Baby feeding guide.

Baby feeding guide.

Baby feeding guide.

From weaning onwards.

Produced by Osservatorio Chicco

In recent decades, numerous scientific studies have shown that feeding is one of the most important factors for the health of the individual, both as a child and as an adult.

In fact, correct eating habits, starting from early childhood and maintained over time can help prevent very serious diseases, such as arterial hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

As the food experiences of childhood influence the habits of subsequent years, it is essential that the family assists the baby, on the one hand, to grow healthy, teaching him to make correct dietary choices, and, on the other, to build a comfortable and balanced relationship with food.

The Osservatorio Chicco thanks

Prof. Claudio Maffeis | Pediatrics

University of Verona Department of Paediatrics

Dr. Gabriella Morini

University of Gastronomic Sciences Lecturer, Pollenzo

Dr. Chiara Pusani | Dietician

Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition UOSS – Clinical Improvements Institutes

Dr. Emanuela Iacchia | Psychotherapeutic Psychologist

Bicocca University of Milan

Teacher member of the Italian Society of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and all the mums and dads who have given their valuable contribution to the development of this guide by communicating to us their enthusiasm, their anxieties, their suggestions and their great thrill of being parents


Art Servizi Editoriali S.p.A. - Bologna

Editorial design and drafting:

Chiara Lancioni



1.1 Milk up to 6 months

1.2 What is weaning

1.3 When to start weaning




u ation starts at the dinner table

2.1 The role of mum and dad

2.2 The importance of rules

2.3 Taste in early childhood




Proteins, carbohydrates & Co

3.1 Food and energy requirements 12

3.2 In search of new flavours 16

4.1 Seasonal flavours

4.2 Tools of the trade

4.3 Preservation methods




What, when, how

5.1 From 5 to 9 months

5.2 From 9 to 12 months

5.3 From 12 to 24 months

5.4 From 2 to 3 years





6.1 Food allergies

6.2 Celiac disease



6.3 Constipation and diarrhoea 51



The opinion of paediatricians and nutritionists is unanimous: there is no better and more complete food for a baby than his mother’s milk. It contains everything that the child needs and plays an inimitable role in protecting the well-being of the child and his future health: in addition to providing all the substances that are essential for healthy growth, it represents in fact an excellent source of antibodies that defend the body from the attack of viruses and bacteria, and is rich in digestive enzymes, which facilitate the absorption of nutritive components contained in the milk itself.

Breast milk is a food that is biologically suitable for the human being: it is always fresh and always at the right temperature, and its composition changes over time, adapting to the needs of growth of the newborn. For all these reasons, the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for the first year of life, involving

breastfeeding exclusively at least up to the first 6 months,

and then the gradual introduction of solid foods, and in any case breastfeeding for as long as possible.

On the other hand, if direct breastfeeding is not practicable, artificial formula milk can be used: for years, new formulas have been studied to ensure maximum safety for the child and to obtain a product as similar as possible, in terms of the composition and organoleptic characteristics, to breast milk. Today, the results are very good and there is a wide range of choices: paediatricians can best advise mothers on the type of artificial milk to use.

The paediatrician recommends...

It is important to emphasise that, in any event, the introduction of foods other then milk must not take place before 4 months of age because it is unnecessary and, indeed, potentially harmful. Under 4 months, in fact, the level of neuromuscular coordination achieved by infants will not allow them to swallow foods other than milk.




Most paediatricians recommend the gradual introduction of new foods starting from the 6th month. Breast milk continues to be a very good food, but alone is not enough. At that age the child needs nutrients that are not sufficiently present in the milk (either in the maternal or artificial milk): with growth, the needs of his body, in rapid development, increase and a solely milk diet is no longer able to satisfy him. The milk will hold a fundamental place in his feeding, but must be accompanied by other foods.


is a gradual path that normally lasts for months, all the time necessary for the baby to learn a new way of eating, from which also to draw some gratification: he must in fact go from the experience of sucking the breast or the bottle to that of

swallowing the solid food

that he is offered with a teaspoon. During this period the child explores new flavours, discovers food with colours and different textures, and begins to develop his own tastes, which will follow him into adulthood.

The psychologist recommends...

Weaning is a very delicate path and it is important that it is carried out taking into account not only the new nutritional requirements of the child, but also the psycho-emotional needs as well. The baby finds himself making his first discoveries: he must learn a new way of eating and, in addition to the pleasant taste of milk, begins to discover wholly new flavours. These big and small experiences help him to mature from a neurosensory point of view and impress themselves in his memory. It is important, therefore, that the meal is a positive time. Parents will need to have patience and transmit to the baby absolute confidence, respecting his pace in adapting to the new experiences and sharing with him the joy of overcoming this first challenge, one of the many that he will face during growth.

Helping him to accept gradually that the new food is a way of helping him grow.




We must not forget that weaning is the


important moment of

partial separation

, and thus of

autonomy, from the maternal figure.

We must therefore try to respect the child’s pace, encouraging his “food independence” in a relaxed manner and without forcing him.

Certain precautions should be taken when introducing new foods:

New foods should be introduced one at a time. This is a useful precaution also to identify

any food intolerances.

New foods should be offered gradually. Weaning is accompanied by the maturation of

mechanisms that allow the taking of and digestion of food: the semi-solid food that is placed in the mouth of the baby must be allowed to descend actively towards the throat to then be swallowed; the structures of the stomach and intestine modify to optimise the digestive processes of the nutrients. It is therefore important that weaning is conducted properly so that the intestinal wall, very permeable in the first few months of life, develops normally.

Foods should be offered without imposition and even through trial and error. If the baby

refuses a particular food, it is advisable not to insist and instead to try again the following day; furthermore, the refusal of new tastes betrays the natural tendency of the baby to the sweet taste of milk which is very reassuring, and a certain distrust toward food never tasted before is quite normal.

Parents should be aware of the fact that any forcing is likely to generate in the child a rejection of the food that will last over time: learning to eat and drink alone has a very important value in the emotional development of the baby.

The paediatrician recommends...

The refusal of a food is a common experience; it is recommended that the same food is offered on different days up to at least 10 attempts before concluding that the baby doesn’t like that food.




The decision regarding the

right time


start weaning

is an important one. Every child has different physical and maturation characteristics; his family has its own food habits and the degree of experience of the mother can similarly vary. Weaning should only be started if the child is in good health and thus in optimal condition to adapt to changes. The paediatrician is the figure of reference that can help the mother and the family in addressing this important stage: he will evaluate the most appropriate time to begin, and will indicate to the parents when to introduce the new food. Further help will come from the child himself: it will be baby himself that will give you the first signs of openness to change. Just observe and be ready to perceive them: some, at 6 months, show a curiosity toward new flavours, and the sight or aroma of foods different from the milk spark an enthusiasm in them, so much so that while they are being breastfed, they tend to become distracted by external stimuli. Others, on the other hand, are still entirely focused on their first love, the mother’s breast; the latter group will tend to reject the taste of new foods. Parents have the task of experiencing this time with naturalness and without anxiety or fear of making a mistake.

The paediatrician recommends...

If it is true that there is no precise date for the beginning of weaning, it is however important not to bring it forward unduly nor to delay it excessively. In any case, early as well as delayed weaning may in fact cause damage to the nutritional plan. Weaning before 4 months is an error because if the mother is still able to breast-feed her baby, it’s not advisable to deprive the latter of these real benefits of mother’s milk; if there is a sufficient supply of mother’s milk, there is no need to integrate it with other foods to compensate for the lacking contribution of certain nutrients. Early weaning is not recommended even in the case of using artificial milk: the dtigestive enzymes develop properly around the 5th month and, as such, the stomach and intestines of the baby are not yet able to assimilate foods. Excessively delayed weaning is a mistake because, after 6 months, milk alone is no longer able to cover the needs of protein, iron, copper and other minerals. The baby is about to double its weight, and to grow healthily, needs a greater intake of calories and nutrients.




Parents are the first source of inspiration for the child: what they do (even how and why they do so) represents the most important model of education, especially in the early years of his life.

Also at the table.

The relationship that the child develops with the food depends mainly:

on the attitude of the parents towards this relationship (calm or anxious if the baby doesn’t want to eat, passive or angry if he makes a fuss, worried or unconcerned if he doesn’t finish his food);

on the attitude of the parents regarding the food and the event of the meal itself (how and what the parents eat, how they talk about food in the presence of the child etc.).

Although parents are often not aware, the responses that they obtain from the child - rejection irritation, loss of appetite, or conversely, tranquillity, joy, desire to eat - are not linked to what he is being offered, but to how he is being offered it. The child will respond accordingly to anxiety, guilt, anger, frustration: the meal will become a time of conflict and every bite will be dominated by tension.

At the table

, as in every other situation,

the child is looking for safety, protection and love

; he observes his parents, he compares himself with them, grows and learns.

