The rapid pace of growth in babies is found only in the first two years. Only in these years the babies grow faster. Eventually, they need all essential nutrition to help them grow with good health. In fact the infants grow in spurts, which means that the requirement of food and nutrition tend to vary each other. Even though the dosage of nutrition like proteins, minerals and vitamins required by the children is very less, lack of these nutrients abruptly affect the health in various forms like delay in growth, absence of regular activities, etc. It is the responsibility of the mother to introduce the new food to the baby at appropriate intervals.
Breast Milk and Nutrition
The breast milk serves the nutritious needs of infants until six months. Yet, they may not be sufficient for the proper growth, after completion of six months of a baby. Subsequently, the real of need adding more nutrition through new food starts only when they are six months old.
Stages of new food for babies
Here is the brief overview on staged of feeding new food for babies. Upto six months: Mother’s breast milk serves all required nutrition for good growth. Yet there are few infant who may not get sufficient quantity of breast milk from the mother or mother may not have required quantity of breast milk to feed the baby. Lack of the ultimate nutritious food can be substituted by new food in form of instant infant’s formula. However, the mother has to ensure that the instant infant formula mix is fed to the baby according to the directions of the pediatrician and requirement of the babies. Eventually, infants upto six months age should not be fed with any new food or solid food other than breast milk and instant infant formula. After six months to nine months; This is the second stage where the new food can be introduced to the babies in form of solid foods. Solid food includes the cereals, instant rice cereal formula, fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to feed the cereals, instant rice cereal formula, wheat cereal formula, etc initially before feeding fruits and vegetables. Six months is the right age to start feeding the solid foods and introduce new taste and texture into the food gradually by feeding boiled fruits and vegetables. Even if the baby doesn’t like taking vegetables and fruits, it can be introduced as new food in the third stage. Alternatively, if the baby appears to be weak, vegetables soup can be introduced as new food by feeding the smashed and liquid vegetables.
Nine to twelve months; Nine months is the stage where the babies show their interest in self feeding. In the stage, following fruits and vegetables can be fed to the babies to gain nutrition. It includes carrot, potatoes, peas, beans, apple, peach, banana, grapes, berries, etc. After 12 months; Cow’s milk can be introduced as the new food in this stage as majority of babies cannot digest the cow’s milk if it is fed before 12 months. Honey, fruit juices, whole nuts, etc can be added to the baby’s diet after 12 months. It is always recommended to introduce one new food in a stage. If the baby has any reaction to the new food introduced, the particular food should not be fed to the babies without getting consultation from pediatrician.
Tips and comments
Once the baby’s digestive system settles with all types of food, meat, fish, eggs, etc can be introduced. Processed foods, can foods, junk foods, fried items, etc should be avoided.
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