When the child is about six months, it is time to start giving regular food. It is good to start with very small portions, one or a few teaspoons. The child needs to practice eating to get used to different tastes and to learn how to chew.
It is not difficult to give good food to children. But there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to food during a child’s first year:
- For the first six months, the child receives enough nutrition through breast milk or breast milk replacement, also called breast milk replacement.
- Children need to get D-drops from being about a week old.
- At four months, the child may begin with tiny tastings if they show interest in the food the family eats.
- At six months the child needs more nutrition and energy. Then it’s time to start with flavor portions which are then expanded to become real portions.
- Be careful with the salt. It is good for both adults and children to keep on salt.
- Feel free to add extra fat to the food, such as one teaspoon of rapeseed oil per serving.
- Avoid foods with added sugar such as flavored yogurt, sweet drinks, cookies and ice cream.
- 1 Slideshow: The child’s food up to one year
- 2 The food during the child’s first six months
- 3 Taste portions when the child is about six months
- 4 To think about when cooking for the baby
- 5 Food that children under one year should avoid
Slideshow: The child’s food up to one year
Start tasting regular food
Children can taste ordinary food when they are about six months old. You can have your child try different foods in whatever order you want. Over time, the portions grow larger. Children who are around 1 year of age tend to be able to eat regular food altogether.
A toddler needs to eat food frequently and at regular times. Start by giving some food, one or a few teaspoons in so-called taste portions, and then increase the amount as you go.
The child’s food can be served as puree, mash, or in soft pieces. When the child is about six months, it is possible to give soft and pick-friendly food in small pieces. For example, you can give small pieces of boiled potato or some vegetable that the child can try to eat himself.
D-drops and extra fat in the food
Children need to receive D-drops until they are two years old. Some children need it even longer. Continue to give D-drops even when the child starts eating regular food. Up to the child is two years also need some extra fat in the food, such as cooking oil.
It is good if you can eat together. Children can get involved early and spend time around food, they need to see others eat to learn and be inspired. Young children need support when sitting, for example, by sitting in a highchair.
Gluten is found in cereals, wheat, barley and rye. It is good to start giving gluten food while the baby is still receiving breast milk or infant formula. Gluten is found in porridge, mutton and bread, for example.
Food to avoid
Some foods children should not eat for a year, including spinach and honey. The child does not need as much salt, you can instead season the food with other spices such as basil and garlic.
Water and milk
Water is the best drink, and can also be given to the meal. You can start giving milk in the food from when the baby is six months. When the child is approaching one year, they can start drinking milk and eating milk products, such as file and yogurt. You should not give a drink that tastes sweet, as the child then gets used to feeling that taste.
The child needs fiber from vegetables and fruits, among other things. Over time, the child also needs to get other more fiber rich foods, such as whole grain swelling for children from about eight months of age. Don’t give too much of fiber rich bread, pasta or rice, because a toddler’s stomach can’t handle it.
Avoid foods with added sugar
It is good that as long as possible avoid sweets and snacks for young children, partly because they otherwise learn to recognize the sweet taste and prefer it. Instead, give fruit or berries in the texture that the child likes.
Feeling and dressed
Feeling and tasting is natural for a toddler and it is evolving to practice eating yourself. For example, the child can get small pieces of food to pick with. The child also needs to practice licking, so it is good to avoid wiping clean around the child’s mouth too often.
The food during the child’s first six months
Breast milk or breast milk replacement provides the child with sufficient nutrition for the first six months. It is good to continue giving breast milk throughout the first year or longer. Breast milk is the best food for such young children as it reduces the risk of infection and overweight. It is also possible to give breast milk compensation if you cannot or do not want to give the child only breast milk.
From the earliest four months of age you can let the child taste some of your food if they are interested. You can give the child the equivalent of a spice measure with a small spoon or on your finger.
Children need extra vitamin D during their first years. The recommendation is to start giving D-drops when the baby is a week old.
Taste portions when the child is about six months
From the age of six months, the child needs to start with regular food to get enough nutrition and energy. Breast milk and breast milk replacement are still the main food, but children also need, among other things, iron that they have difficulty getting enough of if they do not eat regular food.
What are flavor portions?
Giving taste portions means giving small portions to accustom the child to new consistency, new flavors and eating.
The best thing for small children’s stomachs is cooked food. For example, you can start with potatoes, rice, vegetables, parsnip, corn, carrot, cauliflower, meat, lentils, chicken, eggs or fish, and baby porridge. You can also give fresh fruit, such as mash of banana, apple or pear.
Give the different foods in whatever order you want. The important thing is that the food has a soft texture so that the baby does not put in the throat.
Have the child try to eat by himself
Feel free to let the child try to eat himself early, even if it gets drafty and most things end up outside. It is good to provide soft and pick-friendly food in small pieces. For example, you can cut pieces of boiled potato or any vegetable that the child can try to eat himself.
Combine with breast milk or substitute
It is good to give the usual food in connection with giving breast milk or compensation. The recommendation from the Swedish authorities is to give breast milk the baby’s first year or longer if you and the child want. By the end of the first year, most children have started eating regular food at every meal.
To think about when cooking for the baby
Regular fast meals make it easier for children to gain enough energy and nutrition, as they need a certain amount but cannot eat as much at once. It also means that the child recognizes the routines which gives security.
Children under two years may need extra fat
Young children have a high energy demand but do not eat large portions. Therefore, for the first two years you need to take in some extra fat in homemade food. It is OK to take in one teaspoon of fat per serving, two to three times a day. It can be liquid margarine or oil, for example rapeseed oil.