The psychologist recommends...

Food education and a positive approach to food, established in childhood, can act favourably on the prevention of eating and weight disorders (anorexia/bulimia, obesity).

Give food the right value

Giving food the right value means avoiding using it as a reward, punishment or distraction: it is important to associate only positive connotations with meal times. Food is not a commodity and the child should not be eating to obtain the affection or approval of his parents as a reward.


The psychologist recommends...

Although in the early years of life, the relationship between mother and baby also takes place through food, it isn’t necessary to load a negative psychological significance on the possible refusal of food by the child.

If he refuses the food prepared by his mother, this doesn’t mean that he is rejecting his mother too. Patience is required, to learn to know the tastes of your baby and to comply with his preferences. Baby meal times should take place without anxieties and instead as a moment of positive relationship without conflict with your child.



Set down only a few rules

Even when referring to food, the baby needs boundaries to feel safe: communicating to him a few simple rules from very young ( don’t play at the table, and why, don’t snack between meals etc.) means monitoring him so that he remains within the boundaries shown.

Playing up at the table

How to handle a “no”, a tantrum, a challenge made by the baby at the dinner table?

First of all, it’s necessary to have patience and keep control of the situation, knowing that sometimes your child might not be hungry and decide instead to skip the meal (and he won’t die of hunger!) or instead to continue what he was doing before.

In any case, it is always important to understand the reason for his behaviour: if, for example, the child is not feeling well, if he’s sleepy or doesn’t feel like eating, it’s better not to force him.




The psychologist recommends...

If the child refuses to eat his food, be patient; in fact, the child needs time to get used to the new food both from a physiological and psychological point of view. It is important not to convey your own anxiety to him.

At this initial phase, the child should never be forced to eat. Any leftovers should be respected, offering and never imposing on the child new food, possibly trying again a few days later. This will avoid engaging in a confrontational attitude between mum and the child.

But be careful not to exceed the opposite behaviour, i.e. the continuous offering of presents, repeatedly changing the dishes and becoming subject to the whims of the child while allowing him to accept a certain food. Meal times must be a pleasant event, an opportunity to be together with mum and dad, possibly in a peaceful place, without distractions.




by Prof. Gabriella Morini,

University of Gastronomic Sciences

The eating behaviour of children is strongly guided by their preferences: in other words, they eat only what they like. Therefore, to identify the factors that determine the choices and consumption of foods already as a child, it is important to plan strategies to improve the health of children.

Genetic factors have an undoubted importance, but their predisposition is altered by exposure to different tastes starting as early as pregnancy. Getting children used to a wide range of flavours is the key to promoting their desire to eat fruit and vegetables (food eaten is never enough in childhood), as well as reducing mistrust towards new food. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that early experiences lay the groundwork for future food choices.

Educate taste

The sense of taste recognises the chemicals of which a certain food is made allowing the body to distinguish foods rich in essential nutrients from those that are potentially toxic. Eating is a necessity that can generate pleasure if the food meets a need, or, on the contrary, aversion if it is harmful: what’s very important, when referring to taste, is the hedonistic component.


pleasure of food

lies in the feeling of “good taste” which is derived from a pleasant food which is therefore introduced into the body, while an aversion stems from the “bad taste” of a food that, once tasted, you don’t like and is thus rejected.

What are

the foods that are most acceptable

? Historically, the scarcity of food has been the main threat to life and as such the gustatory apparatus has evolved in such a way as to attract the individual towards food that is rich in calories, amino acids and salts. In the last few decades the scenario has changed radically; however, despite an abundance of food around us, the body is still driven towards the same food. One of the most serious consequences is the emergence of diseases linked to overeating.

Food education has sought to respond to this problem with the message: “Eat healthy foods”.

With poor results. The situation continues to worsen, to the point where reference

is now made to an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

The way out is to educate taste: to learn to appreciate the food that is beneficial, to continue to eat what you prefer while remaining in “good” health.




How many tastes do we have?

There are 5 so-called fundamental tastes: sweet, umami, savoury, bitter and acid.

Umami derives from the Japanese word umai, which means delicious, and is the taste associated with meat and other fermented products.

the flavour of beef is generally appreciated and the amino acids that constitute proteins are fundamental for the metabolism. Savoury is very pleasing to mammals, that are attracted to it to keep the concentration of sodium ion at normal levels. Bitter substances, on the other hand, are acceptable, but only in low concentrations. Finally, the acid taste, which can be a sign of bad food, is only tolerated up to a certain threshold.

The system that makes the perception of different tastes possible has evolved in such a way as to respond to stimuli that are potentially toxic at very low concentrations, while for sugars the body is able to tolerate levels that produce a decent amount of calories.

And what about the taste of fat? Lipids cover approximately 40% of the daily intake of calories in

Western countries. Today science has demonstrated the existence of a true sensor for the fat flavour which could be added to the 5 flavours that are considered to be key.


Variety in taste is associated with the variety in the nutrient content of a food; this means that, if we want to eat better, we need to expand our gustatory horizon as far as possible.

Children have a predilection for sweetness, fats and savoury foods and a clear repulsion for anything bitter and astringent: therefore vegetables, full of bitter or tannin substances present a challenge. (the same to which their beneficial properties are associated).

It is therefore important

to promote the consumption of vegetables

in children

from weaning,

to try to establish virtuous food habits which reduce the total calorie intake and increase the intake of essential micronutrients.




Innate preferences and genetic factors

Solutions of water and sugar have always been used for calming babies, for which the analgesic properties of sucrose are also known. Perhaps this reflects the evolutionary background: sweetness is associated with energy, while the bitter taste with possible harmful substances.

The ability to self-regulate

in infants and children just weaned, with the caloric content of a meal, as well as a preference for dense foods in terms of energy, is also innate.


reluctance to try a new food,

behaviour that appears around 18 months, has evolutionary significance, because it discourages the consumption of what could be a further source of nutrients but also of toxic substances.

Food preferences acquired and the importance of learning from childhood

Man is able to associate a food with the consequences of having eaten it: he therefore learns with time what he can and cannot eat. The innate preferences and behavioural trends are thus modified by the experience since early childhood.

In truth, even before birth we are exposed to different tastes: during pregnancy the savoury compounds (that have taste) present in what the future mum is eating passes through the amniotic liquid feeding the foetus. If the latter is accustomed to certain flavours, once born the baby will gravitate more to those flavours:

the education in taste

of the unborn child already

begins in the maternal uterus.

Breastfed babies, being accustomed to a broader spectrum of tastes (deriving from the diet of the mother), are more likely to accept a new vegetable at the first offering during weaning than children fed artificially. Similar results were obtained with artificial milks supplemented with various substances.

Offering vegetables early on helps to make the bitter taste familiar. In addition, the use of vegetables to prepare the baby food has the advantage of reducing the overall calorific content of the meal, limiting the risk of an excessive energy intake, one of the most frequent problems in wealthy countries.



The National Institute of Nutrition and the Italian Society of Paediatrics have developed precise tables showing the amount of nutrients and energy that a child should have on a daily basis to maintain good health. This is


(Recommended daily Intake Levels of Nutrients), periodically updated guidelines that contain the reference values of the energy needs of the child.

Parents can take these into account not only to set a balanced diet, but also to address from childhood the food related habits and choices of the family.

The diet must ensure a nutritional balance

that guarantees

coverage of the minimum needs


avoiding excesses with regard to the real



of the child.

The following table shows the energy needs from birth to 3 years in relation to sex.


0-1 m 1 m 2-4 m 5 m-1 a



kcal/kg kcal/kg









1-3 a



As there is no such thing as a standard diet for everyone, in the same way, no rigid schemes of weaning are imposed: every child has its own requirements for growth and, consequently, energy and subjective nutritional needs. It’s not the foods that are essential for his well-being but the


that these bring: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, mineral salts and water.


The proteins, in addition to being the “bricks” that build and renew the cells of organs and tissues are the main components of the internal organs, muscles and skin; they contribute to the production of certain enzymes and hormones, they have an immune function

(antibodies are proteins) and provide energy.



Proteins that contain all the essential amino acids (such as those found in meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese) are called

proteins of high biological value

, or nobles; those that contain only a few of these, such as vegetable protein (present in legumes), are defined as

low biological value


If not enough proteins are introduced, the body must use muscle proteins to meet the requirements.

As such, they are essential in the diet, especially during growth and development. On the other hand, as the body is not able to store them, any excess protein is transformed into fat, contributing to the processes of sclerosis: it is advisable to introduce them in the right quantities with food, avoiding the excessive intake of those of animal origin.

Carbohydrates or glucides

Carbohydrates are an ideal source of energy with respect to protein and fat as the glucose content is rapidly used for energy purposes.

