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Qualities of a Good Complementary Food

Qualities of a Good Complementary Food

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Your baby’s growth and development is dependent on the type and amount of nourishment he or she gets. Breast milk and the quality of complementary food play important role in your baby’s growth.

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Here are Some Qualities of a Good Complementary Food


Foods appropriate for the baby’s age will provide adequate nutrition for the baby’s growth and state of development. The amount of foods should be the size of baby’s fist.

Packed with Energy and Nutrients

Foods given should be nutrient dense. For example, cooked cereals with breast milk or mashed rice with dal. Variety of nutrients should be provided in one meal. Avoid processed foods which contain excess sugar which may provide unnecessary calories with fewer other nutrients.

Easy to digest

Opt for cooking methods which help to retain most of the vitamins and minerals in your baby’s food. Steam vegetables instead of boiling in water which washes away most nutrients.

Your baby’s digestive system is yet developing so introduce gentle, easy to digest, well mashed and thin pureed foods. Offer foods such as cereals, rice kheer, dal soup, mashed veggies like potato, pumpkin; mashed fruits like mango, banana.

Right Texture or Consistency

Your baby at this age is developing the ability of swallowing foods other than breast milk. So the consistency and texture of the
food is important. At first, give finely pureed and cooked foods. According to your baby’s tolerance, the consistency of foods can be increased. Finely chopped finger foods in small amounts can be given by 8 months of age. Offer foods which are well-cooked soft cereals, mashed fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods such as nuts, whole grapes and berries, popcorn to prevent choking.

Clean and Safe

Always wash your and your baby’s hands before feeding to avoid any harmful germs to enter your baby’s tummy. Use only boiled water to prepare your baby’s feed. Foods should be washed and cooked properly. Do not use left-over feed.

Home-made complementary feeds and fortified meals along with mother’s milk will meet the requirements of your rapidly growing baby.

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