Feed Your Child Sold Food From 4 to 7 Months of Age
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At this stage, most babies begin to introduce solids into their diet. Experts recommend introducing solid foods gradually when the baby is about six months old, depending on how prepared the baby is and their nutritional needs.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before you start giving any solid food to your baby.
Is my baby ready to eat solid foods?
How can you tell if your baby is ready to eat solid foods? Here are some clues:
Has the reflex of sticking out your baby's tongue gone completely? This reflex, which serves to prevent choking and asphyxia by aspiration, causes babies to pull out food from the mouth.
Can your baby hold his head? To eat solid foods, babies need to have good control of their head and neck and they must be able to sit.
Is you baby interested in your food? A 6-month-old baby who stares and accepts food at dinner time is clearly prepared for a little more variety of food.
If your child's doctor tells you to start solid foods but your baby seems frustrated or does not care about the foods you are trying to introduce, wait a few days or even several weeks before trying it again. Since at this stage solids are only a supplement, breast milk and / or artificial milk will continue to meet the basic nutritional needs of your child.
How to start giving solid foods
When your baby is ready and your doctor has given you the okay to introduce the solids, choose a time of the day when your child is not tired or restless. It interests him that his baby is a little hungry, but not that he is faint or starved; You may prefer that your baby suck for a while or take a part of your usual bottle.
Have your child sit on your lap while you hold him or sit upright in his chair. Children who feel well, which usually happens around 6 months of age, can sit in chairs equipped with safety straps.
The first solid food of most babies is a bit of a single grain porridge enriched with iron and made with breast milk or artificial milk. Place the teaspoon near your baby's lips and let the baby smell and taste the baby food. Do not be surprised if you reject the first teaspoon. Wait a minute and try it again. Most of the food you offer your baby at this stage will end up on the cheek, chin, bib or chair tray. Again, it's just an introduction. Pro tip: Use specialized baby food makers to create delcious food for your baby.
Do not add cereal to the baby's bottle unless instructed to do so by your child's doctor, as this procedure can cause babies to become overweight and not help them turn to eating solid foods.
When your little one gets used to taking cereal porridge with a spoon, it may be time to introduce the porridge or the puree of vegetables, fruit or meat that consists of a single ingredient. The order in which food is introduced does not matter, but at the time of introducing new foods, it must be proceeded slowly. Enter one food at a time and wait several days before trying a new food. This allows you to identify those foods to which your baby may be allergic.
Your baby may take some time to "learn" to eat solids. During these months, you will continue to give your baby the usual breast or artificial milk intakes; therefore, do not worry if your baby refuses certain foods at the beginning or does not seem interested in them. It's all about time.
Foods to avoid
A child is more likely to develop food allergies if one or more of his close relatives has allergies or allergy-related conditions, such as food allergies, eczema or asthma. Talk to your child's doctor about any family history of food allergies.
Possible signs of food allergy or allergic reactions include the following:
- abdominal swelling or increased gas and wind
In severe allergic reactions, such as hives or difficulty breathing, seek medical help immediately. If your child has any type of reaction to a specific food, do not offer it again until you have talked to your doctor.
Also, do not give honey to your baby until after he is 1 year old. Honey can contain certain spores that, although they are harmless to adults, can cause botulism in babies. And do not give cow's milk until the baby is over 12 months old because it lacks the nutritional properties babies need.
Tips for introducing solid foods
With the frenetic and vertiginous thymus of family life today, most parents choose, at first, industrially-produced baby foods. It comes in small, easy-to-use containers, and manufacturers must meet strict safety and nutrition criteria. Avoid brands that use fillers and / or added sugars.
If you plan to prepare your own porridges at home, using a blender or other type of food processor, here are some aspects you should consider:
Protect your baby and the rest of your family from foodborne illness by following food safety guidelines (such as washing hands well and often).
Try to conserve the nutrients in your baby's food by using preparation methods that retain most of the vitamins and minerals. Try steaming or baking fruits and vegetables, instead of boiling them, a method in which many nutrients are lost.
Freeze the portions that you will not be consuming immediately, instead of putting them in canned. You may also prepae them in specialzied baby food maker.
Do not serve beets, spinach, green beans, zucchini or carrots prepared at home to babies under 4 months of age. They may contain high concentrations of nitrates, which can cause anemia in infants. Instead, use canned varieties of these types of vegetables.
Regardless of whether you buy the baby's porridge or prepare it at home, remember that texture and consistency are important. At first, babies should take finely sifted and single-ingredient purée. (Only applesauce, for example, instead of pear and apple mixed.)
After trying the food separately, it is okay to offer your child mashed two foods that have been successfully tested. When your child is about 9 months old, he will be able to tolerate thicker textures without problems, because he will already be preparing for a diet that contains more food for adults.
If you use industrial preparation porridges that are sold in jars, place the food in a bowl before giving it to the baby. Do not feed the baby directly from the bottle, because the bacteria coming from his mouth could contaminate the food that remained in the bottle. If you store open bottles of baby food in the refrigerator, it is best to get rid of any unused food after a day or two.
The juice can be introduced from 6 months, also a good age to introduce the cup. Buy a cup with a large handle and lid (a "training cup"), and teach your baby to grab it and drink with it. You may need to try several different cups until you find the one that works for your baby. Try water at the beginning to avoid messes.
Serve only 100% fruit juice, not drinks made with juice or mixtures made with powder. Do not give juice using a bottle and remember to limit the amount of juice your child drinks to less than 4 ounces in total (120 ml) per day. An excess of juice adds calories without providing the nutritional value of breast milk or artificial milk. Drinking too much juice can contribute to excessive weight gain and can cause diarrhea .
His goal during the coming months will be to introduce a wide variety of foods, such as cereals enriched with iron, fruit, vegetables and meat in the form of porridge or puree. If your child does not seem to like a particular meal, return it to the front. It may cost a few tests until your child accepts some food.
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