They are divided into

simple carbohydrates

(such as the sugars found in fruit and milk, and sweeteners such as cooking sugar and honey), which are digested and assimilated quickly and provide immediate consumption energy, and

complex carbohydrates

(such as the starches present in flours, cereals, in potatoes etc.), that are absorbed slowly and offer energy that can be exploited in the long term. The energy provided by carbohydrates is used for the functioning of the nervous system and red blood cells, as well as for physical activity. In this case too, the contribution of carbohydrates needs to be balanced. with that of other nutrients as an excess creates unnecessary reserves in the form of fat.

Fat or lipids

Fats, divided into


(from animal sources, such as butter and cream) and


(of vegetable origin, such as olive oil and seeds), are fundamental because, in addition to providing energy that is stored, they regulate metabolic exchanges, they carry certain vitamins, contribute to the formation of cell membranes of the central nervous system, brain and retina.




Although performing important tasks, especially during the period of growth, fats must be introduced in the right quantities, prioritising unsaturated fats (an excess of saturated fats can result in overweight children, possibly even obesity, and the appearance, in adulthood, of cardiovascular diseases). Bear in mind that there are

invisible sources of fats

: many saturated fats, for example, are “hidden” in cheeses, eggs, in meat, salami etc., while unsaturated fatty acids are found in fish, dried fruit and certain kinds of white meat.

During the first year, 85-90% of calories consumed are used for the maintenance of functions and for growth, while only 10-15% is for physical activity. In the second half of the year proteins should provide 10% of the contribution of energy, carbohydrates 50% and fat 40%.


glucides 50% lipids 40% protein 10%



The paediatrician recommends...

In the second half of the year of life the child is still growing very quickly. In spite of this, his protein requirements are modest if calculated as a percentage of total calories (10%).

The risk of preparing baby food containing high amounts of unnecessary and, indeed, potentially harmful protein should therefore be avoided.





Vitamins are essential as they regulate and coordinate the activities of cells. They are largely introduced with food.They are divided into


, i.e. soluble mins A, D,

E, K), mainly contained in food of animal origin, and


, i.e. soluble in water (B-group vitamins, folic acid, vitamins C, PP and H), contained in fruit and vegetables: liposolubles can be stored in the body, while soluble ones are not accumulated and should therefore be taken.

Mineral salts

Mineral salts, calorie free, are essential to the body in the growth of the child: calcium, phosphorus and fluorine contribute to the construction of bones and of the teeth; iron to the formation of red blood cells; sodium, potassium and chlorine regulate agnesium and copper start certain metabolic cycles.

They are removed daily

through sweat, urine and faeces and must be introduced with food.





When weaning,

milk does not disappear

from the diet of the child, but

is integrated

with other foods, which complete the nutritional supply. This is known as

complementary weaning

rather than

replacement weaning


While losing its exclusive role, this food rich in








holds a prominent place in the diet: it must cover at least 50% of energy needs and the child consumes half a litre of it per day.

If you have the opportunity, you should continue to provide breast milk, which remains the best and most digestible kind of milk. On the other hand, if the breast has been replaced by bottled milk, a continuation milk, specially formulated for weaning and rich in iron and essential fatty acids is recommended.

The paediatrician recommends...

The experts of ESPGHAN (European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) recommend the introduction of cow’s milk upon completion of the first year of age as this, with respect to the mother’s milk, offers:

a superimposable caloric content;

a protein and mineral salt content (sodium in particular) that is excessive for the requitrements for the first 12 months; an excessively high protein intake can result in the risk of the kidneys being overworked, organs which are still unprepared to dispose of it in high concentrations.

In addition, there is the risk of intolerance;

similar iron levels, but with low absorbability, which could lead to a deficiency, with the risk of anaemia.

a higher content of saturated fats and a smaller proportion of essential long chain fatty acids,

so important for the development of structures of the nervous system;

a smaller supply of vitamins, especially vitamin D, essential to maintain calcium in bones,

vitamin A, which protects the skin and mucous membranes and strengthens sight, and vitamin

C, that has an anti-infective action and plays an important role in the absorption of iron .

Because of these characteristics it is advisable not to administer cow’s milk before one year of age.




Milk derivatives

Cheese contains

high biological value proteins

necessary for children and is an ideal source of calcium, essential for strengthening bones. Preference should be given to leaner cheeses, for example ricotta cheese or even Parmesan cheese if the child appreciates stronger tastes.


is rich in






. A baby can even be offered yoghurt before one year of age as the


that it contains allow the milk proteins to be better assimilated and pre-digest the sugar in milk (lactose) which is well tolerated by the intestine.

Its composition promotes calcium absorption and the presence of lactobacillus strengthens and regulates the intestinal flora.

The paediatrician recommends...

It is suggested that you add 1 teaspoon of Parmesan grana or grated Parmesan cheese to baby food as these cheeses, as well as providing a good quota of calcium, do not contain lactose, they are free of preservatives and the maturing fragments the proteins making them easier to digest. The amount of cheese must be balanced with that of other foods containing protein (milk, legumes, fish, meat, eggs) in compliance with the nutritional recommendations. Around the 8th to 9th month, the baby may no longer enjoy milk

(especially the formulated kind), for example in the afternoon. In this case milk derivatives can be offered such as fresh cheeses or, in particular, yoghurt. The latter can be offered as a snack, replacing the meal in the afternoon, as it is very nutritious and digestible.


Vegetables, together with fruit, are among the top foods during weaning. A base, in fact, of the first meals given is vegetable broth. Vegetables are good sources of



mineral salts

and especially


which help to stabilise the intestine. In general, they contain few calories (a little more for starchy vegetables like potatoes and legumes), and are therefore suitable for feeding your baby.




The paediatrician recommends...

The first vegetables to use are potatoes, carrots and courgettes, to which will be gradually added, French beans, fennel, pumpkin and celery. Initially you should avoid those that have a bitter and strong taste (onions and cabbages); spinach and tomatoes can also be carefully introduced, that have a high content of nitrates along with tomatoes, that are potentially allergenic, and legumes, rich in fibre.

In the choice of vegetables to prepare the vegetable broth, it is preferable to choose seasonal products, cultivated without the use of pesticides or other chemicals, and it is essential to wash the various vegetables carefully.

For the first baby food only use broth; in the following weeks, it is possible to add 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable purée, made using a blender, especially recommended if the child has constipation.


Fruit, introduced at the beginning of weaning, provides the baby with other

mineral salts





, and its sweet taste is generally appreciated. In the first year of life, it is a pleasant completion of the diet but is not an indispensable food; however, getting the child used to eating it is important to ensure a broader panorama of flavours, useful in the development of taste.

Initially, fruit can be offered blender and, later, finely grated. The blending of fruit can be done at home with fresh fruit using a blender.

As for any other food offered to the child, it is important to know its origin, especially to verify that it has been grown without pesticides or other chemicals, choosing season fruit, at the right stage of maturity, washing and peeling it with care.




The paediatrician recommends...

The first fruits to introduce are apples and pears as both are easily digestible and with an excellent gut regulatory function, then bananas. After the 6th month seasonal fruit can be offered. Try to avoid adding sugar which alters the natural taste of the fruit as it is already rich in fructose. A further recommendation to bear in mind is that fruit should be offered at the end of a meal or as a snack, as a complement to the diet but can never replace a meal.


In addition to the

proteins of high biological value


iron that is easily absorbable

, meat also provides a decent supply of


, especially

group B type



, and other



The paediatrician recommends...

Meat must initially be offered freeze-dried or blended, since the body of a baby that is a few months old is not able to assimilate meat fibres and, if not reduced into very fine particles, cannot be digested The first meat introduced, generally, is that of rabbit, turkey, veal, lamb and chicken which are leaner and more tender than red meats (such as beef), which are offered later. The suggested amounts in addition to the baby’s first meals are 10 g of freezedried or 40 g of blended.

After the 6th/7th month, puréed food can also be prepared with fresh meat (50 g), with the help of a blender in strict compliance with the rules of hygiene, and always evaluating the origin of the meat.


Fish holds an important place among the foods introduced during weaning. It is rich in

noble proteins

qualitatively equal to those of meat and is a good, easily digestible substitute.




It is rich in precious

mineral salts

for growth, such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and, in particular, iodine. Iodine is also a good source of


(A, D, PP, B1, B2 and B9, or folic acid) and contains

polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3)

, important for the development of the central nervous system and for protection of the retina. The fat in fish helps keep our arteries clean, protecting us from cardiovascular diseases.

For these reasons, getting your child used to eating fish from an early age has an effective preventive value. A lot of


fish can be offered, to be chosen with care, as well as


, ensuring that the cold chain is respected. Fish should be well cleaned and prepared, with all bones fully removed, and blended. Fish can also be added to baby food or, alternatively, can be served alone, steamed and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil.

The paediatrician recommends...

