Motherhood is not easy as it seems to people, from getting pregnant to giving birth to choosing what is best for the baby, all moms come a long way just to make sure that they are giving their kids everything they want. Food is one of the main concerns a mother has when it comes to her child. Nutrition, diet, healthy appetite, etc. A mom thinks about everything, to provide the best to the baby. Breastfeeding is what comes to a mother’s mind when we talk about food. Well, it’s all-time food for the babies. But what to feed your baby in the first six months is a most asked question. Breastfeeding is the main source of nutrition for the baby in the first six months but introducing your baby to solid food is also necessary at this time. Make sure you give your baby his or her first feed after breastfeeding, or during breastfeeding so that your baby can continue breastfeeding as much as possible.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends starting solid food after the baby turns six months.
Keeping in mind that choosing the right solid food for the baby is important. When you start feeding your baby solid foods, be careful not to get sick. Protect your child from illness by washing his hands and hands with soap and water before preparing food and before eating any food.
When your baby is six months old, he is just learning to chew. Her first meal needs to be soft so it is very easy to swallow, like porridge or fruits and vegetables that are well wrapped. Did you know that if porridge has a lot of water, it doesn’t have as many nutrients? To make it more nutritious, cook it until it is thick enough so that it does not run into a spoon.
There are several ways in which you can tell your child is ready to eat solid food:
- Your baby’s birth weight is doubled.
- Your baby can control his or her head and neck movements.
- Your child can stay with some support.
- Your baby can show you how full he is by removing his head or by not opening his mouth.
- Your child begins to show interest in food while others are eating.
Feed your baby when you see him give signs of hunger – like putting his hands over his mouth. After washing your hands, start by giving your child two or three tablespoons of soft food, twice a day. At this age, her stomach is small so she can eat small amounts at each meal.
The taste of fresh food may surprise your child. Give him time to get used to these new foods and flavors. Be patient and do not force your child to eat. Look for signs that you are full and stop feeding him right away.
Signs your baby is hungry:
- moving their heads from side to side
- they open their mouths wide
- sticking out their tongues
- they put their hands and their fists in their mouths
- they put their lips to it as if they were sucking
- they also ask for their mother’s breasts
As your baby grows, his stomach grows larger and he can eat more food with each meal. You should continue breastfeeding as you normally would, and then gradually begin to introduce iron-rich foods. Many experts recommend that you start with whole-grain cereals made from single grains such as rice, oatmeal, and barley because they are less likely to cause an overdose. Remember that you should not give grain (or other food, for that matter) in a bottle. However, you can mix your breast milk or infant formula into the diet as you will want to keep it running early. Then, as your child becomes accustomed to taste and texture, you may want to make it bigger. After 6 to 8 months you can add fresh or minced fruit and vegetables and soft meat for between 6 and 8 months. If you are using baby food preparation jars, always take the amount of food you want out of the pot and put it in your baby’s container. If you feed your baby directly in the pot, your baby’s saliva will cause any remaining food to spoil. At this point, your child should also be able to start using a sippy cup. So you can give them water. Continue to breastfeed your baby all day.
Between seven and nine months, breastfeeding continues to be important and should be at least part of your baby’s daily calories. You can also add finger foods such as dried cereal, crackers, cooked vegetables, and soft fruits in this category. At this stage, your child can eat other foods that the whole family eats such as meat, fish, and poultry – as long as they are processed, cleaned or finely chopped. Seeing other family members eat different foods can also encourage your child to try new things. You should be breastfeeding again, and your baby gets about 24 ounces of breast milk or formula each day. Cow’s milk can be given as an ingredient before 12 months, but not as a beverage.
By the time children are one year old, they should be eating a variety of foods that include foods that are more likely to cause allergies such as eggs, fish, and peanut butter. Your baby can also have cow’s milk as a drink after his or her first birthday.
At about six months of age, the baby’s need for energy and nutrients begins to exceed the supply of breast milk, and complementary foods are needed to meet those needs. The baby of this age is also well-developed for other foods. If complementary foods are introduced at 6 months of age, or if improperly administered, the baby’s development may slow down.
The guiding principles of proper nutrition are:
- continue regularly, with the requirement to breastfeed for up to two years or more
- practice responsive feeding (for example, feed the children directly and help older children.
- Feed slowly and patiently, encourage them to eat but do not force them, talk to the child and keep an eye on them)
- practice good hygiene and food handling
- start at six months with little food and grow slowly as the baby grows;
- slightly increase food consistency and diversity
- increase the number of times the baby is weaned: 2-3 meals a day for 6 to 8 months old babies and 3-4 meals a day for 9- to 23-month-old babies, with 1- snacks 2 as required
- use fortified dietary supplements or vitamin-mineral supplements as needed; and
during an illness, increase your intake of fluids that include breastfeeding, and offer soft, nutritious foods.
Important points to note down:
- Never give honey to your baby. It can contain viruses that can cause botulism, a rare, but serious disease.
- Do not give your baby cow’s milk until he or she is one year old. Children under the age of 1 have a difficult problem digesting cow’s milk..
- Use a small spoon while breastfeeding your baby.
- It is a good idea to start giving your baby water during the feeding.
- Do not give your child cereal in a bottle unless a pediatrician or dietitian recommends it, for example, with reflux.
- Only give your child fresh food when he is hungry.
- Introduce new foods each, waiting 2 to 3 days in between. That way you can look for an overreaction. Symptoms of allergies include diarrhea, rash, or vomiting.
- Avoid salty foods or extra sugar.
- Feed your baby directly from the pot only if you use all the contents of the pot. Alternatively, use a meal to prevent foodborne illness.
- Open containers for baby food should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a period not exceeding two days.
In conclusion, we all want the best for our babies, and providing you the authentic information is our main goal. Because we are from you.