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COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING

August 29, 2016

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Complementary feeding

When to start solids (weaning ) for your baby? Every baby is different. Some mothers confused the word weaning with stopping breast feeding. According to WHO the right stage to start solid/ mushy food for your baby is around 6 months. For first 6 months exclusive Breast feeding is important.   Follow the Golden rule of complimentary feeding:
  1. Start with well cooked and mashed rice/ daliya/ ragi/ khichdi with sugar and gheeor fruits or vegetables puree. After a week or so, move to vegetables such as carrot or sweet potatoes or vice versa if you have started with cereals first.
  2. Get the order right. Always start with carbohydrates first and then proteins. For vegetarians its pulses and legumes (beans, peas, dryfruits etc) unlike non vegetarians who can introduce chicken, fish and meat. Fats are the last food to be introduced to the babies.
  3. Don’t mix flavors. Start your baby on single rather than mix food. Mixing flavors at this stage can blurr the child’s sense of taste. Home prepare food is best.
  4. Encourage self feeding. The aim is to get your baby to feed himself as soon as he can pick up and hold food. If a child chooses his own pieces of food he is more likely to eat it than if you hand it to the baby.
  5. Increase their water intake. When baby is start on solid they need more water. Avoid any other drinks apart from milk.
  6. Know when they have had enough. If you are using a spoon and after eating well your baby turns his face away or looks down., then stop feeding it is a sign that you are over feeding him.
  7. Eat with them.  Put your baby in a high chair, as soon as, he can sit up unaided and have him eat with you. Eating with the family will encourage your child to try a wider range of food items.


  1. SALT:
  1. Never add too much to the food, you give to your baby because their kidneys can’t cope with it.


  1. SUGAR:
  1. Sugary food and drinks are not recommended for babies under a year, as they can encourage a sweet tooth and leads to decay.


  1. FIRST FOOD:
  1. 6 months: by around 6 months your baby will be ready to eat semi solid food.
  1. First food should be rice and daal in semi solid form with ghee, followed by blender types of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Texture should be pureed.
  1. 6 to 9 months:
  1.  After 6 months you can introduced well cooked meats (chicken, fish) – be sure to remove bones and gristle.
  2.  If your child starts solid food for the first time after 6 months ensure you begin with rice, cereal and pureed food before increasing the texture.
  3. Continue to introduce the variety of new food and texture to ensure your baby receives a good balance of nutrients.
  4. Texture should be MASHED OR FINALLY CHOPPED.
 
  1. 9 to 12 months:
  1. You can introduce wheat products (such as pasta, bread, oats), cheese and eggs (unless there is a family history of food allergy).
  2. Your baby is now ready for finger food to encourage them to learn them to self feed.
 
  1. 12 months:
  1. You can now introduce cow’s milk and more solid food. Remember to ensure the pieces are not too hard or too big to avoid choking.
  2. Your baby will now enjoy self feeding different food (be sure not to leave your child alone, to prevent choking)
  3. You should include FINGER FOOD and other food the family is eating.
By Dr. Deepshikha Sharma MD-Paedictrics Designation: New born  and  Child specialist Department: Pediatrics And Neonatology  

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