The introduction of fish is recommended from the 7th/8th month. Fish has a greater ability to induce allergy than meat; however, to date there is no evidence that justifies the delay of its introduction into weaning (ESPGHAN 2008). The varieties of fish most suitable for this purpose are those that are leaner: sole, hake and cod. Crustaceans and molluscs must be reserved for the older child (after one year any variety can be offered).


Eggs are concentrated sources of nutrients. The


is rich in






(iron, phosphorous, calcium) and


(A, D and complex B), while

egg white

is devoid of fat, but contains

high biological value protein


Able to contribute to a large extent to cover daily protein needs, though without producing an excessive amount of calories, eggs are very important in infant feeding.




The paediatrician recommends...

Yolk can be introduced as early as 8 months, starting with small amounts added to soups, to be gradually increased until the addition of a whole yolk 1-2 times a week in place of meat, cheese and fish. The albumen, being the more allergenic part, should be introduced only after the age of one, when you can offer your child a whole egg, better if boiled or poached as these types of cooking make it more digestible.


Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, soy etc.: legumes, unlike other plants, contain

proteins of good biological value

, rich in essential amino acids; combined with cereals, become similar to the precious proteins of meat and are a good source of





They can be introduced from the 7th to the 8th month, first in the form of broth with legumes and later puréed and added to the baby food, but must always be peeled.

When combined with carbohydrates (semolina, pasta, etc.), they are an alternative to fish and meat.


Grains provide a good supply of carbohydrates, in particular starches (65-75%), protein (6-12%), fats (1-4%) and fibre.

Easily digestible, they are added to the vegetable broth from the very first baby food to enrich it with complex sugars, which provide long duration energy.




The paediatrician recommends...

You can add cream of rice or semolina to the vegetable broth, then moving on to creamed corn and tapioca. In the past it was considered useful to delay the introduction of semolina to avoid the onset of celiac disease, an illness characterised by an intolerance to gluten. This is contained in wheat but also in barley, rye and food derivatives (pasta, bread, biscuits). More recent evidence suggests the introduction of semolina after the 4th month but before the 7th.

Towards the 10th month, when the first signs of teething become evident and the baby is learning how to chew, introduce him to pasta, low in fat but high in carbohydrates, choosing initially the smaller sizes. Among the varieties available, durum wheat pasta is preferable as it is richer in protein than soft wheat.


Extra virgin olive oil, concentrated in calories and

essential fatty acids

(well tolerated since childhood), is the perfect completion of baby food: simply add a teaspoon to provide the baby with the right amount of fats.

The use of olive oil at the paediatric age protects the gastric mucosa, thereby preventing the appearance of reflux, helps the body to assimilate properly all the necessary nutrients, stimulates the immune system by acting as anti-inflammatory and prevents autoimmune diseases. In addition, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) in which it is rich are essential for the mineralisation of bones and for the development of the central nervous system and the visual organs; the phenols and tocopherols (vitamin E), natural antioxidants, counteract the cellular damage caused by free radicals and oleic acid makes this food suitable for any age.




The paediatrician recommends...

Olive oil stimulates intestinal function and can therefore be very useful for preventing or alleviating constipation, typical of weaning. Not to be overlooked is the fact that it makes baby food tastier and, consequently, more attractive to children. It is important to check the label of the product since, the closer to the expiry date, the oil assumes a more acid taste which might not be appreciated by the child.

Salt and sugar

In the first year of age the

addition of salt



, preferring instead the natural flavour, both to avoid unnecessary overloading of the kidneys and to avoid the child becoming accustomed to tastes that are excessively salty, which might affect his future choices of food, resulting, in adulthood and in susceptible people, in the development of hypertension.


addition of sugars

and sweeteners should also

be discouraged

because the child could start to search out sweet tasting food, facilitating dental decay and a tendency to obesity. Parents should thus pay attention, from early baby food, not to indulge the propensity of the child toward foods that are too salty or too sweet.


Water is a vital source of nutrients as it is the vehicle of nutrients in the body. During weaning, water can be offered in the form of mineral water, also with vegetable broths, soups and milk. Fruit and vegetables are also a source of liquids.


daily requirement

for a child is

very high

and it is important the right amount be provided in the diet. The child should be offered mineral water, since its physical, chemical and bacteriological characteristics remain unchanged and are checked periodically. Parents should contact their paediatrician to find out which among the various

mineral waters

available is more suitable for their child based on the content of trace elements and mineral salts.




To be assessed, in particular, it is the fixed residue (FR), the content of dissolved salts in a litre of water.

Minimally mineralised

waters can be classified as those with FR less than 50 mg/l,

natural mineral waters

those with FR between 50 and 500 mg/l,


those with FR of between 501 and 1500 mg/l and

rich in mineral salts

those with FR greater than 1500 mg/l.

A good mineral water should contain at least 150 mg/l of calcium, a balanced sodium/potassium ratio (with lower potassium to calcium), between 0.5 and 1 mg/l of fluorine and a nitrate content of less than 10 mg/l.

The paediatrician recommends...

Natural mineral or minimally mineralised waters are the most suitable for the dilution of cow’s milk and for the reconstitution of artificial milk as it is more digestible. The former also have diuretic properties. Mineral waters with a high content of calcium are preferable in cases where during weaning, a lack of calcium becomes apparent in the child due to poor intake of milk and its derivatives




The basic rules for healthy cooking are: fresh food, simple preparations, few animal fats, limited quantities of sugar and salt,

seasonal fruit and vegetables


Trying to incorporate into cooking the greatest possible number of products offered by nature is the best way to accustom the child to eating with variety: by doing so, he is always being offered new food (or food that he hasn’t eaten for a few months) and he is being introduced to authentic seasonal food. Nowadays, thanks to scientific research, thanks to modern cultivation techniques and the speed of transport, it’s possible to find any horticultural product throughout the year.

However, consuming seasonal fruit and vegetables is important not only for healthy eating but also forms part of a healthy lifestyle. Vegetables, when they are naturally ripe (flavour and fragrance guide us in choosing) are in fact much richer in nutrients.


Fruit and vegetable seasonal calendar

asparagus broccoli carrots cauliflower black cabbage cucumbers onions beans fennel corn aubergines potatoes peppers peas tomatoes leeks red turnips celery celeriac spinach cabbage pumpkin courgettes apricots oranges cherries strawberries raspberries lemons apples blueberries cranberries blackberries pears peaches prunes black currants grapes

Partial source: “La mia ricetta preferita” – Ecological brand

Project co-financed by the Ministry of Productive Activities - EA 66 Information sheet - Situation as of 03-2011




Accessories for baby meals

Some small, practical precautions based on knowledge of the child can help a mother deal calmly with mealtimes. A good idea, for example, is tableware and crockery specially designed for weaning, colourful and cheerful, that the child is able to grip and use without fears, becoming real companions for him in this new experience.

The high chair

An ideal and specific place for feeding, it plays an important role. A model is advisable that can be transformed to

follow the growth

of the child

from 5-6 months to 3 years

, possibly equipped with a bouncer, to accommodate him in the best position from day one, and a suitable baby chair insert. It must be comfortable and accommodating for a correct start to weaning. But above all it must be safe to avoid the child falling: a comfortable place where the child can have fun in complete safety with games and small activities while his parents are engaged in preparing the meal.

The high chair can be moved closer to the table where mum, dad, and perhaps his young siblings are eating to facilitate the interaction between child and family, and to share the entire meal time

(this is especially useful in the case where an incentive for the child to eat is needed). The example of the adults will also promote the learning of correct behaviour and development of independence at the table.


The infant, accustomed to feeding by sucking milk, may find it difficult to adapt to a teaspoon.

It should be left at the disposal of the child even between meals to make it familiar, allowing him to bring it to his mouth and sucking it as he wishes. Water and chamomile can also be administered with the same spoon so that the child understands that it is

the new way of eating


The teaspoon for younger children should be soft, to ensure maximum delicacy on gums, and with an anatomic handle, in order to facilitate gripping. The ideal size should be that of a teaspoon. It should never be full and must be brought to the baby’s mouth only after he has swallowed the previous mouthful. To help him, especially in the early phases of weaning, it should be inserted into his mouth to about the middle of the tongue.




The dish also has its importance during weaning. It must be a pleasant and cheerful object to contribute to the calm atmosphere of the meal, preferably small because children need to have small portions, non-slip and with a rubber base to prevent the child pushing it away with his hands, and of break-resistant material.

Thermal dishes

are available for slower eaters. These maintain the right temperature of the food for a long time.


These help the child to accomplish complete autonomy, accompanying him along the steps of transition from the function of “sucking” to that of “drinking”.

In the various growth phases, to accomplish independent drinking, the child must achieve:

a position of the lips and tongue different from what is typical of breastfeeding;

the ability to swallow gradually more abundant flows;

the ability to independently grasp objects.

In the early stages of weaning, the child can still be given the opportunity to indulge in the desire to suck, perhaps in the morning, when he is still sleepy, or in the evening, when sucking performs a consoling function. A

first cup


equipped with teat

, with shape and size especially designed for him will enable him to learn how to do it by himself.

