Children

Food of Infants (6-12 months)

Lena Zimmo/ Health Promotion Researcher
Aspeta
07 December, 2015

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Milk is the main and only food for infants from birth until 6 months of age. After the infant becomes 6 months old, it is advised to introduce various types of food to the infant as set out in the table blow. It is advised to begin with serving iron-fortified food, because when the infant is 6 months old, the body is almost run out of iron. In later stages, a variety of food may be served to the infant.

Age Suggested Foods How to Serve?

6-8 Months

Iron-fortified cereals for infants: Rice, wheat, barley

Proteins, such as: 

  • Meat
  • Chicken
  • Turkeys
  • Yolk
  • Beans & lentil
  • yogurt
  • Serve the child with pureed food.
  • Begin with small quantities (1-3 tea spoons), then increase the quantity gradually.
  • Be keen on feeding your child cereals with a spoon and not bottle-feeding.   
  • Breast milk is the main food for an infant in its first year. It is recommended that breast-feeding continues until the baby becomes 2 years old.
  • If the mother ceased to breastfeed the infant, it is recommended that at least iron-fortified milk is served to the infant at the age of 9-12 months.

Add vegetables:

  • Pumpkin
  • Peas
  • Sweet potato 
  • Carrot
  • Squashes

Serve the child with soft mashed food.

  • For example: You can serve 2-4 tea spoons of fortified grains (such as rice, wheat, or barley) at breakfast;
  • 1-2 tea spoons of mashed vegetables at lunch time; and 2-4 tea spoons of proteins at dinner time.

Add fruits:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Peach
  • Pears
  • Mango
  • Serve the child with mildly mashed food.
  • If the juice was served as an alternative for fruits, choose 100% fresh without sugar. Juice should also be served in a cup instead of bottle-feeding. A half cup of juice daily is enough.  
9-11 Months

Serve to your child diverse foods, including the four main groups stated below.

Introduce:

  • Starchy food like Bread, pasta, crackers (unsalted, unsweetened)
  • Milk & milk products
  • Finger food
  • Serve the child with chopped food in small slices.
  • Full-fat milk may be served to the infant after being 9 months old.
  • Gradually increase the quantity of food. You can serve 3 main meals, in addition to a snack. For example:
    • At Breakfast: ½ tea spoons of fortified cereals, 2-3 tea spoons of fruits, and a yolk.
    • At Lunch: Half a bread, 2-3 tea spoons of vegetables, and a ¼ small banana.
    • At Dinner: A ¼ cup of pasta, 2-3 tea spoons of diced carrots, and 2-3 tea spoons of boiled chicken.
    • Snack: A ¼ cup of cereals, some cheese cubes, and little water
12 Months Serve diverse food to your child  Increase the number of meals to become 3 main meals, and 2-3 snacks.   

 

Finally, be careful about allergies in children which are accompanied with symptoms such as: Diarrhea, vomiting, skin redness, and breathing disorders. So, serve your infant one new type of food in small quantities to make sure that this type of food appeals to your child.  Also, do not forget to make the feeding time an interesting time for your child by looking at the eyes of the child and talking to it while having its food. Be keen that your child acquires many skills at the time of having its food. Allow it to hold the spoon and try to eat without assistance, as this develops its skills.

 

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