Baby tell me what you eat
1.What should baby eat according to his age and weight?
Nothing could be simpler than a small table (to be received by email by registering on the pop-up that appears at the bottom right) to sum it all up. Without taking into account the specificities and tastes of each of course otherwise we would not get by (for example the small details that you give to the food such as the fact that it is organic, the origin of the products, the possible intolerances. ..). We therefore leave you the choice to adapt these basic principles to your sauce of course.
2. Does baby perceive all tastes?
Our sense of taste is manifested through information received through thousands of little bumps on the tongue known as taste buds. Our taste buds can detect five basic flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory (umami).
Before we look at how the sense of taste develops, let's see why it matters.
Our sense of taste helps us:
- Determining if something is safe to drink - the sour taste of a sip of milk turns us off, so we avoid drinking potentially harmful bacteria. A bitter taste also triggers alarm signals, preventing us from ingesting potentially toxic substances.
- Enjoying Food: Enjoying food motivates us to eat, it's biology's way of ensuring we get energy and nutrients.
A child's first taste buds appear on its brand new tongue while it is still in its mother's womb. There he swallows amniotic fluid, which is continuously flavored by what his mother eats and drinks.
A newborn can perceive a sweet, sour, bitter and savory taste, but not salty (which develops around the age of 4 months). He prefers sweets, which may be the biological way to ensure his nutrition by attracting him to breast milk. Like amniotic fluid, breast milk is also continuously flavored by what the mother eats and drinks.
Around the age of 6 months, babies are ready to eat solid foods. They use their taste buds, smell and touch to learn about the different flavors, textures, consistencies and temperatures of food.
However, it is important to know that infants have a predisposition to reject new foods, a phenomenon known as "neophobia". During infancy, almost all foods are "new", so it's no wonder that introducing a new food or formula can lead to some resistance from your baby. The good news is that this neophobia can be overcome with repeated exposure to the food. In other words, taste preferences are not fixed, they are constantly changing. With repeated experience, infants accept and may even prefer previously rejected foods. One study observed mothers who presented a particular food daily for a certain period of time. The researchers found that 15 spoonfuls were needed for infants to easily accept the new food.
So if you can't find it easy to introduce solids to your child's diet or introduce them to new pureed foods, don't be discouraged! It is not only not serious but also very normal for your child to reject the new food at first. Just be patient and persistent and keep presenting the food in a positive way.
So biology and genetics play a role in taste preferences, but so do you! Studies show that the flavors a child tastes in its mother's womb and during infancy determine its later food choices.
Here's what that means for you depending on the period:
- If you are pregnant:
You can try to expand your child's taste palette even before birth by eating a variety of foods yourself. Studies show that babies prefer the taste of certain foods that their mother ate during pregnancy.
- If you are breastfeeding:
Since your baby can taste your food through your breast milk, you can expose her to many flavors. Research shows that children who have been breastfed tend to be less picky eaters. This can be explained by the fact that they were exposed to a variety of flavors at an early age. If your child drinks formula, you can still mold his palate when it's time to consume solid foods.
Baby does not therefore perceive all tastes from birth, it is up to you to model his palate by making him taste as many foods as possible so that he is less picky about food and that he learns to appreciate the good things in life!
3. Should you eat at the same time as your baby?
A priori yes, because family meals are a perfect opportunity for you and your baby to spend time together. Not only is it a great way to bond, but it can also help your baby eat better and enjoy a wider variety of healthy foods. Babies and young children love to copy their parents. So seeing you, your partner, or siblings eating healthy foods can inspire your child to try them themselves. Most importantly, your baby will see that healthy meals can be enjoyable. This will help her form healthy eating habits that could last a lifetime.
However, be careful not to give everything and anything to your baby (we have already seen what to give him according to his age).
But when your baby turns six months old, he can share most healthy, home-prepared family meals. Just like adults, babies need foods from all the major food groups as we have seen in the previous table.
If your baby eats family foods, do not add salt or sugar during cooking. You can always season your own plate afterwards. And avoid foods such as honey, whole nuts and raw shellfish, which are unsafe for babies. Attached is a list (to be received by email by subscribing to the pop-up that appears at the bottom right) of all the foods not to be given to a baby:
Don't worry if your baby doesn't eat much at first. He will continue to get most of his diet from breast milk or formula. To start, you can offer your baby a few bites from your plate or a few spoonfuls of mixed foods. Over time, you can gradually increase the amount; aim for three meals a day, plus snacks, by his first birthday.
If your baby is not ready to eat solid foods yet, you can offer him purees that you will also serve to your family.
For example, mashed butternut squash is delicious with rice and chicken.
