Child growth depends on feeding
All children need affection, caresses, care, rest and good food to feel at ease and happy. No two children are the same and their needs are not the same. Everyone is a different person, and when a new human being comes into the world, we must strive to meet this new person. At first it can be difficult to interpret the messages that the newborn transmits to us, but, little by little will be easier. Often those messages are about feelings of hunger and thirst, but the child may also want something completely different. It is important to note that no child behaves exactly like what the books tell us. Every child is different.
When should the child start taking solid foods?
During the first four months of life, infants need only take breastmilk or adapted milks. Other foods other than milk are unnecessary and can be dangerous at this age.
If a mother suspects that her breastfed child is not getting enough milk, she should see her doctor to see if her child’s growth is normal. If he is not growing properly he may need to be fed more often. Breastfeeding mothers should use both breasts to stimulate milk production. The mother may believe that her child cries because she is hungry or thirsty, but the children cry for reasons other than these reasons. Before giving your child any dietary supplement you should consult your doctor.
Up to five months should not be used to feed the infants. Before that age they are only able to suck, they cannot move the lips and tongue at the same time.
Feeding the child between four and six months
Between four and six months, the infant can start taking small amounts of solids as a supplement to breast milk or adapted formulas.
Suitable foods are rice porridge, carrot or boiled potatoes, grated apple, crushed banana, and apple juice.
The introduction of new foods into the infant’s diet should be done gradually to allow your child’s digestive system time to adjust. The size of a spoonful of coffee is enough the first time. You can then gradually increase to three or four tablespoons. If the child is very hungry he may not want to try a new food, so sometimes breastfeeding is best before trying a new food. Always leave a few days after introducing a new food before introducing the next one.
Vegetables and potatoes should be peeled or thoroughly washed before cooking.
The food should be cooked enough to crush it easily. Adding water from cooking vegetables or a tablespoon of oil when grinding food is a good idea.
Cooked apples can be crushed with a spoon. Bananas are easily crushed with a fork.
Rice flour can be purchased in iron-enriched packages, special for children. It should be prepared according to the package instructions. To improve the flavor you can add formula milk or adapted formula. Whole milk is not suitable for infants at this age because of the risk of allergy.
Never add salt to the infant’s food since even small amounts of salt can alter the child’s salt balance.
Do not worry if your child has unusual faces or spits out food by trying a new taste. It does not mean that the child does not like the new food. It is only the child’s way of showing that he is experiencing a new sensation on his palate.
Feeding the child from six to eight months
Between six and eight months, children are able to chew. At 8 months they can move the tongue from side to side and mix the food with the saliva.
The child can already start chewing rye bread and other foods, without needing to be crushed or liquefied beforehand. Children can continue breastfeeding while new foods are being introduced. Puddings and milk are the basic food. Once or twice a day you can take a porridge of barley, oats, wheat, rye or millet, enriched with iron, if possible.
The child can start learning to drink from a glass and if there is no family history of allergy to cow’s milk, you can introduce whole milk. If there is a family history of allergy, the child should not drink whole cow’s milk before 12 months. The child should not drink more than three quarters of a liter of dairy products a day.
Yes, you can take yogurts and cheese creams. Potato purees, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cereals and peas are also suitable. Crushed apples, pears and bananas mixed with unsweetened juice of gooseberry and apple are appropriate fruits for the child. As fats, you can use oil, butter and margarine.
Feeding the child from eight to twelve months
The child can now eat almost any healthy food (if it does not have too much salt) and can eat almost the same as the rest of the family. You will also be able to use a single glass or spoon.
It is not necessary to grind foods as thin as before. It is good to crush the food with the fork or cut it into small pieces, but the child should get used to chewing and swallowing slightly larger pieces. This way of stimulating the mouth helps to develop the faculties of language.
At this age the child can be given meat, fish, eggs, bread and oranges.
Prepared foods, and packaged or canned foods that contain lots of salt should not be given to young children.
Children should continue to drink whole milk, and should not take skimmed or skim milk, since fat is necessary for their development.
Candies and sweet foods can spoil the child’s teeth, start bad eating habits and put the child at risk of malnutrition. If parents want to improve the taste of porridge, they can use apples or gooseberry juice without sugar.
The child needs time to adapt to different foods, and you have to get used to eating healthy and varied meals.
Health agencies recommend that all children between six months and five years old take vitamins A, C and D. A child who eats well does not need to take a vitamin supplement if you are taking a varied diet. Infants should take vitamins from the month of life, especially if they are born prematurely, or as soon as they receive sunlight on the skin.