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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the nutrition guidelines for babies?

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  • Courtney Bates

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Courtney is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN) and member of the Dietitians Australia. She runs her own practice on Sydney's Northern Beaches … View Profile

    Did you know that within the first 12 months of life, a babies weight can triple? Good nutrition is important for normal growth and development. Breast milk is preferable as the sole source of nutrition up to 6 months, or formula if you are not breastfeeding. At 6 months, solids can be introduced. Breast milk, however, remains the most important source of nutrition. By 12 months, your baby should be eating similar foods to those eaten by you, including breads, cereals, fruit, vegetables, dairy foods and meat.

    The Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents (NHMRC) recommend the following order of introducing solids. Introduce only one food at a time and wait a couple of days before trying another food.

    First food: A rice-based infant cereal fortified with iron
    Second food: Vegetables and fruit can be introduced, for example pureed potato, pumpkin, carrot and stewed apple and pear
    7 months: Meat and chicken
    7-8 months: Oat and wheat-based cereals
    10-11 months: Cooked egg
    From 12 months: Offer milk as a drink

    Initially offer blended/ pureed foods. From 7-8 months your baby may be able to manage mashed foods with smooth lumps. Once your baby can hold things, finger foods can be offered. By 12 months babies should manage chopped/ diced foods. Recent studies have shown avoidance of allergenic foods does not reduce allergies. Consult a GP if you are concerned about your babies growth or suspect possible food allergies.

    Courtney Dinnerville
    Accredited Practising Dietitian

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