FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Frequently Asked Questions about Baby's Dietary Diversification

When to put cereal in the bottle? 

Infant flours (or cereals) should not be given to baby before 4 or 5 months and on the advice of your paediatrician (if your baby does not seem to be sufficiently stalled at night for example). Indeed, they could lead to overweight children if they are given in too large quantities and without any real need for baby. You can give flour or cereals with gluten, always on the recommendation of your paediatrician.

At what age should the pieces be introduced? 

The age at which the pieces are introduced will depend above all on baby, its evolution, its desires. We generally start giving small pieces around 8/10 months, giving a texture called "ground" to make the transition to the smooth texture. But baby will make you feel if he is ready to move on to the next stage! 

Which carbohydrate to start with? 

Potatoes can be introduced as early as 4 months.  

From 6 months, you can offer crushed rice, small pasta, semolina. Starchy foods are essential for baby's body, they provide the energy necessary for the proper functioning of his muscles, brain and heart. 
They allow the body to have energy all day long, and to provoke a satiety effect conducive to a good quality of sleep uninterrupted by hunger. 
For many years, it was recommended to introduce gluten after 7 months to avoid the risk of intolerance. This is no longer the case today, on the contrary, recent studies have shown that the introduction of cereals containing gluten between 4 and 6 months reduces the risk of future gluten allergy. 

Can we give raw milk cheese? 

NO! Not for three years. This is for health reasons. Indeed, a cheese made from raw milk is much more likely to contain bacteria potentially dangerous for a young child such as listeria, or vectors of brucellosis (especially for goat or sheep's cheese made from raw milk). So, only offer them cheeses made from pasteurized milk, they will have plenty of time to discover our beautiful cheese heritage later on... 

Regarding the rind of the cheeses, remove it. It carries many germs. 

At what age do we introduce an evening meal? 

Again, there are no rules. Some babies will start the evening meal at 6 months of age, while others will only start at 10 months of age or older. So you'll need to watch out for the signs that your baby will give you. 

Milk remains the main food in his diet until he is 12 months old, if the evening bottle is enough for him and he does not show signs of "night hunger" then no pressure. If the bottle is not enough to keep him down, then remember to offer him a small purée with starchy foods so that hunger does not wake him up. 

Which vegetable to start with? 

We recommend starting with green vegetables, as they are harder to accept than yellow, orange or red vegetables, which are inherently sweeter. But you can start with whatever you like. 

You can add potato to soften the texture or to make the taste sweeter.  

My baby doesn't have teeth, can I give him some pieces? 

You don't need teeth to eat pieces! Have you ever noticed that when a toothless baby bites your finger, it hurts?  

What's important is that baby has the chewing reflex. Well it is thanks to the strength of his jaws that baby will be able to eat small soft and well cooked pieces. So, if the teeth are still not there, don't panic, they will eventually come out! 

Can we get the baby a yogurt? 

Yes! from 5/6 months, baby will be able to discover natural yoghurt (no sugar is added). It is preferable to take full-fat dairy products that will have more fat that is beneficial for baby's brain development (no fat!). 

Classic yogurt or baby special?  

If baby is reluctant to take the 500 ml of infant milk needed per day, then baby yoghurts will be interesting because they are enriched with iron, essential fatty acids and vitamins. 

On the other hand, if baby is getting the milk he needs, then regular yoghurt will do. 

How long do homemade jars keep? 

It all depends on the method of storage! 

In the refrigerator, it is 48 hours maximum, filming the preparations well so that they are completely watertight. 

Vacuum-packed, the shelf life is up to 10 days. 

Finally, in the freezer, the most commonly used technique, preparations can be stored for up to 6 months.  

Can I give cow's milk to baby? 

It is cheaper, it is more accessible, you can find it in all supermarkets... yes, it is sure, cow's milk has advantages BUT all the specialists are formal, it should not be consumed in place of infant milk by an infant before the age of 12 months minimum. Moreover, from the age of one year, ideally, the child should consume growing up milk until the age of 3 years.  

The early replacement of follow-on milk with cow's milk leads to a decrease in iron, linoleic acid, vitamins B9, C, D and E and a considerable increase in protein. 

On the other hand, cow's milk can be used in cooking recipes, to cook a vegetable or in a cake.  

Do I have to weigh baby food? 

Each baby is unique and will have different needs. Parents are often confused about how much to give to their baby. In this book you will be given tables with indicative quantities, which will be revised up or down depending on the child. There are even some handy little tools to help you to dose the food 😊. 

The 2 families of important foods are those rich in proteins such as meat, for example (which should not be overdosed at the risk of tiring baby's kidneys) and fats which should not be forgotten. Also be careful with sugar and sweet products. 

