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Weekly, the dr. Ana Vicente Fernández answer a query related to your baby´s feeding.

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Hi, we're going on a trip abroad with a baby of 6 months that’s still being breast fed, but he’s already eating fruit and gluten-free cereals. We thought about taking jars of baby food, do these products have to be refrigerated? (Marina López de Barberá del Vallès )

Hi Marina,

There’s no problem with taking jarsof commercial baby food and combining them with milk; the jars don’t need to be kept in the fridge although once open they should be.

I'd just mention that in MY MENU you’ll find a wide range of jarred fruit and fruit with cereal or biscuit baby food that you can also safely take with you, since they’re not packaged in glass so there's no danger of them breaking.

My little girl has just turned one, and I want to give her dried fruit, can I? (María Aguilar )

Hi María,

No; NEVER give dried fruit or whole seeds to such a small child, not until they’re at least four or five; first and foremost due to the danger of choking, and then there’s the risk of allergies.

If you want to give her dried fruit, chop it up really finely and add it to purée or yoghurts.

My child is 16 months old and he’s a bit “chubby”. Should he be having skimmed milk? (Elvira Martín )

Hi Elvira,

Skimmed milk is not recommended for a small child of that age, this milk has no fat, a nutrient that’s essential for children's growth; also if he takes skimmed milk, he’ll miss out on the A, D and E vitamins present in the fat of all dairy products.

If you want control your child’s weight, always consult your paediatrician first, they’ll advise you what's best for the baby in question.

All the best

I’d like to introduce other cereals, not just rice and wheat pasta, into my baby's diet, what do you advise? (Leticia Dominguez )

Thanks Hi Leticia,

Fortunately these day’s there are now other possible and equally nutritious alternatives on the market; you can try Royal Quinoa, a very nutritive cereal with high protein value, gluten-free and easy to digest; it also has a mild and pleasant flavour.

If your baby doesn’t chew, you should beat it well before serving.

You can try making him biscuitsor bread – they can be very healthy and nourishing if you use spelt flour instead of conventional wheat, I mean spelt or buckwheat; they’re both older and more digestible forms of wheat.

You could also try Kamut (khorasan wheat) in soups or as a garnish on meat or fish.

And lastly you can use oats or corn, cereals that are easy to find.

How much milk should I give my little boy, now 18 months old? (Toni García)

Hi Toni,

If your little boy is 18 months old and his weight and height are normal for his age, he should be taking around 500 ml of milk or milk products (cheese, yoghurts, junket etc.) a day.Try to serve this in portions spread throughout day.

Lastly, if he hasn't already started, try to get him used to a cup instead of a bottle.

My baby is 7 months old and I’ve been trying to give him fruit in lots of ways, but he’ll only eat the commercial baby food in jars, is there any problem? (Conchi Medina)

Hi Conchi,

You should insist, and offer him combinations of different fruit cooked in different ways (compote, in juices etc.); at first some babies are very reluctant, but they should gradually get a taste for it.

Even so, there's no problem in offering him fruit in a jar; these meet all regulations and pass some strict safety and quality inspections to ensure our babies get products of the highest nutritional value.

In My Menu, we’ve got a range of jarred foods, specifically fruit and fruit with cereals and biscuit, which your baby will love.

I have a little girl who’s 18 months old whosince she turned one and started to walk has gone off eating, so meals are a struggle. What do you advise? (Vicenta Pérez)

Hi Vicenta,

I know it's hard, but the most important thing to remember is to keep calm and relaxed; if you’re nervous, turning the situation into a struggle or war will do you and your daughter no good, also if you make a battle of it, you’re bound to lose.

You can try doing the following:

  • Try to adapt your routine to hers, try to have the family eat together and make her feel part of it, just another person at the table.
  • Don't try to distract her with stories or TV; meal time must be enjoyable, peaceful and relaxed.
  • At 18 months, she should be wanting to do things for herself: even if she gets in a mess, let her eat on her own, learn to use a spoon or fork and drink from a cup.
  • Don't make her special food; try to arrange for all the family to eat the same, providing they’re balanced and healthy meals.
  • It is very important never to pressurise her or force her eat; if she doesn't want to eat, that's OK, don’t make a fuss, just calmly remove the plate.
  • Also if she eats well, you should show her you’re happy and congratulate her, using positive reinforcement, which works a thousand times better than punishment.

How much water should my 12-month-old baby be drinking? (Adela Freire)

Hi Adela,

A one-year-old baby should be starting to eat almost everything, so must also have enough to drink, essential for their proper development.

A 12-month-old should be having between 1.1 and 1.3 litres of liquid daily; I recommend you try to get him or her to drink around 4 glasses of water spaced out during the day, and they'll get the rest of the liquid from their food (soups, fruit, vegetables, dairy produce, etc.).

Can I add salt to my baby's food?He’s 8 months old.And what about seasonings? (Leo Cortés)

Hi Leo,

The reply is NO; your baby’s kidneys aren’t mature enough yet for you to add salt to his meals; in fact, it's not recommended before they're one, and even then only in small amounts.

We know that an 8-month-old gets enough salt from the sodium in his food, so you don't have to add more.

You mention spices, it's a good way of introducing new flavours into their routine; but you should avoid strong spices or seasonings (hot, peppery flavours etc.), and as with other foods, you should introduce them gradually, always checking how they react.

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