alimentation, as dietary principle is only effective in the first months of life or to replenish a sick child. 



Read the English version of this article: Infant`s Food Diversification