Diversification of nutrition in babies: when you can feed solid food into the baby's table. The four food groups essential for a harmonious development
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the diversification of nutrition in infants should start around the age of 6 months, at which point breastfeeding is no longer sufficient for the good development of children.
For infants who have been fed powdered milk, the introduction of solid nutrition can take place at five months, but never before four months. At six months, a child is large enough for his body to process other foods, but food diversification is a process that must be done gradually and in small quantities.
Before beginning the diversification of the diet it is advisable to seek the opinion of a pediatrician. Here are the first signs that the baby is ready to eat something other than milk:
- the baby is at the bottom and easily supports his head and neck
- increasing the production of saliva and the emergence of milk teeth
- doubling the body weight compared to the birth weight
- the baby shows signs that it can chew and shows interest in other types of food
When you start diversification, the first and most difficult things a baby should learn is how to swallow and chew. The first meal is also the most difficult, so arm yourself with patience and prepare to have all the necessary things at hand: the food bowl, a teaspoon, a bib, napkins and a baby chair.
Do not prepare a large portion from the beginning. It is possible that the child will only take one mouthful of food before spitting it and refusing to eat more.
In addition, the first solid meal does not have to be a rich one: just a few teaspoons of fruit puree, vegetables or cereals that you have prepared, writes Webmd.com.
Another thing to consider is choosing foods with low risk of allergies.
Try to avoid gluten-containing products, as this can irritate the stomach, and the baby may develop an intolerance to it.
Instead, choose baby cereals like these that are gluten-free and easy to mix. You can prepare a tasty mash in combination with fruits or vegetables.
Cereals are the ideal way to start food diversification because their digestion time is longer, and the feeling of satiety is longer. The baby will still need at least 500 milliliters of milk a day, which is about three bottles, which you should give before you fall asleep.
Besides cereals, you can prepare mashed fruits and vegetables. The list of those with low risk of allergies, which you can introduce since the beginning of diversification and which the children do not reject from the first, looks like this:
fruits: bananas, nectarines, peaches, pears, apples, avocado
vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, pastarnac, pumpkin, celery
It is good to summarize a few and introduce a new food every 4--5 days, to see how the baby's body responds: if you have allergies, indigestion or irritation to any of the foods, immediately exclude it and consult your pediatrician.
Also, if you know that any member of the family has an intolerance to gluten, peanuts or seeds, include them in the baby's diet with great care and care, as allergies can be hereditary, in some cases.
Until the age of six months, it is not recommended to give the baby dairy products, as they can irritate the stomach lining. Cow's milk, calcium cheese and yogurt they can be introduced later in diversification, when the stomach of the little one has already become accustomed to solid food.
The same applies to the introduction of meat in the diet. Pediatricians recommend that you start with lean chicken or turkey meat, without skins, cut or cut very thin, which you can put in soup or vegetable purees.
Another thing worth noting is that the food you prepare for your baby it should not contain salt, sugar, honey or other sweeteners. Use instead of fruit and vegetable combinations and watch how the child responds to each food.
This means avoiding commercial fruit juices, which contain sugar and additives harmful to the sensitive stomach of the child.
Remember that before making any decision about changing the baby's diet, it is essential to seek the advice of the pediatrician you usually go to and who already knows the baby.
Also, don't force your child to eat foods they don't like. Many babies reject certain fruits and vegetables, while others love them, so it is important to know him and to take into account his preferences.
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