Is food before 1 just for fun?

Short Answer = No.

Long Answer = 6 months is considered the furthest, safest point that a baby can grow and develop appropriately on milk alone. If food was not important until one year, then the recommendations from the WHO would be no solids before 1 year.

The reasons: 

1. From 6 months the stores of Iron that we were born with are starting to deplete. Iron is very important for healthy blood and brain development. For this reason Iron rich foods (red meats, lentils, green veg) should be introduced. Milk is not naturally a good source of Iron. (I'II do a full blog post on Iron deficiency Anaemia another time. Delayed Cord clamping may increase the Iron stores that we are born with, watch this space).

2. 6-12 months is considered the 'feeding window', where you can develop your baby's taste buds to like the foods, tastes and flavours that you want them to like. 

3. Having baby established on different textures by 9/10 months is vital in preventing oral aversion to lumps and helping to prevent fussy eating.

4. 7-9months is considered the critical time in learning to like vegetables. All babies have a sweet tooth and love fruit for this reason. Vegetables should be introduced early and given regularly so your baby develops a taste for them.

5. Other nutrients that start to deplete are Selenium, Zinc and other minerals. A varied balanced diet provides these. 

6. Solids are more energy dense and help meet your baby's growing needs for macronutrients (Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein).

7. Solids helps stretch your baby's stomach so that they can take in the nutrients that they need to keep growing and developing appropriately. 

I hope that helps? Any blog suggestions, just drop me a message. 

Cathy