Is the child’s diet important before diversification?

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Have you ever heard of the 1000 day period? This is the period from the moment the child is conceived until the child is 2 years old. It is therefore essential that the future mother eats a balanced diet during the periconception period and during pregnancy. It has been proven for several years that the health capital of your child and the future adult is already developing at this time. Its genetic heritage is partly formed at this time.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

When should we start diversifying?

The start of diversification period, also called the tolerance window, is between 4 and 6 months, neither before nor after. Your general practitioner or pediatrician will give you the jump start!

What foods should we start with?

I am not advocating the integration of certain foods, at certain periods… Let me explain! We heard at a certain period that we had to include certain vegetables in certain months, or that exotic fruits were to be avoided because of the allergic risk….

I advise first of all to favor seasonal fruits and vegetables. Don’t hesitate to try cauliflower in winter or eggplant in summer! Just like the egg, you can introduce it whenever you want (yolk and white).

Your child’s tolerance will be your indicator: if he has no bowel problems or colic, you can continue!

You then ask yourself which meal should you start diversifying with: snack, lunch or dinner?

I recommend starting with lunch.

The texture should be very smooth, without lumps. This will evolve over time. We consider that at 9 months, the introduction of pieces is acquired, even if your child has very few teeth…

Note: Do not hesitate to reduce the speed of the mixer when making your purees.

1/ Lunch

The perfect recipe for baby’s first puree is:

50% potatoes + 50% vegetables + 2 tbsp. of meat/fish/egg + 2 tbsp. teaspoon of oil.

  • Introducing starchy foods (potatoes) will help your baby last until the next meal thanks to slow sugars.
  • It is necessary to vary the fats, they will provide essential fatty acids, necessary for the development of your child’s brain.
  • Proteins contained in meat, fish or eggs should be limited to once a day. Beyond that, it slows down kidney development.

For dessert, you will offer a compote with no added sugar only. You will avoid dairy products because they contain proteins and there is already enough in the meat/fish/egg portion.

To know the quantity of meat or fish or eggs to give to your child, all you need to do is do this simple calculation = (Age of the child x 10) + 10.

Example for a 1 year old child = (1 x 10) + 10 = 20g of meat per day!

What are the benefits of the oils that you will give to your child?

  • Olive oil, avocado oil = source of ω9
  • Rapeseed and linseed oil = source of ω3
  • Butter = source of vitamin A (avoid cooking it)

Favor glass bottles and first cold pressing. Store them well as directed on the package.

Idea of ​​the quantity of puree to give to your child: Your child’s puree should weigh, over time, around 200g while reducing its volume of milk at the same time.
Example: if your child eats 150g of puree, his bottle of milk should be around 50ml.

As soon as your child has eaten his entire lunch, you can diversify his snack, then his dinner.

giving puree to a child

2/ Snack and dinner

As a snack, you can offer breast milk/formula or dairy products accompanied by a compote without added sugar.

If you feel that your child is still hungry, you can give him a small piece of bread or, why not, a biscuit appropriate for his age.

Dinner will have the same composition as lunch, but without the meat/fish/egg. For dessert, you will then offer a dairy product or breast milk or formula, with a compote without added sugar.

3/ Breakfast

As soon as you feel that the quantity of milk is no longer enough, it will be the time to expand your breakfast with a portion of fruit with more or less a piece of bread spread with butter and jam for example…

Warning: honey must be introduced from 1 year of age, due to the risk of botulinum.

Note: For bottle-fed children, the volume of milk should not exceed 240ml, once reconstituted. That is to say 210ml of water + 7 measures of formula.

In summary

  • Start of diversification = between 4 and 6 months.
  • Don’t forget the fat from your first puree.
  • Check your child’s protein intake.