French baby weaning (4 to 6 months old)
As a food lover, the introduction of real solid food in my boys diet was something I was really looking forward to. I literally could not wait :-) I read as much as I could on the topic but I always went back to the same source of reference: the notes my dear French friend Noémie gave me. She got them from her pediatrician. As I explained in previous posts in France a lot of children are still directly followed by a pediatrician for day to day matters. The information below is relating to French baby weaning for babies aged 4 to 6 months old. Please note that baby weaning guidelines in France and in the UK are quite different and by default I would always recommend you to follow the guidelines of your health specialist.
Besides, I need to say a huge thank you to my friend Julie here because she translated most of the notes of this article for me so…. thank you Julie!!!
INTRODUCTION TO VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
It is the beginning of diversification…
During the first months, food has been exclusively milk-based. The child’s food can start to diversify. It is important to respect some rules to insure a better health and in order to form and educate his/her taste.
Very quickly, your child is going to be sensitive to the presentation of his/her meals, just like you are. Don’t mix all the different food at the beginning. He/She will learn to differentiate flavours and it will help you understand his/her taste.
Think about his/her future as an adult by influencing his/her tastes:
- avoid salt
- avoid foods too sweet, but ensure you give him/her enough glucides from cereals and carbohydrates.
The rules of diversification are as follows:
- introduce one food at a time, leaving a few days between any new food.
- increase the food quantity progressively starting with 2 or 3 teaspoons.
- A baby already has his/her own tastes. Respect it.
Photo credit John Arnold photowalkthrough.com
INTRODUCTION TO VEGETABLES
At lunchtime. If breastfeeding, start with breastfeeding while the quantity of vegetables is not very important then swap, using the milk as a dessert. If bottle feeding always start with the vegetables and progressively decrease the quantity of milk depending on the volume of vegetables.
Directly with a spoon or mixed in the milk. Start with 2 or 3 teaspoons, increasing quantity progressively according to the demand.
Introduce vegetables one after the other (every 4 day) then you can start mixing.
Green beans, parsley, courgettes, squashes, salads, artichokes, carrots, spinach (no peas nor celery for families with food allergies or breathing problems).
Potatoes to thicken purees.
NB: Spinach and leeks are laxative, good in case of constipation. Carrots have a sweet taste but can constipate.
Fresh vegetables: picked within the lastest 24h so as they preserve enough vitamins, peeled, preferably steamed and mixed to a fine puree, no salt, no fat.
Soup can be preserved for 48 hours maximum in the fridge, but it can be frozen.
Frozen vegetables preserve all their nutritive qualities.
Industrial baby food: The raw foods in it are of very good quality, they allow diversification in a practical way. However, their use should not be exclusive nor prolonged as your child may refuse the food you prepare yourself. The volume of vitamins is guaranteed, as well as the concentration in nitrates. Once open, use within 24 hours and keep in the fridge.
Reusable food pouches for babies – Set of 3 – Squiz Sophie la giraffe®- 90ml
INTRODUCTION TO FRUITS
During the goûter (afternoon snack).
After breastfeeding or bottle.
Same progression as for the vegetables. according to child’s demand if it is a home made compote with no added sugar.
Apples, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, quinces, apricots, bananas
Plums are laxative, quince and bananas can constipate.
In compotes/ cooked in a bit of water, do not add sugar and mix finely. They can be frozen.
Industrial baby food: Practical, vitamins guaranteed but choose the brand with less sugar in.
No raw fruits these months.
- Breakfast: one or more milk feeds of breastmilk or formula of 180 ml
- Lunch: vegetables then milk feed (the milk feed will reduce as the vegetables portion increases)
- Goûter (Snack): milk feed of 180 to 210ml, then compote, 8 days after introduction of vegetables.
- Dinner: one or more milk feeds (breastmilk or formula) of 210 ml
NB: French pediatricians recommend supplements of vitamin D and fluorine.
If you are interested in more posts on similar topics, you may want to read about
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Great tips here. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky
Thank you! A great linky :-)
I loved that time. Cooper ate everything. Sigh. No longer. Nice post.
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Great post Helene – really interesting to see differences in approach? Does everyone typically start at 4 months in France rather than 6 months?
Thank you Alice :-) It typically starts from 4 months indeed but when you feel that the baby is ready.
Loads of good info. We’ve been on this road now for about 6 months, following the baby-led weaning method. Such a variety in how babies can be weaned, hey. #PoCoLo … lovely newbie showcase and thanks for tweeting about my #PoCoLo posts, i really appreciate it :-)
My 7 month daughter is not keen on taking orange food from the spoon. She loves avacado, but it already showing some picky tendencies. I think she will accept them via bottle with her milk, but when do I start that transition back to in the bowl?
I apologies for the late reply, for some reason I could not see this comment anymore. Thank you very much for your readership.
Sometimes children can use saying “no” to some food as a way of saying “no”, learning about “no”, their limits…
To transition back to the bowl, maybe try to find an orange food she won’t be able to resist (e.g. a very ripe mango), associate food you know she loves with food she still does not know or like less. Try to build positive associations.
Weaning is like a marathon, it is a long journey, you will definitely get there.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions.
All the very best,