Gradually the child will change the position of his lips, adapting to different instruments, from the spout to the edge of a cup, and will learn how to control increasing flows of liquid. Independence in drinking, at the table and at other times of the day, will be facilitated by the small size of the cups and by a design that facilitates gripping.

Pleasant colours and shapes will help him to identify the cup as “his”.




The immediate preparation and consumption of fresh food is preferable as, in doing so, foods maintain their properties. The basis of the first baby food, vegetable broth, can however be prepared in large quantities and stored in a refrigerator in well-closed containers for not more than 48 hours, or frozen in practical tubs. to preserve the food it’s advisable to use

polypropylene containers

(glass may break accidentally).


vegetable broth should be consumed within 48 hours of cooking, better if within

24 hours.

meat and fish can remain in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days;

thawed food cannot be refrozen;

to thaw, the food should be stored in the refrigerator 10 hours before use;

avoid using boiling water to thaw:

defrosted food should be cooked within 24 hours.

food must be frozen already ready for use

(cleaned, dried and packaged);

the container in which the broth is frozen should not be filled to the brim, as liquid, when it freezes, increases in volume.




Milk and yoghurt

Grains Vegetables Eggs Fruit Cheese

Fat from dressing


5 to 9 months


9 to 12 months

Breast milk or formulation milk

first meal

Cream of rice, corn and tapioca

from 7-8 months


from 6 months

Grains with gluten

(multicereal creams, semolina), biscuits for early childhood

from 7-8 months

Pasta, rice in the form of beans

Pasta and legume soup; pasta in red sauce

first meal

Potatoes, carrots, courgettes

(vegetable broth)

second meal

Vegetables purées

from 7-8 months

Legumes without skin

first meal

White meats

(lamb, rabbit, chicken, veal)

from 6 months

Red meat

(beef, pork)

from 7-8 months

Cooked ham

from 7-8 months

Cod, hake, sole

Tomato vegetables in purée or chopped



from 7-8 months


Apple, pear banana

from 7-8 months

Prunes, apricots, pineapple, peaches, citrus fruit


12 to 24 months

Growth or vaccine milk

Any type of fish

Egg whites

Red fruits

(strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), kiwi

second meal

Parmesan cheese; fresh cheese

(ricotta, robiola, crescenza, goat’s milk)

Extra virgin olive oil

After 2-3 years of life, the diet of the child is by now varied and can include all the main types of food, in compliance with nutritional recommendations.




Gradually and following the advice of the paediatrician, it will be time for baby’s first solid food meal, an event to be captured with the inevitable souvenir photo.

The first meal replaces milk-based feeding, generally the second intake of the day

the one corresponding to lunch. The child will therefore eat 3-4 meals of milk and a solid meal for lunch at noon. During this period of great changes, it isn’t necessary to strictly adhere to rigid rules regarding the times and number of meals. After a month from the introduction of the first solid food experience, the second meal should be introduced which will replace the evening breast feed. To enable good digestion and to ensure that the child has the right appetite at mealtimes, an interval of at least 4 hours between one meal and the next should be left. In infants that are exclusively breastfed, the introduction of the baby’s first solid meal can be postponed to the 6th month, starting with 3-4 milk-based meals and one of baby food. Taking into account how lactation is proceeding and the advice of the paediatrician, the second solid meal can then be introduced.

First meal


first meal

is a “single-dish” obtained from the combination of various foods that, together, meet the calorific needs of the child guaranteeing him all the necessary nutrients.

A first complete meal should:

provide, in a balanced percentage, water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, essential to growth;

be prepared with ;

be to gradually accustom the baby, whose dentition is not yet complete, to chewing

The first meal should therefore be composed of the following nutrients.


the liquid component is represented by the

vegetable broth

. The first vegetables used are potatoes, carrots and courgettes, which should be cut into pieces and added to 500 g of boiling water, without salt or a stock cube. Once it has been cooked (half the quantity of liquid will remain), pass the broth through a meshed strainer. You will get a tasty vegetable broth that is low in calories.

The amount to be used for one meal portion is equal to 200-250 cc.





the second ingredient that is added to the solid meal is


. It is best to start with rice, corn and tapioca. These are easy to digest and gluten-free. You can later begin to give the child semolina. The amount of grain to be added is equal to 10% of the vegetable broth.


the first meal should include the noble proteins and the iron present in


. At just a few months old, however, the body of a child is not yet able to assimilate fibre, unless it is fragmented into very fine particles. Therefore, up to the 6th or 7th month, it is preferable to use blended and freeze-dried meat. If you prefer fresh meat, we suggest blending it in a blender. The content of meat is 10 g if you use freeze-dried, 40 g if you use blended and 50 g if you choose fresh meat.


to complete the first meal, giving it a touch of extra flavour, use extra virgin

olive oil

, rich in calories and essential fatty acids. Content: one teaspoon (equal to about 5 g).

After about a month, you can introduce the

second meal

, which

will replace the evening feed


This date is not fixed and will be evaluated on the basis of the time when the weaning period was started, the time needed for the baby to accept the first meal, the tolerance of the child and the advice of the paediatrician. Often the introduction of the second meal coincides with the transition to the 4 daily meals and the second meal becomes the last meal of the day.

The second meal

With the transition to the second meal, the child is already accustomed to less sweet tastes and creamy textures and, in general, more easily accepts new food. Now, always following his pace and while maintaining the same graduation with the introduction of new foods, it is possible to have

variations in flavour and consistency

to the meal that he has learned to appreciate:

It is also possible to add a few teaspoons of

vegetable purée

to the vegetable broth, which enriches the taste of the meal and also the content of vitamins, minerals and fibre, that encourage intestinal regularity

in place of meat, you can include


, an important new entry in the second meal. Rich in high biological content protein, cheese provides a good source of calcium. Besides Parmesan cheese, you can offer low-fat cheeses such as ricotta, robiola, crescenza or goat’s cheese.




Towards the 6th month, the child’s weight has doubled from birth and, in the last few weeks, he will have made great progress in terms of food. He has learned to familiarise himself with the new habits, to accept varied foods, has become more confident with a spoon and his appetite has adapted to new rhythms.

He interacts more with his parents, demands his meal by beating the teaspoon on the highchair, he follows his mother with his eyes during preparation of the baby food, plays with his food: many small signals that is

ready to expand his diet

. The first and second meals have introduced him to the four groups of basic foods (cereals, meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables), in addition to fats from dressings; his diet can now be enriched further.

From 6 to 9 months, the food horizons of the child are constantly expanding.

Now that he is consuming more energy,

grains with glutins

are introduced. The following can be added to the vegetable broth: multicereal creams and wholegrain cereals, wheat semolina, the first pasta (in smaller sizes) and rice. With the appearance of the baby’s first teeth, pasta in a red sauce can also be offered.

Around 7-8 months (except in cases of allergy in the family),


is introduced which contains a good quantity of mineral salts and vitamins and is rich in polyunsaturated fats. Cod, hake and sole are the first types of fish that you can give him.

Good diversity is also important with meat, which will remain the essential ingredient of one of the two main meals. In addition to chicken, rabbit and turkey, the child can perceive the stronger tastes of the beef and pork and from 7-8 months, he can be offered

cooked ham

, without polyphosphates, degreased and finely chopped (or, alternatively, blended).

If there are no cases of allergy in the family, you can also introduce


at this time. Towards the 7th or 8th month he can be gradually offered


, starting from the tip of a teaspoon and then offering the whole yolk, included twice a week in soups instead of meat. It is best to wait for the child to turn one before introducing the egg white.


also make an appearance in the diet of the child in this period: beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas (without skin) can be used for the preparation of a broth of legumes or occasionally be alternated with meat, if combined with carbohydrates (pasta and cereals).




Another new addition is


, which can be offered as a snack (an alternative to breast milk or formulation milk, with biscuits). As with other foods, you should always check the label to make sure the food is free of preservatives, flavourings and colourings.

With regard to


, during this period, the child can eat, in addition to apple, pear and banana, also plums, apricots etc. Citrus fruits, peach and pineapple, which are potentially allergenic, should be introduced carefully: if there have been no cases of allergy in the family, these can be offered starting from the 8th month; otherwise, it is advisable to wait for one year of age. It is also best to wait to introduce the red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) and kiwis until after one year of age.

At this first stage of weaning, it is important to always bear in mind not only the nutritious needs, but also and especially the psycho-affective needs of the child. For parents, patience, staying calm, and the teaching of a few, simple rules are the order of the day. Don’t hurry, force situations or become anxious.

The importance of a calm environment

From the first day of weaning, it is important to recreate the closeness that characterised breastfeeding again at meal times. Few people (better if only the mother and child), no interruptions or distractions!