Children are sensitive to fiber
Too much fiber can cause the baby to become loose in the stomach or have diarrhea. It can also cause the child to become constipated. When you start giving bread, pasta and rice, it is good to start with the less fiber-rich alternatives such as white bread, white pasta, white rice.
Porridge and gruel
Porridge and mutton are great food for breakfast and snacks for young children. Serve the porridge without milk initially. Forage, you can start giving in small portions of taste from six months.
Baby porridge and flour that you buy ready-made or as powder contains, among other things, extra iron. For children under one year, fortified powder porridge is good, as it provides more vitamins and minerals than homemade porridge. Among other things, it is rich in iron, which young children may have difficulty getting enough of. At the same time, it can be good if the child sometimes gets homemade porridge, to get used to the taste and texture.
Milk, milk products and beverages for children
You can start with milk as flavor portions from the time the child is six months. You can also start consuming milk in the baby’s food, for example to make sauce, but wait with larger amounts of milk, file and yogurt until the baby is about a year old. Children who get large amounts of milk often eat less of other food that they need to, among other things, get enough iron.
If you are giving breast milk or breast milk substitute when the child is getting regular food, the child does not need to drink anything else for the food as it gets enough fluid in itself. When the baby eats slightly larger portions, and no longer receives breast milk or replacement, you can start giving water to the meal. The child should not drink sweetened beverages.
Vegetarian food for children
You can give the child so-called vegetarian food, which is vegetarian food which also includes dairy products and eggs. If you exclude meat and fish that contain protein and iron, you need to ensure that your child gets other foods that are rich in it. For example, you can give beans, lentils, peas and soy products. Finished baby and baby porridge are enriched with iron and are good sources of nutrition if the child eats vegetarian food. The National Food Agency has advice on vegetarian food for children.
If you choose to give your child vegan food, you need good nutritional knowledge. Contact BVC for advice and tips on vegetarian and vegan baby food. The National Food Agency also has advice on vegan food for children.
To start giving gluten
The protein gluten is found in, for example, porridge, flour, pasta and bread. Foods that contain gluten first need to be given as flavor portions, and this also applies to flour, so that the child gets used to slowly. If you are giving breast milk or substitute, it is good to continue doing so while you start giving flavor portions that contain gluten.
Children can get stomach upset when they start eating regular food
When children start eating regular food, it is common for the stools to change during a transitional period, it may become harder or looser. Some children get more stomach problems than others. Contact the BVC or a pediatrician if the child has diarrhea or becomes constipated.
Food that children under one year should avoid
Children can eat most of what adults eat, but the following foods are good to avoid in whole or in part until the child has turned one year:
- Be careful with salt for children under one year. Keeping salt is good for both children and adults. It is therefore good not to accustom children to salty foods.
- Green or damaged potatoes. It can cause the baby to have stomach problems. In addition, you should always peel potatoes given to infants, including fresh potatoes.
- Hard fried and smoked food.Remove the frying pan on breaded meat or fish or the skin on grilled chicken.
- Vegetables containing nitrate. For example spinach, kale, arugula, mangold and leaf celery. Beetroot juice also contains a lot of nitrate and therefore you should not give it to children under one year.
- Honey. It may contain spores of a bacterium that in the infant’s intestine can form a poison.
- Whole nuts, almonds, grapes and peanuts. These foods can get stuck in the throat. If you want to give it, it should be mashed or in very small pieces.
- Some fish contain environmental toxins. Therefore, children should not eat them more often than a maximum of two to three times a year, some fish not more than once a week.
- Raw and semi-raw food. For example, chicken or minced meat that is not fully cooked or cooked through.
- Unpasteurized milk and cream cheese made from unpasteurized milk. It may contain dangerous bacteria that cause severe diarrhea. Unpasteurized milk may not be sold in stores but can be obtained at farms.
- Foods that are sweet or contain added sugar, for example, flavored file, juice, soda, cookies and ice cream.
- Rice drinks and rice cakes may contain relatively much arsenic.
- If you take water from your own well, you need to check the quality of the water, so that it does not contain too high a nitrate contains bacteria that can cause diarrhea. Contact the municipality to find out how control is done.
Avoid foods with added sugar
Preferably do not give the child sweetened food during the first year. Very sweet foods increase the risk that the child will get holes in the teeth and that as they get older they continue to eat sugary foods and can then gain overweight or obesity. Foods that contain a lot of added sugar are cream, soda, juice, sweets, ice cream, biscuits, cakes, flavored file and yogurt, sweetened drinks and breakfast cereals.
If you want to give the baby something sweet, you can instead give foods that are naturally sweet, like berries or fruits. Instead of flavored yogurt, you can have berries or fruits in natural yogurt.
Variety to avoid harmful substances
Food can contain harmful substances, such as minerals and heavy metals, in varying amounts. Both adults and children should therefore eat varied, eat different kinds of food and vary between different brands. If you always eat the same product and it just happens to have a high content of any substance, you risk getting so high in it that it can be harmful in the long run. Contact BVC for more information and advice for the child.
If the child responds to any food
Contact the BVC if the child responds to any particular food. You should not try to find out if a child is hypersensitive to something.
The fact that the child responds does not mean that they are allergic to anything. Young children may become red or have a rash around their mouth, become red in the tail or have stomach problems without being allergic or hypersensitive.
The most common allergy in young children is allergy to proteins in eggs and milk. This allergy usually grows away and many children can tolerate eggs and milk when they are around 4 years old.
Avoid supplements for children
Children who eat varied foods need no supplements except D-drops. Young children can get too much of certain nutrients such as vitamins if they are given extra supplements, which can be harmful. Therefore, do not give supplements other than D-drops to children without consulting BVC first.