It’s great to know that your baby is growing healthy and fast. If you are already thinking of top feeds that implies your baby is already 5-6 months of age.
Is she not…..??? Then wait…..
As per the doctors around the world the best age to start complementary feeding is 5-6months.
What is complementary feeding?
Complementary feeding means starting food items to babies after 5-6 months of age in addition to breast milk
If you start to early then the baby might not digest and develop gastric trouble!!!
If you start too late then the baby might not get appropriate nutrition needed for growth!!!
So the best call is … 5-6 month…..
Breast milk is very crucial for baby’s health and development till 2 years of age or beyond. So starting complementary feeding does not means stopping breast feeds! Rather, the other food items have to be started along with breastfeeding to keep up the growing nutrition needs of the baby.
You can start with small amounts of mashed foods 2 – 3 times a day and gradually increase the frequency, consistency and variety as the baby gets older.
Frequency of foods
- Between 6-8 months – 2-3 times a day
- Between 9-11 months – increasing to 3-4 times daily
- Between 12-24 months – 3-4 meals with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day
Consistency of food
Introduction of right consistency of food at the right age is important to develop good food behaviors.
Essentially try to follow the sequence:
- Breast feeds (0-6 months)
- Semi-liquid (after 5-6 months) – Easy to digest, smooth and gentle on baby’s stomach.
- Semi-solid (after 6-9 months) – Baby now needs food with taste and texture.
- Semi solid (after 10 months) – Baby now needs food that satisfy his urge to chew-complex taste and texture
- Solid diet including variety of food items (1-1.5 yrs)
When semisolids are first introduced, baby keeps spitting because she does not know how to eat and swallow it, and because the taste is new for her.
Try same item twice a day for 4-5 days and then try something new. Give her time to understand and develop a taste for particular thing.
Variety of foods
Some initial healthy and digestible semisolids for infant are:
- Mashed banana or papaya
- Mashed boiled potato or sweet potato
You can mash these food items nicely using spoon or fork and can mix 1-2 spoons of your breast milk.
Next you can introduce cereals like dal, rice, wheat. Again start with one item at a time and give the same for 3-4 days.
You can give well cooked (but thick) dal, khichdi, suji kheer, upma. Gradually start introducing various vegetable and fruits. Vegetables can be added to khichdi or daliya while cooking at around 7 months of age.
Do you think the baby is not eating enough….???
- It is common that your child eat just 1-2 teaspoons for initial few meals
- This is normal when we first introduce food to baby
- Don’t force feed the child
- Appetite will increase gradually as the taste develops
- Feed slowly and patiently, and encourage baby to eat, but to not force her.
- If baby refuses many foods, experiment with different food combinations, tastes and texture.
- Minimize distractions during meals rather talk to baby during feeing her with eye to eye contact.
- Practice good hygiene and proper food handling
- Avoid using feeding bottles.
Have a mindful parenting!!!!