Until 5 or 6 months, baby feeding consists of the ingestion of breast milk. But at this age it is time to open a new stage in baby feeding: the beginning of complementary feeding.
What is complementary baby feeding
It is the process of introducing food into babies that until then were nourished only on breast milk. This process usually ranges from 6 to 24 months of age. During this time the baby food is progressively enriched with solid foods . These are offered crushed and in the form of a porridge at first because the little one cannot chew them yet.
Introduction baby foods, when to start with solids?
It is the pediatrician who usually recommends the best time to start including new products in the baby’s diet. But as a general rule, it is estimated that a 6-month-old baby who is able to remain seated and has an extrusion reflex. That is, it can spit out anything that gets into its mouth. So you can start with the introduction of solid baby food.
Baby’s first solid foods
As we mentioned, a diet for children who cannot yet chew should include solid foods prepared in the form of porridges and purees. The baby’s first meals with complementary feeding require planning to progressively introduce different foods. One of the main reasons for doing this is that in this way it is easier to identify which particular food in the baby’s diet does not suit him, if there is one that is harmful. The allergies or intolerances are detected so quickly. And it also helps the little one to better accept new foods. These represent a major change in taste and texture. that I knew so far.
Baby food introduction order
Pediatricians and experts in baby feeding offer some recommendations to follow for the introduction of foods in the diet for children. This is based on issues such as the easy digestibility of the products by the baby and the risk of food intolerances.
The first solid foods that are recommended to offer a 6-month-old baby are gluten-free cereals. These should be offered in the form of a porridge. For a baby 6 to 8 months of age , cereals with gluten, fruits, vegetables, chicken, beef and lamb will be offered progressively, in this order. The baby between 8 and 10 months reaches the stage of adding the fish to their baby food, starting with the white. As for the baby between 9 and 12 months of age, this can begin to eat legumes. The baby from 10-12 months can begin to introduce products such as eggs into the diet.
Baby feeding, amounts and frequency between feedings
The general recommendation is that a 6-month-old baby takes between 3 and 9 tablespoons of gluten-free cereals, divided into 2 or 3 daily intakes . They are approximate figures, each baby will require more or less quantity according to their size and their appetite . Never force him to eat. Some children accept changes well and others find it more difficult. Avoid getting upset so you don’t make him nervous. Only in case you really do not eat anything is it necessary to consult your pediatrician.
Recommendations for complementary baby feeding
Take advantage of the introduction of new foods to help him promote his autonomy by teaching him to use the spoon. But it is important that even if he eats alone, he always does so in the presence of an adult who watches over him not to choke.
Avoid seasonings. The initial baby feeding should not include salt or sugar .
You should also avoid television and mobile devices as entertainment for the baby while eating. Far from helping you, it will cause unnecessary distractions and make it difficult for you to eat properly.
The change from baby feeding from breast milk to complementary feeding is another stage in their growth and development that is important to face with confidence and security.