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Can you advise how much of each food group I should be aiming for?

My 8.5 month old luckily seems to love her food, and so far has not been at all fussy. My query is with regards to balancing her diet: can you advise how much of each food group I should be aiming for? I know their requirements are quite different from ours (eg they require less fibre), so as a guide what % of her diet should be fruit, veg, protein, cereal etc? How many egg yolks a week is good? I try to keep it varied, but am concerned her diet is too vegetable based.

Answer: Hi There, there really aren`t any specific food group requirements at this age, to be honest much of what you are doing is offer taste and texture. Of course baby will be getting more of certain nutrients that breastmilk is low in, such as iron. Still until you get to the stage where baby is eating in meal patterns similar to you, usually around 10ish months, variety is the key. Keep working through a variety of each of the food groups:
  • Cereals
  • Vegetables and legumes
  • Fruit (no more than medium sized fruit in total over the day)
  • Yoghurt and cheese (milk will come after 12 months)
  • Meat (start with white and work up to red), fish (tinned salmon with well crushed bones is great), legumes and even nuts (you can grind up seeds and nuts into a powder and sprinkle on babies foods in a few weeks)
Remember to keep offering 1 new food at a time and test it for 3 days or so. If you can offer a variety of each of the food groups each day you will very likely ensure nutritional adequacy, because the food groups cover all the nutrients including fibre essential for growth. In terms of % or ratio of food groups, again, there is no guideline on this, but a little bit of protein in each meal along with something from each of the other groups should be just fine. Baby will still be getting a great amount of her nutritional needs being met from `milk` feeds. Once bub is a bit older you might want to look at this tip sheet I did on how to use the servings to review a little one`s diet. The link is: Meal servings checks I hope that helps All the best, Leanne
Answered: 01 Jun 2009