A major stage in your baby's life, food diversification begins between the 4th and 6th month. Your baby will gradually discover new textures and foods and will learn about taste. Find out our advice on how to ensure that your baby's dietary diversification takes place in the best possible conditions.
At what age should baby start to diversify his diet?
Your baby's food diversification can begin from 4 months and at the latest at 6 months. Before 4 months, his digestive system is not mature enough to receive anything other than milk.
As each child is unique, the start of diversification should be done in agreement with your paediatrician and by observing the signs that your baby is ready:
he is holding his head ;
he is interested in what is on your plate;
he is able to put objects such as teething rings in his mouth...
At what stage should we start baby food diversification?
It is advisable to start your baby's food diversification with the lunchtime meal. Your baby will be wide awake and in good conditions for the discovery of a new diet. Gradually, he will eat 4 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. The important thing is to proceed step by step while listening to your child and trusting him. As milk is the basis of his diet up to 12 months, food diversification can be done very gently.
In what order should foods be introduced and in what quantities?
It is often difficult to know which foods to introduce and how much to give your child. Vegetables, fruit, proteins, starchy foods, dairy products... We explain everything!
Food diversification generally begins with the introduction of vegetables. They can all be given with the exception of peppers, salsify, cabbage or turnips, which are rather difficult to digest. Initially, choose vegetables such as carrots, courgettes, green beans, leeks, etc. Cook them in water or steam them in a food processor, without adding salt, and present them in the form of a smooth purée. Only offer one vegetable at a time, so that your baby discovers its true taste. You can then blend several vegetables together. Dried vegetables, which are more difficult to digest, should be given around 12 months.
From 6 months, you can add a touch of butter or a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the purée after cooking. Start with 2 to 3 teaspoons at lunchtime and work up to 130 g, then offer a vegetable purée in the evening as well.
All fruits can be offered, even exotic fruits and red fruits, when cooked and mixed into a purée. They come just after vegetables in the dietary diversification process and are very popular with children thanks to their sweet taste! We advise you to start by giving your child a taste of apples, pears, bananas, peaches, etc. Around 6-7 months, it is possible to give very ripe raw fruit, just crushed or cut into very soft pieces.
Start with 2.3 teaspoons, preferably at snack time, and gradually increase to 130 g.
The potato is the first starch to be introduced when your baby's diet is diversified. In particular, it will help bind soups and vegetable purées. At around 8-9 months, you can add cereals such as rice, pasta, semolina, quinoa, etc. in combination with vegetables (1/3 starchy foods for 2/3 vegetables) for a balanced meal.
Meat, fish and eggs should be introduced from 6 months, preferably at lunchtime, for their iron and protein content. You can give all kinds of meat and fish, as long as it is perfectly cooked. On the other hand, avoid cold meats, except for white ham. Start with 10 g per day until the age of 1, then 20 g until the age of 2 and finally 30 g until the age of 3.
Dairy products can be offered from 6 months as a supplement to the bottle or to the feed, in the form of plain yoghurt for example. But this is not a necessity. In fact, you can only give breast milk or infant milk, which is the basis of your baby's diet even during diversification, at a rate of 500 ml per day until 3 years of age.