Introducing foods: first steps

During the first six months of life, experts recommend exclusively breast milk (or, failing that, formula milk) as it provides the necessary nutrients for our baby. After this time, we begin to introduce new flavors and textures and, naturally, many doubts arise.
In the process of introducing foods, each baby adapts to his family's feeding proposal. They will try different foods and may sometimes lose their appetite. Don't worry, it is normal and temporary. During this experimentation phase, babies begin to show interest in the food they see and smell around them.

La Spanish Association of Pediatrics advises introducing, step by step, all types of fruits and vegetables and recommends that, around 12 to 24 months, they have already tried almost all possible foods. En  this link you will find more details.

At this stage, the little ones learn new things every day and acquire autonomy. That same spirit means that, at mealtime, they show curiosity and interest in eating alone and exploring food with their hands.
We must keep in mind that, as we invite them to try different flavors, they may not want certain foods. It does not necessarily mean that they do not like it, we must remember that for them everything is new: textures, flavors, smell, color, etc. We must give them the opportunity to discover food, offering it to them on various occasions and with a lot of motivation.

Some guidelines that we give to the families of our nursery schools:

  • At meal time, it is better that there are no distractions, in this way we focus their attention and interest on food.
  • Every time we introduce a new food, we will do it little by little
  • When they are a little older, we will establish a meal routine: wash hands, put on the bib, always sit in the same place, always set the same meal time, etc. In this way we help them anticipate what will happen so that they can prepare and feel safer. It also helps reinforce organization and following instructions
  • Don't force them to eat the whole plate. They know how much they should eat, the idea is that they try the variety of flavors and balanced food
  • Have well established what menu we will offer to our children, so we avoid providing them with other less suitable food alternatives.
  • Remember, no food is better than another. Each food we choose will depend on the tastes and cultures of each family.
  • Encouraging activity and movement before eating favors your appetite

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