Nutrition in the first year of life – what does my baby need?

You can read this article in German or Polish as well.

Do you wonder what the right diet is for your child? During the first year of life, you can follow the nutrition plan. We'll tell you what your baby really needs and what it is not yet allowed to eat.

Ernährung im ersten Lebensjahr
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The nutrition plan in the first year of life

Follow the nutrition plan for the first year so that your child will develop well:

Nutrition in the first months of life

The best thing for you and your child now is breastfeeding. The baby is thus provided with all the important nutrients. It drinks as much as it needs.
If you are not breastfeeding, it is best to use the infant formula "Pre" or "1". Both are similar to breast milk and are suitable for the entire first year of life. You can do without infant milk "2" and "3". They contain other satiating and sweetening additives that are not necessary for the baby. Always give your baby only freshly mixed milk and no leftovers.

Important to know: 
"HA Nahrung"  (“HA food”) is only needed by babies with allergy risk (if the parents or siblings have allergies). "HA" stands for hypoallergenic. This means that it is less allergenic.

The first puree

The first puree is introduced at the beginning of the 5th month at the earliest, and at the beginning of the 7th month at the latest.
The right time varies from child to child. It depends on growth and development. Your baby is ready for puree when he or she can hold his or her head, sit upright with a little help and does not push the puree out with the tongue. You shouldn't start until the 5th month. Your child’s digestive system is not developed enough until then. 

You start with lunch: It is best to start with one type of vegetable and then gradually add potatoes, meat or fish and 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil and 1.5 tablespoons of juice. For the other meals, you either breastfeed your child or give infant formula. 
About 1 month later you can start with the milk-cereal puree and another month later with the grain-fruit puree. You replace one breastfeeding or infant milk formula in the evening and one in the afternoon.

You can find recipes for homemade puree under the following link (in German).

If you cook your own food, you must be careful not to use salt and very little sugar. Do not use sweeteners and flavourings. The child's taste should develop. 

The family meal together 

From the beginning of the 10th month, your baby can gradually participate in the family dinner. You can gradually replace milk and puree meals with solid food. Like the adults, your child now needs 3 main meals (morning, noon and evening) and 2 snacks in the morning and afternoon.

What drinks does my child need?

If your child eats 3 purees a day, he or she will need extra fluids. The most suitable are: water and unsweetened teas, which are also free of flavour additives. You should give your child the drink from a cup, glass or mug. Cow's milk in a cup to drink should only be given to your child at the end of the first year of life.

You can find more information about nutrition in the 1st year here (in German). You can find out here what healthy child nutrition looks like after the first year.

What can't my baby eat?

There are several reasons why a child under one year of age should not eat certain foods. 

The child's digestive system must first develop. Your child cannot yet digest certain foods. That's why you mustn't start giving puree too early. 

Feeding puree or milk too early can damage the intestines and health. Therefore, you should not introduce the first puree before the beginning of the 5th month. After that, other foods in pureed form follow carefully. Only at the end of the first year of life, when the child shows interest in the family meal, can you slowly introduce him or her to the adults' meal.

You must not give your child raw food from animals or use honey. Sometimes there can be dangerous germs in it. 

This means:

  • no products containing raw milk. These are labelled "raw milk" or "produced with raw milk".
  • no raw meat or sausage e.g.: minced meat (Hackfleisch), ground pork (Mett), pâté (Teewurst), salami 
  • no raw fish
  • no raw eggs or non-heated dishes made from them (e.g. homemade mayonnaise)

Important tips:
Do not give your child small, hard foods such as nuts, currants or raw vegetable salads. Your child can choke on them. Children cannot tolerate strongly spiced food and foods that cause bloating.
It is best to buy baby puree with wholegrain, no salt, no chocolate, no cocoa and spices and flavouring.
Drinking puree (Trinkbrei), liquid meals (Trink-Mahlzeiten) and "good-night bottles" ("Gute-Nacht-Fläschchen") are not suitable for babies. 

Information on nutrition for small children (1 to 3 years) can be found here in simple language (in German).