As adults, we know that we should avoid the full-fat versions of many foods -- so doesn't this rule apply to our babies, too?

Well, not for the first 2 years of life. Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics place your baby in the very enviable position of being encouraged to eat foods such as full-fat cheese, yogurt and fromage frais.

This is because babies grow very rapidly at this stage -- amazingly, the average baby will triple his birthweight and grow 10 inches in length during his first year alone! Unsurprisingly, his body requires an enormous amount of energy to support this growth -- and he obtains this energy from fat.

Fat is also important for the development of your baby's brain -- did you know that 60% of the brain and the sheaths around the nerves are actually made up of fat?

At first, your baby's fat requirements are met by breast milk or formula. Once you introduce him to solids, the extra fat he needs will be provided by full-fat dairy products. And, of course, dairy foods will supply your baby with additional calcium, too -- yogurt is a particularly excellent source and provides your baby with more calcium than milk!

Remember, though, that cow's milk should not be given to your baby as a main drink before his first birthday. This is because it is too low in iron to meet your baby's essential iron requirements and also because the protein in cow's milk can sometimes cause allergic reactions.

But once your baby is at least one year of age, you should give him full-fat cow's milk until the age of two. At this point, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends switching to a lower fat variety -- if you postpone the introduction of reduced fat milk much later than this, you may find that your child is unwilling to accept it!

Author's Bio: 

Christine Albury is the owner/editor of Homemade Baby Food Recipes - your guide to dealing with the many aspects of introducing solid foods to your baby.