At a certain point, a breastfed baby needs additional food besides mother’s breast milk. A small amount of food that your baby gets in addition to milk is called complementary food. Such food may include cereal, cottage cheese, meat, vegetables and fruits. For parents of a first-born child are especially relevant questions about what products should be introduced in the first complementary food and when it is best to do.

The timeliness factor must be taken into account when expanding the baby’s diet. If the child’s menu is not supplemented with new products in time, it may lead to weight gain and a lack of useful substances in the body.
Which, in turn, is fraught with a weakened immune system and the development of various diseases. The optimal introduction of complementary foods for the baby is made by a neonatologist or pediatrician.

Why Breast-feeding is important first complementary feeding

Introducing complementary foods during breastfeeding is absolutely necessary, even if the mother has enough milk, the child is gaining weight well and does not require additional food between feedings. Leading a new food during this period reduces the risk of anemia, getting too much or not enough food, allows the child to provide the necessary substances in a timely manner. After reaching a certain age, the useful substances contained in the mother’s milk for the baby is not enough, and he should get magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron with supplementary food.

In addition, the child’s body should gradually adapt to the intake of normal “adult” food, since this food will be used throughout the rest of his life. It’s important for parents to start feeding your baby the right foods at the right time so that they can get used to eating new foods in a positive way.

At what age should complementary foods be started

On the question of how many months it is possible to give the first complementary food when breastfeeding, pediatricians have long led a heated debate. At this point the community came to a consensus that the beginning of the first complementary feeding should be attributed at a time closer to the second half of the baby’s life, namely the period of 4-6 months. Since up to 6 months, with the transportation of all the necessary baby cope with breast milk, which:

  • promotes the settlement of the intestine with beneficial microflora that protects against infections;
  • supplies enzymes, hormones, vitamins necessary for development and growth and development;
  • participates in creating a close psychological bond between baby and mother.

In addition, the process of sucking acts as a base for the formation and fixation of the correct bite. There are two patterns for introducing first complementary foods. The first includes fruit, the second includes cereal and vegetables. The optimal solution is to start with green and white vegetables.

Types of first complementary foods

For the first complementary feeding choose hypoallergenic easily digestible products – gluten-free cereals (buckwheat, rice, corn), green and white vegetables. Broccoli, zucchini and cauliflower are ideal for the first day of complementary feeding. Children who are gaining weight well and developing normally, vegetables are recommended as the first complementary food when breastfeeding.

They are also suitable for children who are prone to constipation. For the first complementary feeding when breastfeeding children who are underweight, cereal dishes are the best choice. The next step is to introduce a menu of cottage cheese, meat, fruit, eggs.

The inclusion of juices in the diet is best postponed to a later time. As 100-150 ml of juice will allow the child to satisfy his appetite, but will not provide the body with fat, fiber, protein and other substances needed for development and growth.

How Introduce new foods to your baby’s diet

Introduce new foods in the child’s menu gradually and in accordance with the recommendations of experts. In accordance with WHO guidelines, the list of priority foods for children from 6 months to one year of age is reflected in the table:

VegetablesKashiAnimal products and oilsFruits
Zucchinibuckwheatrabbit meatapple puree
cauliflowerriceturkey meatpear puree
pumpkinmilletbutter
broccolicornvegetable oilprune puree

Offer the new food to the child should be at first in liquid form, gradually increasing the consistency. The products must be environmentally friendly. Start the first complementary foods during breastfeeding with half a teaspoon of food, gradually increasing daily volume up to 100 ml. If observations of the baby showed a good absorption of a particular product in the infant’s body, then the next can be introduced in about 10-14 days.

Porridge: rules of introduction

As the first complementary food when breastfeeding for a child with reduced body weight, frequent stools, it is preferable to choose porridges of industrial production. Cook porridge with water, as the digestive system of a baby under a year is not ready to digest the coarse casein proteins contained in whole cow or goat milk. For example: cow’s milk has 82% of this component, while women’s milk has only 18%.

It is worth choosing gluten-free porridge, since gluten is a potential allergen, and the enzyme that breaks it down will be produced in the baby’s body later. Gluten-free cereals include oatmeal, barley, semolina, and pearl barley. The best choice

for the first complementary food is porridge made from rice and buckwheat. If it is not used ready-made baby food, you need to thoroughly grind the grains to flour and cook porridge of liquid consistency.

Introduction of vegetable purees

At the beginning of vegetable complementary feeding, hypoallergenic fruits such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkin are introduced into the menu in the form of purees. They contain little natural colors and rarely cause allergic reactions. In the first week, squash puree is fed and started with one teaspoon (8 g), gradually increasing the portion to 150 g per day and adding a third teaspoon of vegetable oil to the puree.

In the second week, the same scheme is introduced broccoli puree. First it is better to give the already familiar zucchini, and then broccoli.

The third week can add mashed cauliflower with complementary foods according to the standard scheme. It should be alternated with other types of puree, increasing gradually the amount of new food. In the eighth week, pumpkin puree is added to the infant’s menu. After 5 days after the introduction of pumpkin can begin to mix the mass with sunflower oil – 1 teaspoon of oil per serving.

Meat complementary foods: with what age are allowed

More than other parents are interested in the question of how many months of age it is possible to begin meat complementary feeding for a baby who is breastfed. Mashed meat

should be present in the baby’s diet from 5.5 months of age to maintain normal iron levels in the blood. The first portion is no more than 5 grams. By one year, the introduction scheme involves reaching the recommended daily rate – 100 grams. For the preparation of mashed meat at home is allowed to use boiled meat. Such purees are used along with industrially produced products.

However, in this case, the daily portion of the product is reduced by about 2 times. The table of allowed includes dietary meats that are safe for the health of the baby:

  • veal;
  • chicken;
  • rabbit;
  • lean beef;
  • turkey.

Meat purees are better combined with vegetable purees to improve iron absorption.

What other foods are used for complementary feeding

Kashi, meat and vegetables do not limit the variety of types of complementary foods during breastfeeding. From 6 months of age, you can add fruit juices to your baby’s menu, as well:

  • Baby cottage cheese of reduced fat content – after 5.5 months in the amount of 10 g. For children from 1 year the norm – 50 g per day.
  • Yolk of chicken eggs – after 7 months, the introduction begins with a quarter of a yolk. By 8-12 months of age, double the portion.
  • Mashed fish from the age of 8 months, replacing the mashed meat, including in the child’s menu twice a week.
  • Dairy products (yogurt, kefir) – after 8 months, the volume – about 200 ml per day.

It is worth bearing in mind that the baby’s complementary foods include only 30% of the daily liquid intake. It is therefore correct to include water in his diet – to give the baby can be purified or boiled special baby water. It should be given between meals, keeping the daily rate – 150-200 ml.

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