If you serve soft foods, such as well-cooked fruits, vegetables, fish or chicken, you can serve them to your baby whole, right from the start. Many babies love to feed with their fingers, and chewing helps develop the muscles your baby needs to learn to talk. Your baby doesn't need teeth to eat soft foods; he can easily crush them with his hard gums.
If you're starting with pureed foods, try switching to lumpy, mashed foods as soon as your baby becomes interested in them. By the age of one, he should be able to eat foods of the same texture as you - just cut them into pieces that are easy for him to grasp.
However, it is not always practical to share every meal with your baby, especially if you are working. But try to share as many meals as possible.
It is particularly fantastic to be able to have breakfast with your baby every day. Babies, children and adults who eat regularly in the morning tend to have healthier diets and are less likely to be overweight. Sharing a family breakfast is therefore a good thing for the whole family!
Finding time to sit down and eat with your baby every day can be difficult, but you can take comfort in knowing that you, your baby, and your family will likely reap the rewards for a long time to come.
We know that families who eat together are more likely to eat healthily. They are also more likely to eat a wider variety of foods, with more fruits and vegetables and dairy products. Invest time now, and you may find that as your child grows, they'll be more likely to maintain the healthy habits you've developed.
Also, try to keep mealtimes calm, unrushed, and as relaxed as possible, but don't feel bad if mealtimes sometimes become more rushed than relaxed!
A word of advice: keep distractions to a minimum so you can enjoy each other's company. So turn off the TV, tablet or radio and don't bring your phones to the table. If you can't manage to have a quiet meal together every day, aim for at least one or two meals a week.
Try to make sure there is something your baby will eat at every meal. That way, you won't have to worry about him skipping meals altogether. For example, if he likes bread, you can give him a few small pieces alongside your food.
Offer him small portions and always follow his rhythm. If your baby doesn't want to eat a particular food, or if he's had enough of it, don't persuade him, offer a bribe, or pressure him to eat. You'll soon know the signs that your baby has had enough to eat: they may stop eating, push their food away, or turn their head away. If so, just take him off his plate.
Don't be discouraged if your baby makes weird facial expressions when eating something new. This doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't like food. He may just be surprised by the unusual taste.
Feeding a baby can be messy, but don't feel like you have to clean everything up as you go. Have bibs handy, throw a newspaper or plastic sheet on the floor under your baby's high chair, and let her explore her food.
Also, if you even don't like a particular food, you can consider this an opportunity to learn to like it. When you introduce your baby to a new food, try one yourself - you never know, after a few tries you might like it!
4. Should you put baby on the same diet as you if you are vegan?
In general, vegetarian diets can be healthy for children as long as their nutritional needs are met. However, Manisha Panchal, MD, a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, believes the issue becomes more complicated when considering a vegan diet for a young child or infant.
Vegan diets don't use any animal products, including eggs or dairy, and this poses unique risks for babies and young children due to their extremely rapid growth rates, Dr. Panchal says.
"Infants and young children simply need more protein, calcium, and vitamins D and B12 than adults," she says. "These nutrients are abundant in milk and dairy products, which vegan diets do not allow for."
For most of the first year, you can provide a healthy vegan diet for your newborn, either by breastfeeding or offering a soy-based infant formula approved by your pediatrician. Sometimes vitamin B12, vitamin D and iron supplements are given for the first year, but be sure to consult your pediatrician.
After the age of one year, it is more difficult to maintain a correct diet with a vegan diet.
There are now more than 1.6 million vegetarians and vegans (2.5%) in France according to Xerfi, and within these figures it is likely that an increasing number of infants are also raised on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
But making sure babies are getting the right amount and balance of nutrients can be tricky, even without restrictions on what they can eat. Even in developed countries, a large proportion of children do not get enough vitamins and minerals, and it seems that vegan diets contribute to this. So how difficult is it for vegetarian or vegan parents to get that right while conveying their dietary preferences?
Babies need lots of nutrients. Their weight can triple in the first 12 months, a good indicator of how much skin, bone, blood and body tissue they need just to lie down. Particular intakes will be necessary in particular with regard to the type and balance of nutrients they need. Healthy eating recommendations for adults, which encourage people to eat less fat and more fiber, are totally inappropriate for children under two.
For the first six months, babies can get all the nutrients they need from breastmilk or quality infant formula (although the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding whenever possible). ). But after this period, babies should start receiving complementary foods in addition to breast milk or formula for at least the first year of life.
Their diet should include good sources of protein and fat, mixed with vegetables, fruits and grains - but not too much fibre, as it can be too rich without providing enough nutrients. They should consume as little highly processed foods as possible and avoid the addition of salt. Sugar can be useful for meeting energy needs, but it must be present in foods that contain many other nutrients. The more a baby eats a wide variety of foods, the less likely he is to lack nutrients.
