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Guidelines for Appropriate Complementary Feeding

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Gorika Bansal 89% (86 ratings)
DNB Paediatrics, DCH, MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi  •  12 years experience
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Lybrate - Dr. Gorika Bansal talks About Complementary Feeding

 

Hello everyone. My name is Dr. Gorika Bansal and I am pediatrician practicing in green park. Today I will be talking about complementary feeding. Complementary feeding means introduction of new food into your baby’s diet. When he turns 6 months in age. So now the question that may pop in your head is why only at 6 months? Why not earlier this is? because baby’s demand is completely met by the breast milk that you give to the baby until 6 months of age. But, as the baby grows older his requirement his nutrient requirements grow exponentially as its gaining weight, height and brain development is happening at a very faster rate so the nutrients requirement also really increase and that is why we have we have to introduce all these new foods apart from milk to take care of all these additional nutrient requirements.

Now next question would be what all can we give to the baby? when he turns 6 months so for example, we can start with porridge that is kheer you can give chawal ka kheer or sooji ka kheer or may be a halva make sure that the consistency of the kheer is liquid or may be a thick liquid not as thin as a milk but yes but not as solid not like semi-solid food. It should be in between the semi-solid and the liquid consistency. So it can provide the right amount of the nutrient value. So porridge is one, second you can give mashed fruit to the baby which may include mashed papaya, banana, apple, oranges and mango of course other option would be daal and chawal so daal chawal, khichdi can be made into the grovel form and can be served to the baby. To improve the taste of the khichdi we can also add salt for pat ability. Other things that we can give to the baby would include maybe a fruit custard or a fruit yogurt curd can also be the other good option or maybe a lassi which may be namkeen or sweetened also we can give different kind of soup like a vegetable soup, chicken soup, palak soup etc. Even boiled steamed vegetables are every good option which can be mashed and give it to the baby. Mashed potatoes is something that babies really love, even mashed sweet potatoes, so all these are good option and if you are a south Indian may be upma could work really well may be at least sambar can be really well in that case. At least sambar is something that you can put idli into it and then again comes a grovel form you can server to the baby.

Now let’s come to the next question. How many time you should serve this to the baby? So as I said we do not have to cut down the milk. Milk has to be continued the way it used to be apart from the milk feed we give new foods 2-3 times in a day to a 6-8 months old baby. Why if the baby is 9-12 months old we give these food 3-4 times a day. How much quantity to give now? So the quantity of course baby is going to decide how much he want to eat. To begin with, you have to be very gradual. So start with the teaspoon of the meal and gradually build it up so the requirement for the baby at the age of 6-8 months would be around 3 tablespoon per meal. While for 9-12 months old baby, requirement may be up to half a cup of the meal. But as I said, It is not a thumb rule that your baby decides how much he want to eat. When you are preparing these foods make sure the hygiene of the food. Make sure your hands are washed. Your baby’s hands are washed because he is going to put his fingers into the food start liking on it. So make sure all of that is in place. Also the utensils are nicely cleaned. Other thing is that you can start for you baby is of course water. What am I usually asked by the parents. Because in summer months kids may be dehydrated.

Water is something you can start now. But water should be given only after the food not before the food because it is going to kill the hunger after because it is going to take care of the oral hygiene as well. Salt and sugar as I said can also be used for palatability but in very minimal amounts. Another thing I would like to add is the commercial products that they usually sell for babies like celeriac should only be a fall back option it should be given once in a while and shouldn’t be given regularly because these products has preservatives. Preferable would be giving homemade food to the baby. Unless and until you are traveling that is a different case in which you can use celeriac. So some babies would really love eating what you are giving them some may puke out the food that you are giving. In case they vomit out the food, do not get dishearten, do not stop giving them food you are giving. But of course do a bit of variation as sweet food is definitely a win situation at the babies. You can probably start with fruit purees to begin with if he is not liking something you are giving. The food that he vomited you can re-introduce that food after a week time. So having said that all these little things, you need to keep giving to the baby and ensure that you maintain the nutrient value and of course the taste for the baby as well. And of course the colorful foods are really cherished by them. Colorful sweet and liquid consisting food.

That’s all from me and all the very best and in case you have any queries any questions, you can contact me on the Lybrate home page or you could visit my clinic in green park, for any question or queries you can always leave a message on my number
Thank you so much.




 

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