Above all, the growth curve must be watched and must not be broken. If this is the case, report it to your pediatrician/physician to see what is wrong. 

Baby doesn't want to take his bottle anymore, what can I do? 

Before 6 months of age, it is very rare for babies to sulk their milk. It may be a matter of taste: vary the flavours of the bottle as natural infant milk may no longer be suitable for him. If you refuse, consult your paediatrician without delay. 

After 6 months, refusing to bottle-feed often corresponds to baby's need to continue discovering new flavours and because he has developed a taste for your good little dishes, it's a normal stage: baby is expressing himself and asserting himself! He can take 2 complete meals a day, which corresponds to lunch and dinner.  

However, he must continue to take 500 ml of infant milk per day for his good development and avoid deficiencies in essential fatty acids and iron. You can compensate by offering milk products such as baby yoghurts or petits-suisses. A 125 g yoghurt corresponds to about 150 ml of milk. 

Is it possible to give baby a vegetarian diet? 

Considering a vegetarian or vegan diet for a baby is not without consequences. It should be discussed with your paediatrician/doctor and a nutritionist specializing in infant nutrition to make up for any iron deficiencies that may appear.  

When to introduce protein? 

Proteins are introduced from the age of 6 months. Meat, fish and eggs also provide a lot of vitamins and iron which it is interesting to vary. 

Only one source of protein per day is provided at breakfast (baby's kidneys are still too immature to give protein in the evening). In short, no meat at lunch and in the evening. Only a little at noon, respecting the quantities. 

You start with 10 g of protein at 6 months, then 20 g at 12 months and 30 g at 3 years. 

Can I give baby spices? 

Yes, they can be introduced from 5/6 months of age when preparing baby food. They have only advantages because they are very rich in antioxidants (in a small volume) and introduce the child to the pleasure of eating spices. Later on, this will allow him to eat less salty food and thus take care of his cardiovascular system. 

Don't forget that the family of spices also includes garlic, onion, shallot and herbs... at will in any dish! 

At what age should pulses (lentils, chickpeas, white beans, red beans...) be introduced? 

If they are very interesting nutritionally speaking, you will have to wait at least 15 months before feeding them to baby. Indeed, they are very rich in fibre and can cause digestive discomfort in babies whose digestive tract is still immature. 

My baby has diarrhea, what should I feed her? 

Diarrhea in babies is often mild, but you should consult your pediatrician/doctor if it lasts in your baby.  

The first thing to think about is to moisturize baby by offering him water very regularly. 

Favour certain foods such as banana, mashed carrots, rice, pasta, apple/quince or apple/banana compotes. 

Avoid foods rich in fibre which will activate the transit. 

My baby is constipated, what foods should I choose? 

Again, if there is any doubt and if the situation persists. 

Remember to keep baby well hydrated and offer him water regularly. 

In contrast to diarrhoea, he will be offered foods rich in fibre: green vegetables (spinach, green beans, leek whites...), wholegrain cereals, apple/plum or apple/rhubarb compotes. 

Do we have to give meat every day? 

The introduction of meat allows baby to discover new tastes and new recipes, but it is quite possible to do without it and compensate by giving fish and eggs instead, which will cover his protein needs just as well. 

Whole-grain starchy or not? 

Wholegrain cereals promote transit, which is still immature in babies. It is therefore preferable to wait 18 months before giving him some. 

At what age should I give him cookies? 

From 10 months onwards if you make them at home and limit the sugar intake. You will be able to keep them in a tightly sealed box for 48 hours.  

But you can buy biscuits suitable for infant food for your baby in the shops. Don't forget to read the manufacturers' recommendations regarding storage and especially the expiry date.  
Make sure you always stay close to him when he eats his biscuits, sometimes babies take too big chunks at once. 

At what age can you give baby bread? 

From the age of 7 months, whether your baby has his first teeth or not. 
Baby is going to suck on this little piece of bread that will relieve his gums when his little teeth are coming in.  
Make sure you always stay close to him when he eats his piece of bread, sometimes babies take too big pieces at once. 

Why give fat to baby? 

They are essential and provide energy, vitamins (A, D, E, K), essential fatty acids that contribute among other things to the proper development of baby's brain. Breast milk contains them and infant milks are enriched with them. 

When the proportion of milk (breast or infant) in the diet decreases, around 7 months, then you should start adding various fats to your diet. No excess, but not low-fat either! 

Alternate between different vegetable oils, giving preference to olive oil and rapeseed (or walnut) oil, or choose a mixture of vegetable oils, you can also add a small knob of butter from time to time in baby's purée. 

This advice has been formulated with the expertise of Dr Laurence PLUMEY, Medical Nutritionist.