Expanding nutrition is a very exciting moment for parents. Detailed tables and recommendations from pediatricians confuse and make you think about which product to introduce first and what will happen if the child eats more than he should.
When to enter?
Store shelves literally sag under the weight of jars offering to buy themselves 4 months after the birth of a child. Usually, these are mono-containing purees, such as the “first apple” or “first carrot”, however, according to WHO recommendations, the optimal time for the introduction of complementary foods is around the sixth month of life.
The first half of the year, the child is fed exclusively with breast milk, as for the artificial mixture, here the introduction of complementary foods is encouraged from the same age in the absence of iron deficiency anemia and low weight, otherwise, complementary foods are recommended from 5 months.
Standardly, the readiness of a small organism to expand nutrition is manifested as follows:
- The child sits without support.
- The child “tastes” objects and reaches for the parents’ plate.
- The kid does not refuse the offer to try “adult” food.
The first complementary foods – where to start dating?
Contrary to what baby food manufacturers suggest, fruit is not the best option. The discovery of a variety of tastes should begin with vegetables, because. fruits are accustomed to sweets, which can later lead to the rejection of other foods.
Potatoes, broccoli, carrots and squash are great for the first samples, the rest of the vegetables are introduced after a few days. To begin with, the vegetables are baked and chopped in a blender, when the child learns to chew and bite, he is offered boiled vegetables cut into small pieces.
Fruits are introduced into complementary foods after getting to know all the vegetables, first the child tries an apple, after apples come pears, apricots, peaches, bananas and strawberries.
Meat is introduced after the main vegetables and fruits have been tasted. Meat is supposed to be lean veal, chicken and rabbit. Also, fish is introduced from the seventh month.
Dairy products based on cow’s milk are introduced at 11-12 months, at the same age, a peeled whole apple, peach, plum is offered. Whole berries are introduced when the baby masters chewing, grapes are given without seeds.
Cereal products, such as cereals, can be given from 5 months, but not before the introduction of vegetables. Juices are not recommended to be introduced earlier than one year, as they do not carry any nutritional value.
AARP limits daily juice intake to 120 ml per day for children 1-3 years of age and 120-180 ml for children 4-6 years of age.
Prohibited in the child’s menu:
- carbonated drinks
- pickled and pickled cucumbers
- sausages and smoked meats
- store-bought yoghurts and sweets
- moldy and long shelf life cheeses
- grilled meat.
How to introduce the first complementary foods
Acquaintance begins with 2 teaspoons, if the first spoons are well tolerated (no rash, redness, problems with stools and abdominal pain), food is gradually increased.
Remember, the baby should not overeat – this is a very bad habit that will stay with him for life! Do not force him to eat if he refuses, and do not punish him for pushing food out with his tongue, because he is only learning to chew and swallow food of a new consistency.
How much to eat at the table is the decision of the child, not the parent.
Gluten in cereals
Previously, it was believed that gluten-containing meals should be introduced after a year, this is especially true for semolina, which, according to many, does not contain nutrients, while it is an excellent source of energy.
Studies have shown that gluten introduced during breastfeeding significantly reduces the chances of developing celiac disease (gluten intolerance), and it has also been found that the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the sooner parents will receive advice on proper nutrition and treatment.
Late diagnosis of the disease worsens the situation, because many products contain gluten “hidden”. Even in small amounts, gluten destroys the intestinal villi, disrupting the functioning of the intestine, resulting in anemia, growth retardation, beriberi, and food allergies.
Feeding begins with a good mood. If the day turned out to be difficult for the parents or the child, the acquaintance is debugged the next day.
Remember that breast milk remains the main food until the end of the first birthday, even in the second year, mother’s milk satisfies up to 40% of the baby’s body’s nutritional needs. You should also follow other important rules:
- Products are introduced one at a time, this will allow you to see if the child responds well to the new food.
- There should be at least three days between new products.
- Complementary foods are introduced in the morning or at lunch, an hour after feeding with milk.
- Do not use salt and sugar. Any spices are not recommended during the introduction of complementary foods and until the end of the first year of life.
- Always offer fresh and quality food. The baby’s digestive tract is immature and therefore very sensitive.
- Do not force a new type of food, you can offer a new food the next day or delay its introduction for 1-2 weeks.
Noticed an allergic reaction? Set aside the allergen for a few months and then offer it again. Often, children outgrow this problem after a few months or years.