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All You Need to Know About Weaning - Part 3

As your baby grows, so does his nutritional needs. As the baby is no longer getting breast milk, let's discuss how to ensure the baby has a healthy and nutritious diet.

From 10 months

Meals should be more adult-like now. They should be chopped or minced and follow a two to three meal a day pattern along with one or two snacks and 500-600mls/ 17-20oz of breastmilk or formula milk.

At this stage your baby should be having:

• three or four servings of starchy foods, such as khichri, rice, daal, oatmeal, or potatoes, a day

• one serving of meat, fish, eggs, or two of pulses (lentils, peas, beans) or nut butters

• one to two servings of cheese, fromage frais or yogurt as well as breastmilk or formula milk.

What should babies under one year avoid?

• Still keep off salt, sugar, honey and artificial sweeteners. Try sweetening desserts with mashed banana or a purée of stewed dried fruit if possible, or use expressed breastmilk or formula milk.

• Avoid the temptation to add a little tea to baby’s bottle. The tannin in tea interferes with iron absorption, and the caffeine it contains is not recommended for children.

• Avoid giving fruit squashes or diet drinks to your baby. Artificial sweeteners are not suitable for babies and young children.

• Avoid foods which may carry a risk of food poisoning, such as soft mould-ripened cheeses (brie, camembert), liver pâté, and soft-boiled or raw eggs.

• Don’t give cow’s (or goat’s or sheep’s) milk as a main drink under one year.

• Skimmed and semi-skimmed milks, low-fat spreads, yogurts and reduced-fat cheeses. Always offer your baby the full-fat versions — they need the calories.

How much fat should babies and toddlers have?

Up to the age of at least two, fat is an important source of energy for your baby, so full-fat versions of milk, cheese, yogurt and fromage frais are important. When your baby is two, and only if she or he is growing well and eats a well-balanced diet,  can you gradually introduce lower-fat versions. By the time she is five years old, only about a third of her energy should be provided by fat.

How much fibre?

Be cautious about introducing too many wholegrain foods and pulses for babies and young children. These tend to be bulky and can fill up a small tummy, leaving little space for other higher energy foods. So give your baby and toddler a mixture of white and wholegrain cereals and breads. If your toddler regularly eats pulses and lentils as part of a vegetarian diet, make sure that she has some chapathis, rice, bread, and pasta as well.