From what age does a baby eat puree in the evening?

With reference to Food diversification, from 4 months to 3 years, the recommendations of ANSES and the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique have changed in 2021, they have become more flexible, to the delight of parents and young eaters! Meals are a moment of enjoyment and discovery! New tastes, new textures and smells… Baby tries different foods at his own pace and his parents listen to his wants and needs. Interview with Emilie Eyssartier, Pediatric Surgeon for Biloba (an online application that allows parents to quickly contact a pediatrician from their smartphone as soon as they need it).

From what age is the baby allowed to eat mashed potatoes in the evening?

Now we can offer purees when we want, from the start of food diversification, that is after 4 full months and 7 full months ago. There are no real rules like there used to be. In fact, parents can offer their baby purees for lunch or dinner, depending on availability and family habits.

Especially at the beginning of food diversification, it is not absolutely necessary to offer your baby porridge in the evening. Initially the idea is to introduce one food per day, either alone or in addition to those already introduced and at least 2 or 3 times in a row to ensure the baby is not intolerant or allergic. Parents do this as well as they can, the evening is more practical overall: they have more time for their child and can arrange their toddler’s food variety themselves. If parents also have the time (and patience) to offer baby a puree for lunch or a snack, that’s a good thing, too.

We start gradually, depending on the acceptance of the child. Opening a small jar of porridge is another solution, not all parents have the time or equipment to make homemade porridge. However, homemade porridge is preferable because it has many advantages: it is inexpensive, parents can choose for themselves where the vegetables come from, can vary the flavors as much as possible, introduce baby to many different tastes and can limit the risk of food neophobia later occur, which is not really possible when feeding baby only commercially made purees as flavors are relatively limited for 4-6 months. The new recommendations recommend adding some butter or fat to baby purees, which is good for baby’s development. We’re not afraid to add them to fresh homemade purees or toss them into little pots that are mostly just veggies.

What portion of puree can be given to baby?

We can start by offering him a teaspoon or two of mashed potatoes, the portion is on the order of about 50 grams. Around 8-9 months, the recommended serving is about 130 grams per meal. These sizes are theoretical, they are less important than the growth curve. If it develops normally, that is, if baby grows and gains weight regularly, it means that it eats what it needs. Above all, parents adapt to the wishes and needs of their baby, as well as to possible signs of hunger and satiety, this is the most reliable way of baby feeding. Parents don’t have to force their child to finish their plate because they think they’re not eating enough, just as they don’t have to stop a child who is very greedy. There is evidence that excessive growth trajectory in babies puts them at risk for obesity in adulthood.

Can we serve purees with proteins of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, etc.) in the evening?

Traditionally we start with vegetables, but we can introduce them animal protein from the beginning of feed diversification, from 4 months, mixed and well boiled, without adding salt. Again, we adapt to the tastes of the toddler or not. Before a year ago the proportion of proteins of animal origin is about 10 g/day, between 1 and 2 years 20 g/day and between 2 and 3 years 30 g/day.

Do we continue to give baby a bottle of milk in the evening when we give pap?

Milk plays an essential role in a child’s diet until at least the age of 3 years. We continue to breastfeed baby as needed or give him 500-800ml of milk per day, at least with 3 of the 4 daily meals (morning, noon, snack and evening).

Should we give milk before the evening puree or rather after?

Diet diversification is a great discovery for the toddler! If you start with the puree, baby may be more accepting of a taste, especially when hungry. Once baby has started his bottle and is completely full, offering puree afterwards becomes more complicated. You can also give him his milk beforehand and make it a habit to give him his puree afterwards at the table with the whole family. There is no rule to follow or impose on the child.

From what age can you switch to thicker puree in the evening?

Baby’s ability to chew develops when stimulated by the new textures it tastes: melting, crunchy, soft… In general, the texture of purees changes between 6 and 9 months. There are signs that help us to understand that the child is ready: the baby straightens up and sits well in his chair, he is interested in what his parents are eating, he makes chewing noises when someone gives him his spoon…

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