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Complementary Feeding for Complete Growth

Complementary Feeding for Complete Growth

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Your baby requires additional nutrition from other sources as he or she is growing. This transition from exclusive breastfeeding to regular foods is known as complementary feeding.

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

To promote optimal growth, health and behavioural development, right nutrition should be given at right time. World Health Organization recommends starting complementary feeding at the age of 6 months in addition to breast milk. Feeding other foods before 6 months of age increases the chances of your baby developing food allergies.

You know that your baby is also ready for the complementary feeds when he or she shows signs like having a good head control, a decrease in the tongue thrusting and trying to reach for other people’s food.

Complementary feeding should be:
•   Timely: Start at 6 months of age 
•   Adequate: Variety of foods given in proper amounts and consistency
•   Appropriate: Safe foods having appropriate texture for the age of the child

Starting the Transition

  • Start transition by eliminating one breastfeeding session and replace it with any complementary food appropriate according to her age foods to give during 
    weaning
  • Introduce baby cereal, especially start with rice cereal first, on a spoon. After the baby is comfortable having the cereal, then introduce fruits and vegetables
    one at a time.
  • Keep trying rejected foods for at least 10-15 times over a period of time. Your baby may eventually acquire the taste. In case, your baby still refuses to eat a particular food, respect his/her choice. Remember every food has a substitute.
  • Between 6 and 8 months, give complementary foods 2–3 times a day, increasing the frequency as age advances.
  • Avoid giving fruit juices, as they fill up your baby’s stomach and keep little room for more nutritious food.
  • Ensure that feeding times are relaxed, enjoyable and not tensed. Doesn’t force-feed.
  • Be prepared for the mess and place mats in advance. Keep napkins and wipes handy.

The transition from breast feeding to complementary feeding has an emotional aspect. Be patient and sensitive to your baby’s response.

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