There is no question that the most complex and gentle thing to fill the bellies of our little ones is breast milk. Nature has cleverly equipped it with everything a baby’s body needs. It is not only a source of nutrients and fluids, but to a certain degree, it serves a protective function and helps the body cope with the “dangers” of the world. The milk quality is, of course, in direct correlation with the mother’s diet.
Thriving children therefore need no baby-food at least until the end of the 6th month of age. The time of introducing other food into the baby’s diet is individual. There are certain orientation points. To name a few, it could be that the baby is able to drink about 1 litre of milk per day, reaching a certain weight or being visibly anxious to start eating new food, which may come earlier with children being fed baby formula (sometimes around the 5th month of age). Natural baby behaviour, such as reduced quality of sleep and more frequent waking up, is sometimes mistaken for hunger by the mothers and used as a reason to start using baby-food. In such cases, the baby-food cannot replace persistent mother’s care throughout the night.
Starting with baby-food
We can start with baby-food around the end of the 6th month of age. We gradually start adding vegetables (cooked and in the form of purée) into the exclusively milk diet, grains in the form of porridge (preferably gluten-free), various types of fruit and later even lean meat. Each new ingredient is introduced separately while monitoring the baby’s reaction for a couple of days trying to identify possible problems. Add neither salt nor sugar into the baby-food.
The child must be sitting while being fed. If capable, they should be sitting in a baby chair. If not, you can use a car safety seat for example. Feed the baby using a small spoon, and start with 1-2 spoons only, and add gradually. You can see that breastfeeding remains an integral part of the diet and the main source of nutrients, fluids and energy in the initial stages of adding baby-food.
Cereal porridges are generally recommended as evening baby-food, but you can use them at different times as well. Non-milk cereal porridge is suitable for mixing with breast milk or formula. Cow milk is not recommended within the baby’s 1st year. The porridge can gradually be flavoured with a bit of fruit or vegetable purée and a spoon of a quality vegetable oil. Nomina instant non-milk cereal porridges can help tremendously when preparing food for a baby. They are made from grains only with no other ingredients. It is up to you what you add into the porridge. Nomina porridges are easy to prepare, there are numerous options (grains varying from rice to wholegrain spelt), and they are easily combined with both vegetable and fruit ingredients.
On top of that, some of them do not contain gluten. In terms of dietary gluten, the approach towards its content in baby diets has been completely reversed recently. Official recommendation nowadays is to include small mounts of gluten in baby diets starting from 4 moths of age. There is, however, significant lack of general consensus on this recommendation. What nutrition specialists generally agree on is the fact that gluten, as an allergen, should be added into the diet (in small amounts) as early as during breastfeeding while the baby’s immune system is being affected by receiving breast milk.
Nomina porridges are not defined as food for babies. Legislatively speaking, they do not belong into this category. They are standard food. Mothers choose them based on their own decisions. If you also decide to go for Nomina porridges, we recommend starting with Nomina Millet, Nomina Rice, Nomina Buckwheat or Nomík. These porridges are not as rich in fibre which should only be added into baby diets gradually. The porridges are filling, extremely well tolerated by babies and easily digestible. And last but not least, they are gluten-free. After these, you can gradually present your babies with other porridges.