Follow a ritual

Always following the same ritual when feeding your child helps reassure him and helps him to understand what’s going to happen next. At the beginning it is best to keep him on your lap; the flavour and the unusual texture of the food could upset him and as such, it is necessary to encourage him by talking to him.

The psychologist recommends...

Since the child is habitual and needs certainties, it can be useful to create a sort of meal time ritual, establishing a well defined place where the child will always be fed and using the same methods and the same tools, from the highchair to the crockery, in a calm atmosphere.

It will be important to prepare the table with tableware designed specifically for weaning that is pleasant and cheerful and that the child feels free to use without fear.


In the table accompanying the recipes, the nutritional values refer to the content of a single portion.


1 portion


1 potato (150 g)


1 carrot (170 g)


1 courgette (150 g)


1 small piece of celery stalk (20 g)

500 ml of water


wash and clean the vegetables well, then cut them into large pieces. Put the vegetables in a saucepan and boil slowly for about 40 minutes (the volume of water will reduce to about 250 ml).

Strain the broth and use it as a base for the first meal.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

7,43 2,03 42,35 9,79 207,5

14% 9% 77%

Indispensable basis for baby’s first meals.


1 portion


100 g of pumpkin


30 g of rice for children


200 ml of water


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese


thoroughly wash and clean the pumpkin, cut it into cubes and steam it for about 30 minutes.

Blend adding the cooking water and cook the rice for children in the cream obtained.

Add the oil and Parmesan cheese proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

4,785 6,62 27,62 0,3 181,9

11% 33% 57%

A satisfying dish, rich in fibre.

To be paired with a second course.



1 portion


1 small carrot (60 g)


200 ml of water


1 wedge of cheese


1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


wash and clean the carrot, cut it into small pieces and steam it for about 25 minutes.Blend adding a couple of teaspoons of cooking water, the cheese wedge, Parmesan cheese and oil.

Arrange in a single-serving baking mould and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

47,74 109,08 28,5 1,86 185,5

26% 59% 15%

You can complete the meal with a first course or add a small potato to the ingredients of the recipe.



1/2 pear (40 g)


1/2 small banana (80 g)


about 50 ml of water


wash and clean the fruit well and cut into small pieces.

Cold blend adding a little water.

1 portion

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre

1,08 0,28 15,84 2,96

7% 4% 90%



Ideal between meals, it’s a great snack based on fruit.




Adjustment time and new challenges

The period between the 9th and 12th months represent a period of adjustment in terms of food.

The child is becoming more independent every day, is sitting up in his highchair and his movements are more secure, he is able to drink from the cup and uses the teaspoon with confidence (more so with his fingers!).

He takes pleasure from eating baby food that is always different: encountering “unknown” food doesn’t scare him, in fact managing to eat everything that is offered is a fun challenge; strong with his new weapon, his teeth, his is able to chew better. He may begin to suck slices of bread, better if wholemeal, soft cheese, shredded meat, fish fillet in small pieces and boiled egg slices. During this period you can try to

replace the single dish with different courses

, offering the child pasta, then the meat or fish with vegetables and finally the fruit. If however the child is still a slow or lazy eater, it may initially be more practical to continue to serve him the different foods in one single meal.

Food novelties

During these months, new foods will enter the child’s diet.

Minced meat

: from the 10th month; it may be useful to shred the meat to help him get used to using his teeth.

Around the 12th month,


will begin to enter the child’s diet, kept away until now due to their potentially allergenic effect. Adding a touch of colour and flavour to the meal, tomatoes can now become the main ingredient in the child’s pasta dishes.

The other vegetables, those that he already knows, will no longer only be present in soups and in purées, but will be proposed as

side dishes

in the form of purée. The child will learn to enjoy them in other forms: for example, he will enjoy mashed potatoes or carrots cut into strips.

It’s time to propose the first

pasta soups and legumes

too (with beans, lentils or peas, shelled and puréed), and to accustom the child to

pasta in a red sauce

, starting from small pasta shapes and continuing with gradually larger forms.

With regards to fresh , this can also be offered as long as it has had its skin, pips and stones removed.




The paediatrician recommends...

Scholars of feeding behaviour have reassessed the old habit of grandmothers offering the child a small piece of bread or seasoned cheese, a boiled carrot or a biscuit, so the child takes the edge off his appetite while waiting for his meal or so that he “learns to use his teeth”.

Children find independence and can eat more if they are allowed to use the skills just learned to take food with their fingers. The important thing is to make sure the child does not put pieces that are too large into his mouth, which could be dangerous.



1 portion


20 g of lentils


1/2 celery stalk (10 g)


2-3 parsley leaves (5 g)


30 g of pasta


200 ml of water


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


wash and clean the lentils and celery well, then steam them for about 25 minutes.

Blend adding the cooking water. Add the pasta which was cooked separately and season with parsley and oil.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

8,23 5,67 34,19 3,98 212,05

16% 24% 60%

A single course dish.

Based on vegetable proteins, very filling.


1 portion


3-4 small pieces of cauliflower


1/2 courgette


200 ml of water


30 g of cream of rice

1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil


1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese


wash and clean the vegetables well and steam them for about 30 minutes.

Blend adding the cooking water and add the cream of rice. Dress with oil and Parmesan cheese.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

7,7 7,02 108,9 3,12 202,93

15% 31% 54%

First course of vegetables.

To complete the meal combine with a second course or melt a cheese wedge in the cream.



1 portion


one fennel heart (75 g)


1/2 carrot (25 g)


50 g of hake


2-3 parsley leaves (5 g)

30 g of cream of rice


200 ml of water


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


wash and clean the vegetables well and steam them together with the fish for about 30 minutes. Blend, adding in the cooking water. Add in the cream of rice and season with parsley and oil.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

11,9 5,59 28,15 2,68 203,98

23% 25% 52%

A single course dish.


1 portion


1/2 apple (80 g)


20 g of cream of rice


about 50 ml of water


wash and clean the apple well and cut into small pieces.

Steam for about 15 minutes.

Blend adding the cooking water, lastly add the cream of rice.



6% lipids


3% carbohydrates


92% fibre




A sweet snack.

To enrich it with protein and calcium, replace the water with milk.




The child, that has blown out his first candle, is becoming even more active at the table: now he chooses between what he has been offered, discarding those foods he is not keen on, and appreciates stronger flavours. In these 12 months the most important goal is the achievement of ever greater autonomy, also at the table.

The paediatrician recommends...

Taking account of the great variability of habits and personal tastes, it is considered reasonable, for most children, that daily feeding from 6 months to 2 years involves on average 2 meals of milk (or milk substitutes) and 2 mixed meals, that include cereal flours or pasta or rice, meat, fish or vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and fruit. This diet minimises the risk of possible nutrient deficiencies (e.g. of calcium or iron) in a phase of such rapid growth of the child.

Relatively to the meals other than milk, the

weekly distribution of the different types of food

must be selected taking into account acceptance by the child. Following the course recommended, a good distribution could be the following.

Meat: 3 times per week, alternating the various types

Fish: 3 times

Eggs: 2 times

Cooked ham: Once

Cheese: Twice

Legumes: 2/3 times



Good examples


continues to be an extraordinary push to learning.

From 12 to 24 months the child observes his parents: their eating habits are contagious, therefore it is essential that mum and dad also eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.




Should he eat alone or with the adults?

Children are creatures of habit: it is, therefore, best to respect their


. If dad often returns home late it will be more comfortable for the child to continue eating alone. Afterwards, he himself can let his parents know if he wants to sit at the table with them: he will begin to make a fuss about his food and become curious about other people’s dishes. As soon as possible, you can accept him

at the table with the rest of the family

to let him enjoy the convivial atmosphere that is created at the dinner table. It is very useful to let the child stay at the table with his parents after he has finished his meal. Perhaps preparing him a dish of food to eat with his hands.

Continue to respect his wishes if he refuses food

During this phase of growth, you will often hear him saying “


” when presented with a food he doesn’t want, but not only this: it is a way for him

to affirm his personality

. You must avoid interpreting these refusals as a challenge, forcing him to eat it as my doing so you in fact deny his desire for independence and you show him his weakness: soon, the child is going to use it as a weapon for emotional blackmail to get what he wants.

The 4 essential meals

For several months now, the child has adjusted his diet to 4 meals: breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. This schedule should be maintained.

The paediatrician recommends...

A regularly growing child who does not finish all his meals should not be cause for concern.

The child is perfectly able to regulate himself and when he leaves a little food on his plate, in general, it simply means that he is full.

Even when appetite is the first symptom of ill health, we needn’t become alarmed because the child will recover his appetite with the same rapidity as soon as he feels better.




Dividing meals in courses

After one year of age, the child will enjoy the division of his meals in courses, provided that he is offered food that he is able to assimilate well. You can then

begin to alternate

different first courses and also to separate the second course from the side dishes. At the beginning, only present the meat or fish and afterwards add the vegetables, increasingly less puréed.

