Beautiful happy baby with spoon sitting on highchair
Δρ. Χαρα Παπαγεωργιου

Dr. Chara Papageorgiou

What should my 12 month old baby eat?

Complete nutrition guide for small babies less than 1 year.

As parents, what interests us most of all, is the proper nutrition of our little ones as the foods that a baby consumes in the first months of life are crucial for his subsequent normal development and his health in the coming years.

The World Health Organization gives its own basic guidelines stating

“Babies for the first 6 months of life should exclusively breastfeed as this strengthens their development, the immune system and their overall health. After the first 6 months, they should receive safe and adequate complementary foods as their nutritional and energy needs increase. At the same time, breastfeeding can be continued for up to 2 years of life or more ".

Solid foods should be included in the daily eating habits of our little ones, after the first 6 months of life.

Let's see in more detail important information about the consumption and types of food from the 6th month onwards:

  • Solid foods: Basic foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables but also potential allergens such as eggs, traces of nuts, other seafood can be introduced slowly and gradually.
  • Introduction to food choices: There is no proper order but I suggest the first foods to be rich in iron and vitamins such as red and white meat, egg and fish.
  • Variety of food: An important step in your baby's proper eating habit. Choose foods with many different flavors to prepare your little one for the coming years.
  • Fruit: An essential and integral part of proper and balanced diet of our babies. Prefer to provide them ground food or in small pieces and avoid the juice form.
  • Milk with / or without breastfeeding: There are infants and babies who do not breastfeed enough. The needs of these little ones are covered with 2 meals of modified infant milk (morning + night) and avoid replacing solid food meals with milk. On the other hand, breastfed babies can continue to breastfeed while incorporating other foods.
  • Gluten: A lot of discussion and several studies on this very basic ingredient. Make sure your baby is given the right doses and small amounts of gluten (wheat, barley, bread, etc.). Ideally you will start to include them in its diet after the 6th month and just before the 7.th.

Abandon ground food and switch to small pieces: Gradually you should replace the ground food with chopped food and a little later in small pieces where your baby will be able to hold them with its hands to eat them alone. I recommend after the 10th month of your baby's age, to stop mashing food as there are important signs of chewing and swallowing problems.

Small tips that complete the very important issue of the nutrition of our babies up to 12 months old:

  • Avoid vegetarian diets at such a young age.
  • Get your baby vitamin D supplement at least for the first 6 months of life.
  • Gradually increase the amount of portions your baby consumes as the months go by.
  • Especially during the first year of life of your little one, avoid salt, sugar, honey and all standard fruit drinks-soft drinks.

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