Last updated: 04 October 2011
From about nine months, offer your baby:
- three to four servings of starchy food each day, such as potato, bread and rice,
- three to four servings of fruit and vegetables - vitamin C in fruit and vegetables helps to absorb iron, so give these at mealtimes, and
- two servings of meat, fish, eggs, dhal or other pulses.
By now your baby should be learning to fit in with the family by eating three minced or chopped meals a day as well as milk. Your baby may also like healthy snacks such as fruit or toast in between meals.
Include your baby in the family mealtime routine. Feed your baby while family members are eating.
If your baby is on the move, you may need to increase the amount of food you give. Babies have small tummies, and they need energy for growth, so make sure you give them full-fat dairy products, such as yoghurt, fromage frais and cheese. Cutting back on fat is sensible for adults but not for babies.
If you have decided not to give your baby meat or fish, make sure that you give two servings a day of pulses (dhal, split peas, hummus), tofu or eggs.
Vitamin D is naturally present in only a few foods such as fortified margarines, eggs and fatty fish. It is also made naturally in the skin when it is exposed to gentle sunlight.
It is sensible to give all children vitamin drops with vitamins A, C and D from the age of one to five years old. Breastfed babies, and babies drinking less than 500ml of infant formula milk per day, should begin vitamin drops at six months, or earlier if advised by your health visitor or doctor.
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