The right portions

It is best to offer appropriate portions that are compatible with the child’s age and his health.

If the child is a big eater, it is best to offer him low-calorie foods to prevent him from becoming overweight. If instead he is lazy and not very hungry, a large portion may overwhelm him, prompting a refusal to eat.

The paediatrician recommends...

If the child is of lean constitution, and he needs very little before becoming full, instead of exceeding the portions at meal times, it is recommended to respond to this poor appetite with frequent and balanced snacks.

In general, children should not snack

between meals

. The only snacks recommended are those at mid-morning and mid-afternoon, usefully placed in the interval between the 3 main meals

(breakfast, lunch and dinner). The snacks should be healthy and not too big: the paediatrician is always the person of reference to assess the real energy needs of the child and thus to establish a nutritionally correct diet.



1 portion


1 ripe tomato (100 g)


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese

30 g star-shaped (or other shape) pasta


wash the tomato and blanch in boiling water. Peel and cut it into small pieces, boil it for about 10 minutes in water. Drain, blend and dress with oil. In its cooking water cook the pasta and then add the tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

4,27 10,61 27,23 2,81 214,8

8% 44% 48%

First course to be paired with a second course and a side dish to make the meal complete.


2 portions


150 g of vegetables (beets, eggplants, carrots)


1 egg


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese


50 g of ricotta cheese (or soft cheese)


2 tablespoons milk


wash and clean the vegetables well and steam them for about 30 minutes. Blend adding the cooking water, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Beat the egg with the milk and the teaspoon of oil. Cook the mixture in a non-stick pan and add the vegetables to the omelette.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

8,28 9,08 3,425 1,695 127,7

26% 64% 10%

To complete the meal, combine this dish with a first course or with boiled potatoes, in the oven or as a purée



2 adult portions

+ 2 child portions


300 g of rice


150 g of asparagus


1 onion


50 g grated Parmesan cheese


50 g of butter broth




extra virgin olive oil


blanch the asparagus in water and drain. Keep the tips (to use for the final decoration of the dish) and cut the stems into rings. In a saucepan heat a little oil, fry the finely chopped onion, and after a few minutes add the asparagus stems; stir gently and let it absorb the flavour. Add the rice and cook the risotto pouring in a ladle of broth at a time. When cooked, stir in a knob of butter and the grated Parmesan cheese.

Before serving the risotto, add the previously set aside asparagus tips and the chopped parsley.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre

4,2835 6,727 24,67 0,625



10% 36% 54%

First course of vegetables.

To be completed with a second course.


6 portions


320 g ricotta


30 g semolina


50 ml of milk


heat the milk and add in the semolina. Allow to cool and add the ricotta, mixing it all together.

Place the mixture into single-serving baking moulds and bake for 15 minutes at 180°C.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre

5,5583 6,1933 6,24 0



22% 55% 23%

A great snack, full of nutrients and rich in calcium.




From 2 to 3 years old, the child continues to assert his autonomy, even at the table: he claims his own space and tastes. He is now ready to move from the highchair to the table with mum and dad: being considered “grown up” is fundamental for the development of his social behaviour.

Snacks and sweets

Most children require an

energy snack

between one meal and another. Instead of fatty snacks, rich in preservatives, it is advisable to provide healthy and nutritious snacks, such as a slice of bread or fruit.


are often the cause of battles, which can be limited by establishing clear rules. Eliminating them altogether is neither realistic nor fair. But as they are high in calories and promote tooth decay, it is therefore a good idea to limit their consumption.

The paediatrician recommends...

Offer the child, at the end of main meals, fruit or an unsweetened yoghurt.

Limit the consumption of sweets at the end of the meal and do not however allow them

Avoid rewarding the child with cakes or sweets (he would eventually consider them more “special” and desirable than they actually are).

Accustom the child to brushing his teeth after every meal from a very early age.

Now, in addition to the satisfaction of everyone eating together, you can even share the same menu and, while everyone is eating, the child will continue to learn, day after day, about behaviour at the table and how to socialise with others.




The psychologist recommends...

When a child eats, he always needs his parents and their presence. If meal times don’t coincide try not to let him eat alone, but stay in the kitchen with him. Sitting next to him, talking to him, showing him that you have time for him. The message you want to convey is that meal time is a time for coming together.

What to cook

Between 2 and 3 years of age, the child can safely eat all main foods. His personality is increasingly evident - at the table, in his decisions in selecting acceptable foods and, conversely, rejecting those that he doesn’t like. Avoid an anxious, confrontational attitude; try to respect the child’s tastes, but without indulging his whims. To have correct calorie and nutritional intake, continue to prefer simple cooking, avoid fried food and offer at least 3-4 servings of fruit per day. It is advisable to cook light meals that please the whole family, trying to vary them often. If the child does not like a particular food, accept this refusal and offer an alternative from among the other foods that have been prepared.

The child must learn to

eat what is being served


Diffidence towards vegetables

It is important to offer recipes with vegetables that are fun and appetising: remember that a dish should also be good to look at to entice the child to try it. At this age, in fact, the visual component plays a fundamental role, therefore it can be helpful to arrange


that are

cheerful and colourful

, using different vegetables, and perhaps giving the food funny names. Once again, parents are expected to set a good example: if the child sees mum and dad eating vegetables on a regular basis, and enjoying them, he will be intrigued and want to try them.

No rush

The child shouldn’t be hurried when he eats, but instead respect his pace. If he is not distracted he will focus on the meal and will learn how to eat at the right pace.



2 adult portions

+ 2 child portions


300 g of pasta of choice


200 g of minced beef


50 g of bacon (or ham) diced


1 onion

1 carrot




1 bottle of tomato sauce


1 cup vegetable broth


clean, wash, chop the vegetables and put them in a saucepan to cook with the oil.

Add the meat and bacon and let brown. Wet with the broth and add the tomato sauce.

Mix, lower the heat and let cook for at least an hour. If it becomes too dry, add broth.

Cook the pasta, drain and dress with the sauce proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

16,105 6,7108 44,584 2,43 292,008

22% 21% 57%

A single course dish.

If the child is still hungry this dish can be combined with a small portion of vegetables.


2 adult portions

+ 2 child portions


150 g of flour


1 egg + 1 egg yolk


1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

For the filling:

500 g of asparagus


200 g ricotta


20 g grated cheese


extra virgin olive oil


mix the flour with the egg, the yolk, oil and a pinch of salt until you have a firm but elastic dough. Pull it into thin sheets, boil them and lay them on a cloth. For the filling, wash and clean the asparagus, boil them, drain them and blend them with the ricotta until a smooth cream is obtained. Layer the sheets of dough and filling in a baking pan. Cover the last layer with the asparagus cream, top with grated cheese and add a drizzle of oil. Bake for about 25 minutes at 200 °C.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL







2,66 266,5

A single course dish.



2 adult portions

+ 3 child portions


1 kg sole cleaned


1 orange large peeled, outer pith removed and thinly sliced


15 g of melted butter


1 tablespoon parsley


herbs to garnish


1 grated orange peel


heat the oven to 200°. Rinse the sole and dry with kitchen towel. Butter an oven proof dish and lay the fish on top. Arrange the orange slices on top, being careful not to overlap them. Sprinkle with melted butter, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover with a sheet of aluminium foil, bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

Garnish with orange zest and herbs to taste.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre KCAL

17,089 2,697 2,3765 0,37 101,37

67% 24% 9%

Great second course.

To complete the meal from a nutritional point of view match the potatoes

(boiled or baked) or a first course.


12 portions


250 g of flour


200 g sugar


200 g of butter


50 g of starch


25 g cocoa


6 eggs


1 packet of yeast


1 pinch of salt


chocolate chips


In a bowl, mix the softened butter with half the sugar. Separately, beat the eggs with the remaining sugar. Combine the two mixtures and add flour, starch, yeast, cocoa and salt. Grease a cake mould and place the dough, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for about 45 minutes at 175°C.

proteins lipids carbohydrates fibre

6,9125 19,245 40,045


0,8583 351,045

8% 49% 43%

A great tasty snack that’s full of energy.


Food, for a body in rapid development such as that of the child in early childhood, is one of the most important and most delicate chapters of childcare.

It should be dealt with in an objective and calm manner, bearing in mind that the child has a vital and adaptative force that allows him to overcome all the challenges that life presents him with to grow. That said, in certain rare cases, food in general and weaning in particular can create a number of problems. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequent ones.



What is meant by food allergy?

Food allergies are due to a particular reaction in the body to the introduction of a food (food causing allergies). This reaction causes a series of clinical manifestations such as: intestinal disorders

(diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain), rash (urticaria, itching), very rarely respiratory disorders

(rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis (also called atopic eczema).

The paediatrician recommends...

