Although there are no rules that you must follow, these tips will help you start a successful complementary feeding process
The importance of breastfeeding during the first months of pregnancy is widely known. However, it is known that at some point parents must start a complementary feeding process that, between 4 and 6 months, gives the baby the calories needed for a growing body.
According to the guide "let's grow together", from AXA Colpatria, this feeding will help the child to develop the sense of taste and its oral structures. It is recommended that, although there are no rules that must be followed, parents should be accompanied by a pediatrician who recommends a proper diet.
What can my baby eat?
- Two or three meals a day are necessary for the child to obtain nutrients and do not interrupt their breastfeeding due to excess food.
- According to the pediatrician María Teresa Hernández Aguilar in her AEP guide, pulses, potatoes, vegetables and fruits provide mainly carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and the necessary amounts of protein.
- Fruit juices are not recommended because, despite retaining many of their nutrients, their high content of acids and sweets have been linked to childhood obesity.
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- According to the newspaper Babies and Mothers (Bebes y Mamas), after six months all kinds of vegetables can be consumed, except those that accumulate more nitrates. In our body, these salts are converted into nitrites that oxidize hemoglobin and may, in the long term, make it difficult to transport oxygen to tissues.
- On the other hand, foods of animal origin are rich in vitamin A and proteins. From six months old, children can eat any meat, taking into account that chicken is the most recommended and that beef is more difficult to digest because of its amount of collagen.
Obstacles parents can find
- The main obstacles to complementary feeding are allergies and lack of appetite. The latter frequently occur because of the early introduction of foods that should not be consumed before 12 months, such as citrus fruits or some cereals.
- See if your baby has skin irritations, respiratory problems, diarrhea, colic, bloody stools, conjunctivitis, and gastric intolerance. If so, go to your pediatrician.
- Inappetence has a lot to do with his/her selectivity and the rejection of specific foods for its presentation, color, smell, texture, taste or because it reminds him/her of some traumatic experience. It is important that you start introducing new products little by little and avoid exotic mixtures that can bore your baby.
- Spend time with your baby during meals. Talk to him, be patient, minimize distractions, encourage him and feed him slowly without forcing him to receive anything he does not want.
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Translated from “¿Qué viene después de la lactancia? Descubre qué le puedes dar a tu bebé”