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Tout savoir sur la diversification alimentaire - BIICOU

Everything you need to know about food diversification

To move from breast or infant milk to solid meals that require plates and cutlery, we can sometimes forget that it takes some time for baby to adapt. Indeed, in order for your child to get used to this inevitable change in diet for his proper development, it is important to know the ins and outs. And this is where Biicou comes in, so follow us into the lair of his stomach to become an expert in diversification.

Baby eating puree in high chair

When should you start diversifying your meals?

The recommended age to start diversification is between 4 months and 6 months. In fact, before 4 months, it is dangerous to offer foods, even pureed foods, to your infant. For the simple reason that his digestive system is not yet strong enough to produce the quantity of enzymes necessary to allow him to properly digest what he is going to ingest. Thus, neither his renal system nor his immune system is ready for this major change. In addition to all these systems, your baby does not yet have enough saliva to facilitate the descent of food and digestion.

And anyway, even starting at 4 months, it will already be quite an adventure for both your baby and you! 😀

“The first sweet potato puree that I (proudly) made with love clearly ended up spat out on my T-Shirt”

- Paul, new dad and Biicou customer

Why go step by step?

As with everything in life, you shouldn't rush anything. Little by little, introducing new things into your diet will allow your baby and his body, which currently only knows the taste, texture and weight of milk, to get used to it. It is also important that the diversification process goes well, because at this age, your child will need more and more nutrients and energy (present in food) to start moving.

How to get started with dietary diversification?

The ideal way to diversify your baby's diet is to start it at midday, because at this time his stomach is more ready to accommodate this food. In addition, by doing it in the evening, when you are tired, you will surely be less alert in the event of a potential problem (allergy). If your little one is at daycare or with the nanny, you can obviously give it to him in the evening.

While diversifying his diet, continue to give him infant or breast milk. In fact, until he is 1 year old, milk is his main food. Between 4 to 8 months the food should be mixed, between 8 to 10 months it should be ground for a little more texture, and from 10 months you can give it rather soft pieces. If he doesn't like it at first, don't hesitate to insist the following days, and understand, this is all new to him. From the age of 7 months, you can always add a little fat, mainly of plant origin, to your purees. The fat should be added after cooking in order to retain all the properties and essential fatty acids.

Some start directly by giving large pieces to the baby, this is called Child-Led Dietary Diversification. This type of diversification can be a good angle to try with your child. In addition to all the benefits provided by classic diversification, your baby will be more independent, will learn to chew well without his teeth, and his palate will develop even better. Obviously if you choose this mode of diversification you will need to be even more alert and monitor it at all times. Always ask your pediatrician for advice.

Introduce them to one fruit and vegetable at a time to identify their tastes and possible allergies.

And remember that the goal is not to feed him, but to awaken, discover and familiarize him with tastes and textures. It is therefore normal that in the first weeks he only ingests one or a few spoons, up to the equivalent of a small 130g jar later.

If you want to know more about DME, here is a very comprehensive video that you can watch DME: CHILD-LED DIVERSIFICATION | Coline

Baby eats broccoli and soup on high chair with bib

Are there any specific recommendations on foods to favor or avoid?

The first advice we can give you is to favor seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can also start with rather sweet vegetables like sweet potatoes, and for fruits, apples or peaches will do the trick. Feel really free to try new things and have fun. This will also perhaps be an opportunity for you to discover or rediscover tastes and foods.

For foods to avoid, here is a small, rather non-exhaustive list:

  • Endives: very bitter for baby's palate, to start with in any case
  • Carrots if your baby is constipated
  • Very fibrous vegetables such as celery, salsify, leeks, etc. Which will be very difficult to digest.
  • Nuts in whole form not before 5 years
  • Honey: contains bacteria that can contaminate children under one year old
  • Salt before 1 year

Essential tools for a diversified diet

In addition to the right method to get your child onto a solid diet, you need some equipment and accessories, because, now that he is ready to eat, you need to set him up.

  • A spoon: If you have chosen to breastfeed or not (for more information on breastfeeding and bottle feeding, click here ) you have surely already had to go through the process of purchasing the perfect pacifier and the bottle that will hold well in hand. You now have to make other choices and ask yourself the right questions: should I buy metal, plastic, or wooden cutlery? Or, what type of plastic can be harmful to my child?

The materials to favor for dishes and cutlery are stainless steel for cold meals, glass or those made from plant fibers. Brands like Béaba, Cap Bambou or Ekono make very beautiful sets without harmful products

  • The bib: Now that your baby is wriggling and making big gestures with his hands, it is important to protect his clothes, because it is no longer just milk stains that risk getting him dirty. Many brands offer organic cotton bibs like Papate and Pitigaia. But you don't have to buy new products, you can simply use the diapers you already have.
  • The high chair: Finally, for a little more comfort and safety, you cannot miss the purchase of a high chair. From 6 months, when your baby begins to be able to sit up, you will be delighted to be able to enjoy this moment together around the table. It will thus be able to be at your height, with its own tablet and securely attached. You can see our selection of high chairs right here .

Before 6 months, you will give him while holding him in your arms (ideally a bit straighter than you are used to with the bottle or sitting in his deckchair)

In conclusion, you will have understood, it is important to take it step by step, at your baby's pace, so that it is a moment of pleasure for everyone. If you want to go further, you can download this short guide on how you can diversify your diet by age group.

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