Food allergy in children is certainly a controversial issue that in any case should be considered without losing a perspective of balance and common sense. the issue of child nutrition cannot be tackled with anxiety and the fear of food allergies because these are rare. If familiarity has not been ascertained, simply offer him food according to the criteria of introduction in relation to age.

You must use a certain amount of caution only towards certain foods that can be more easily allergenic if introduced before one year of age:

cow’s milk

eggs (more the whites than the yolks)


among vegetables, tomatoes

among meat, chicken

among grains, wheat

among fruit, strawberries, kiwis and dried fruit




Introducing foods containing gluten

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, oats; while rice, tapioca and corn do not contain it.

Gluten is toxic to Celiac patients, namely people with Celiac disease. For hereditary reasons these children, if they eat foods containing gluten, develop a severe intestinal malabsorption that causes a delay of growth and many other clinical disorders.

The paediatrician recommends...

It is recommended (ESPGHAN 2008) that gluten be introduced no earlier than 4 months and no later than the 7th month. Since it is not possible to identify celiac sufferers before the disease has become evident, regular checks by the paediatrician will recognise the first possible signs of intolerance. The introduction of grains containing gluten therefore represents a fundamental step in the food journey of the child.



Constipation is the difficult evacuation of hard and dehydrated stools, which can lead to the total disappearance of bowel movements. It should be stated immediately that constipation is much less worrying than diarrhoea as it may be an annoying disorder but it does not affect growth.

Babies that are exclusively breastfed do not usually suffer from this problem; on the contrary, children who take artificial milk can sometimes experience difficulty.

Weaning usually alleviates the problem, thanks to the introduction in the diet of fruit and vegetables, and thus of vegetable fibres, that draw water and facilitate the progression of the faeces along the intestine.


The paediatrician recommends...

To avoid the appearance of constipation, natural mineral water should be used to dilute formulated milks. In weaning blended plum or grated pear can be administered, while apple and banana should be avoided. If the problem persists the prescription of drugs based on lactulose or lactitol may be advisable, which are not absorbed by the intestine but attract water and make the stool softer, often also causing increased intestinal bloating.

Diarrhoea is the evacuation of numerous discharges of liquid or non formed faeces, usually caused by a gastrointestinal infection or by a modification of the normal intestinal bacterial flora (which we have from birth), which can be restored with the help of certain probiotics. With diarrhoea, it is essential to avoid dehydration, thus ensuring that the child drinks adequate amounts.

The paediatrician recommends...

In case of diarrhoea, if the child is breast fed, milk should not be suspended. If the baby is being artificially nursed or weaned, normal meals must be replaced with as many meals containing only liquids (carrot broths, chamomile, decaffeinated tea) with the addition of rehydrating solutions and also offering liquids between meals.

In children with diarrhoea, the resumption of food should be performed gradually, without forcing, with small meals from a calorific point of view and diluted. The most important thing however, is to ensure adequate hydration to replenish fluids and minerals.


Baby feeding guide.

Solutions for a pleasant mealtime

Produced by Osservatorio Chicco


I-Sit is much more than a high chair. It is a beautiful piece of furniture that accompanies growing children for many years. In fact, when baby is 6 months I-Sit is a comfortable high chair where he or she can enjoy those fi rst meals, as it comes with a soft seat reducer. From 1 to 3 years old, the chair can be adjusted in height to allowyour child to sit at the table with the rest of the family. Your child’s I-Sit chair can also be used from 3 years old and onwards because it transforms into a real chair, perfect in the kitchen, in the dining room or at the child’s bedroom desk.


Comfortable high chair to enjoy baby’s fi rst meals, with a wide and easily removable tray and soft seat reducer



A practical high chair to share the lunches at the table for the fi rst time, with a height adjustable footrest



A real chair suitable for all ages and adjustable to different heights


Baby Meal

Preparing baby food yourself allows you to give your child fresh and selected ingredients daily and to constantly indulge your imagination in creating new recipes. The Chicco De’Longhi & Me Baby Meal food processor lets you prepare, quickly and easily, countless dishes ideal for both babies and the whole of the family, thanks to its numerous functions: it defrosts, steam cooks and in the same way as a pot, boils, whisks, blends, chops and mixes.

The package includes a cookbook with 40 recipes designed specifi cally for the different stages of growth: from the fi rst few months of weaning and continuing with the discovery of the most delicious and interesting fl avours.

Red Model [COD. 00002061500010]

Blue Model [COD. 00002061500000]














Natural Steam Cooker

Having selected fresh and natural ingredients, it is important to cook them healthily: steam cooking allows preservation of the main nutrients and the natural fl avour of foods for the preparation of excellent baby food. With just one touch, the CuociPappa Natural food processor changes from steam cooking of foods, regulated wwith a handy timer, to whisking, thanks to the innovative Easy System. CuociPappa Natural also allows defrosting, heating and whisking at different levels of consistency, depending on the child’s age. The package includes a cookbook with recipes designed for the various stages of growth, a spatula and two jars for storage in the refrigerator or freezer.

Preparing healthy and natural baby food has never been so easy and quick!

COD. 003999













The configuration includes:

Tilting basket for cooking food


Two jars for storing food

Recipe book


The new baby food line from Chicco is a complete line of products that follow the child through the various stages of growth: from when the child is spoon-fed by mum to when he begins to discover the fi rst fl avours in a new way to becoming independent with eating and drinking at the table and moving around.

For children who have started weaning


Soft cup

(6m+) allows a smooth and gradual transition from sucking to drinking, with the soft silicone spout, fi tted with a non-drip system to prevent spillage. The ergonomic handles with non-slip inserts assist grip, the graduated scale helps mum to check how much the child has drunk.


Stay Warm Plate

Dish (6m+) thanks to the hot water warmer in the under plate keeps the baby food warm during the meal. With the larger plate, the food can be quickly cooled with the cooling section. The ergonomic shapes, the non-slip base, the anti-burn insert and the spoon support make its use easy and simple.


Soft Silicone Spoon

(6m+), gentle on the child’s gums, allows for easier and correct spoon feeding thanks to the ergonomic grip and the special curvature that keeps the tip raised from the table when not in use.


First Spoon

(8m+) is ideal for the child’s fi rst independent attempts, with its ergonomic grip and angled soft-touch tip that simplifi es movement and insertion into the mouth.


For children trying to eat and drink independently


Meal Cup

(12m+) helps the child position his lips properly and control the fl ow of liquids, gradually becoming his fi rst cup by fi rst removing the non-drip spout and then eventually removing even this along with the handles that tilt the base of the cup.


Dish Set

is comprised of a bowl and plate, both with non-slip bases and sides, shaped and measured to suit the child’s diet with fun colourful graphics to encourage appetite and imagination. Dishwasher safe


First Cutlery

encourages the child to eat independently and correctly, thanks to the shape of the tips specially designed for his mouth and with the ergonomic handles with raised inserts for a better grip.

For children who can eat and drink independently


Insulated Cup

is designed for outdoor use for the child, helping to maintain the temperature for longer. The soft silicone straw folds into the lid, remaining clean when being carried, while the non-drip spout reduces the risk of spillage.


Stainless Steel Cutlery

is similar to that of mum and dad, the sizes are suitable for the child’s mouth and the ergonomic shapes assist grip.

All products in the new Chicco baby food line are made with BPA-free materials, conforming to current regulations.


Chicco Polly 2 in 1 is the only chair that follows the baby’s growth from 6 months to 3 years. In the fi rst stages of use Polly is a true nest, cosy and comfortable, perfect to start weaning. When the child learns to eat alone, slip off the padding, take off the table surface and Polly becomes his fi rst chair, allowing the child to sit at the table with his parents, sharing with them this important moment of bonding.

When closed it takes up very little space and the tray can be hooked onto the back of the chair

Backrest reclines in 3 positions.

Adjustable leg and foot rests.

To immediately change from meal time to nap time.

Adjustable frame for 7 different heights to fi t any table.

The tray becomes a practical place mat.


Chicco 360 is the only table high chair with a seat with 360° rotation in 6 different positions to allow constant contact between mother and baby. The connection system allows the seat to be adapted to tables of different thickness because it is equipped with double adjustment.

Thanks to the unique seat rotation system, it is possible to select the preferred position at all times.

MoDe Booster Seat

The Chicco Mode Booster Seat is the ideal solution for toddlers who want to sit at the table and join in with their family during meals. It has 3 different height positions, it can be adjusted to suit different types of tables and adapt to your child’s growth.

Compact and easy to carry outside home.

Information, insights, advice.

Visit us at

Osservatorio Chicco

This publication is printed on FSC certifi ed environmentally friendly paper which ensures production according to precise social and eco-sustainability criteria, in complete respect of forests. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) promotes and certifi es sustainable forest management systems, considering the ecological, social and economic aspects

ARTSANA S.p.a. - Via Saldarini Catelli, 1 - 22070 Grandate (Co)

wherever there’s a baby

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