It's a common myth that it's hard for vegans and vegetarians to get enough protein. About half of the protein consumed by people in developed countries comes from plants. It is true that plants (with the exception of seeds) are mostly made up of carbohydrates (with the exception of soy) and contain lower amounts of the essential amino acids that make up proteins. While animal products (and soy) contain good amounts of these amino acids in a small portion of the diet.
But all of this just means that a plant-based diet should contain a mix of protein sources. For example, meals consisting of beans baked on toast, peas and rice, and pasta and lentil “bolognese” would provide the variety babies need.
In addition, a plant-based diet should provide adequate absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, iodine, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D. In plants, these Minerals are not only limited to certain sources, but they are also more difficult for the body to absorb because they can bind to plant fibers.
But since these vitamins and minerals are found in dairy products and eggs, a varied vegetarian diet that includes these foods should not cause problems, provided the baby has a good appetite.
Once babies start eating solid foods, iron intake takes on greater importance because they need it proportionately more than older children and adults. Anemia due to a lack of iron is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, and children under the age of five are most vulnerable to it. But babies can get iron from eggs, pulses like lentils, nut butters (provided they are not allergic), dark green vegetables like broccoli, fortified cereals, flour enriched milk and breast milk or powder.
However, things are more difficult for vegans. Even a varied vegan diet can cause a whole host of problems for babies' growth and development. Not eating dairy or eggs removes an easy way to provide these essential vitamins and minerals. A vegan diet is also lower in fat (an important source of energy for a growing little body) and may be lower in natural sugars due to the lack of milk, a natural source of lactose.
Without eating animal products, the only reliable sources of vitamin B12 are fortified foods or supplements, and insufficient intake of the vitamin can lead to nerve damage.
However, if the parents have a sensible attitude and are established vegans, there's no reason why a baby can't eat a varied, mostly vegan diet. Ideally he should have limited amounts of bulky whole grains and the occasional egg and milk to supplement his plant-based foods.
The little +: Is it normal to want to eat your baby?
Go ahead, pinch your baby's little cheeks. Research shows it makes you a better parent.
Alala, babies, those adorable little faces and all those little rolls that we've all wanted to bite into at least once. As we did our best to resist this urge to bite our baby, we sometimes wondered, "Is this normal?"
And yes, don't worry, Mom, your urge to devour your baby — or your newborn, or your husband, or your friend's baby, for that matter — is evidenced by evolution, biology, and plenty of research. Not only is this normal, but it's totally healthy.
These urges are part of an evolutionary bonding mechanism and are synonymous with positive emotions and healthy attachment, in addition to helping us reduce our stress levels by releasing accumulated energy and emotional overload. Several studies have provided insight into the biological underpinnings of human care and explain, neurobiologically, why we feel these urges.
First of all, it has been shown that the characteristics of babies (big eyes, big head, small nose, small mouth, etc.) are in fact a way of making babies attractive so that we take care of them and that we take care of them.
Also, while the cuteness of these can motivate us to care for anything resembling a baby, it can also over-stimulate us, which overloads our brains and makes us want to bite.
So how does this explain why we want to eat our baby?
In 2015, two studies were conducted by graduate psychology students at Yale University's Clark Relationship Lab. Researchers Oriana Aragon and Rebecca Dyer determined that an excess of cute stimuli (in this case, the baby's schema) triggers an aggressive response - or opposite expression.
Cute aggression, or “dimorphic expression,” occurs when an abundance of positive emotions elicits expressions normally associated with negative emotions.
In their first study, participants saw pictures of babies so cute that it overwhelmed them with positive feelings and caused them to reveal expressions of strong aggression, saying they wanted to pinch babies' cheeks and "devour" them. As expected, participants experienced more positive feelings when looking at photos of cuter babies than when looking at photos of less cute babies.
"When you see something unbearably cute, you have this very positive reaction," said lead researcher Oriana Aragon. These feelings become overwhelming, and for some reason the expression "dimorphic" results in teeth grinding, fists clenching, and aggressive statements like "I want to eat you." Deep down, when we feel such intense happiness, it manifests as a violent impulse.
So why are we doing this? It's a way to release stress.
Too many positive emotions can be just as stressful and overwhelming as too many negative emotions - and it's just as bad for our bodies. “To regulate these emotions and regain a good emotional balance, we must release our stress in an opposite way, that is to say with aggression, but cuteness”.
So go ahead, “bite” those fat cheeks – it makes you a more emotionally balanced person, and therefore an even better parent.