Proper nutrition is very important for the healthy development of your baby. This information sheet will help you and give you tips for the first year of life.
Breastfeeding is best for both mother and child
Breast milk is best for your child for the first 4-6 months. No other drinks or food are required. Your baby will feel calm, closeness, security, warmth and basic trust while breastfeeding. They also protect your own health. Because breastfeeding promotes the regression of the uterus and prevents some types of cancer. Breastfeeding is better and more practical than any bottle – and much cheaper, always germ-free and at the right temperature.
Breast milk changes in the course of breastfeeding. It always has all the nutrients the child needs to grow and develop the brain. It helps the baby fight off disease and protects it from allergies.
- If possible, fully breastfeed your baby for 6 months. Then you can breastfeed in addition to the porridge meals for as long as you and your child wish.
- Your child can drink from the breast as often as they want. There is no need for additional drinks.
- Do not drink alcohol or smoke while breastfeeding.
- Citrus fruits and flatulent dishes (cabbage, lentils, onions) can cause your child a sore bottom or flatulence. Try what it can take.
- Take one tablet with 100-150 g iodine a day so that your milk contains enough of this important mineral and that you are well supplied yourself.
- Ready-made baby foods are of good quality
Almost every mother can breastfeed. If you don’t want to or can’t do this, give your child baby formula that can be bought ready-made in the store. All products on the market are divided into the following groups:
PRE products are as similar as possible to breast milk in terms of their ingredients. The baby can drink it from birth and whenever it is hungry. PRE is the best alternative to breast milk.
1 – Products are only partially similar to breast milk and can contain sugar. They are also suitable from birth, but should only be given every 3-4 hours so that the child does not become overweight.
2 and 3 products are follow-on formulas for older babies. They are very high in calories and can make babies fat if they drink too much. These products are not necessary for older babies either.
HA food (= hypoallergenic) is a special food for children who come from families with allergies. You are particularly at risk of developing an allergy. The food reduces the risk of an allergy but does not completely eliminate it.
If your child can tolerate milk formula well, only use it.
Always buy ready-made baby formula and do not prepare the baby milk yourself. Ready-made products contain all the nutrients for your child and are perfectly hygienic.
Do not give your child any goat or sheep milk in the first year of life. So-called “milk” made from plants such as soy, rice and cereals is not suitable either.
Cleanliness around the bottle
- Boil fresh water and let it cool down to 40 ° C. You can also boil the water for the whole day in the morning and keep it tightly capped in the refrigerator until you need it.
- Measure the powder exactly as it says on the packaging. Always prepare the bottle fresh. Wash out the vial, teat, and measuring spoon and boil in water for 3 minutes once a day.
- If your child is crawling, there is no longer any need to boil the bottle.
Nutritional recommendations for the 2nd half of life
At the earliest from the beginning of the 5th month, at the latest from the 7th month, your child needs the first porridge in addition to milk so that it gets enough energy and nutrients to grow and be full. Every month a milk meal is replaced by a porridge. Cook the porridge yourself according to the basic recipes on the next page. Prepared porridge from the store should have a similar composition and only have a few ingredients. Check the ingredients list on the label.
Start with the vegetable, potato and meat mash. Once your child has gotten used to it, the whole milk and cereal porridge follow in the evening after a month and the cereal and fruit porridge in the afternoon about a month later. You can continue to breastfeed your child in the morning or give them a bottle throughout the first year of life. You also need 2 to 3 glasses of liquid, preferably boiled, lukewarm tap water, mineral water or unsweetened tea. Do not give your child juices or sweetened drinks. They damage teeth and can lead to obesity.
Eating with a spoon and the taste of porridge are new to your child. It has to get used to it. Feed with lots of love, calm and patience.
Lunch at the family table 10th to 12th month
From around the 10th month onwards, your child can eat by themselves, preferably with the whole family. That promotes his development. It learns good eating habits and togetherness. Let your child try new foods, but don’t offer too many different products at once. Your child does not need special, expensive children’s foods, and sweets are also unnecessary at this age. Season the food only a little and use sugar and fat in small amounts. Healthy toddlers don’t have to be round!
The new “drinking meals” or “good morning” or “good evening” bottles
are not suitable for your child. They contain too much sugar and too much calories.
How can I protect my child from allergies?
Breastfeeding only for 6 months
Breast milk is particularly good and important for babies at risk of allergies. Breastfeed until the end of the 6th month and do not feed anything. If that doesn’t work, use hypoallergenic baby food (abbreviation: HA food).
If the doctor determines that your child has an allergy to cow’s milk protein, you need to buy special food. Your doctor will advise you.
Porridge only from the 7th month of life
Give your child only a few different foods to start with, and always allow a few days to pass before trying something new. If your child is allergic to a food, do not feed it again. At the end of the first year of life, the child is allowed to try more and more foods. Do not eat nuts, peanuts, chicken eggs, or fish until you are 2 years old. Quite often they cause allergies in young children.
Basic recipes for baby porridge
Vegetable, potato, and meat porridge
(for 1 serving)
100 g vegetables (carrot, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, kohlrabi, fennel)
1 small potato (50-60 g)
20-30 g finely chopped lean meat
1 tablespoon of oil
3-4 tablespoons of fruit juice or fruit puree
Steam the chopped ingredients in a little water in a closed saucepan until soft, cool a little, and stir in the fruit juice and oil. For a lunch porridge without meat, add 10 g wholemeal oat flakes or millet flakes instead and cook them with the vegetables for the last 5 minutes.
The lunch porridge is easy to prepare in advance and freeze in small portions. Thaw the food just before feeding and add fruit and oil after it has warmed up.
Whole milk and cereal porridge
(for 1 serving)
200 ml whole milk or breast milk or ready-to-use baby food
20 g cereal flakes (whole grain)
20 g fruit juice or fruit puree (e.g. apple, pear)
Add the cereal flakes to the cold milk, boil the mixture while stirring and let everything swell for 3-5 minutes over low heat. Just warm breast milk, do not boil it. Finally, add fruit juice or fruit puree.
Cereal and fruit mash
(for 1 serving)
90 ml water
20 g cereal flakes (whole grain)
100 g fruit (e.g. apple, pear)
1 teaspoon (5 g) butter or oil
Put whole grain flakes in cold water, bring to the boil and let soak for 3-5 minutes. Add the pureed or finely grated fruit puree and oil or butter.
Tips for cooking yourself
Use fresh vegetables or seasonal fruits. Frozen products without spices and salt are also suitable.
Prefer products with organic seal. They contain fewer pollutants.
Steam the food with a little water and the lid closed over low heat. This is the best way to preserve the nutrients.
Cook large quantities and freeze small portions. That saves time.
Do not use salt. Your child should get to know the taste of the food.
Do not reheat leftover porridge. Bacteria can easily multiply in it.