- Breastfeeding for two years or longer helps a child to develop and grow strong and healthy.
- Starting other foods in addition to breast milk at the completion of 6 months, helps to grow well.
- Foods that are thick enough to stay in the spoon give more energy to the child.
- Animal – source foods are especially good for children, to help them grow strong and lively.
- Peas, beans , lentils, nut and seeds are also good for children.
- Dark green leaves and yellow –coloured fruit and vegetables helps a child to have healthy eyes and (Fewer) infections.
- A growing child needs 2-4 meals per day plus 1-2 Snacks if hungry give a variety of foods.
- A growing child needs increasing amounts of food.
- A young child needs to learn to eat. Encourage and give help with lots of patience.
Introducing (Solid) Foods
This is a general guide for all infants you can change it according to your babie’s special needs whenever necessary. Amount of a meal, number of meals and the amount of oil is added to meals can vary in one baby to another.
After completion of 6 months.
As soon as your baby completes 6 months (180 days) complimentary feeding has to be started. This includes solid foods made in to purees (Thalapaya) using rice.
Starting food is mashed cooked rice (Bath Thalapaya) with some added breast milk. Feed when your baby is hungry. First day give amount of 2-3 teaspoons. Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount.
After 3 days add dhal to the rice and cook. (1 table spoon of rice: 1 tea spoon dhal )Mash this altogether and give 3-4 teaspoons Instead of dhal you can use green gram or peas as well. Breast feed in between meals.
One week after starting complimentary foods you can add Iron rich foods such as sprats, fish chicken.
Add varieties of vegetables and leafy vegetables as well .e.g pumpkin, Ash plants, potato, sweet potato, Carrot, Thampala, Sarana, Gotukola.
Add one vegetable at a time.
Once a day give a fresh fruit such as Banana, Papaw, Avocado, Mango, Melon.( mashed or scrapped) You can select locally available fruits best is from your own home garden.
Give 2-3 main meals per days.
Breast feed in between meals. Introduce a cup and offer sips of water after meals. This will help your baby to learn to sip and is better for your baby’s teeth.
After 7 months completed
Give mashed food with small particles.
Rice + dhal + sprats ( Ground in to small particles) + vegetable+ leafy vegetable add coconut milk or oil tea spoon to cook. Instead of oil you can add unsalted butter as well. Make this up to little more than ½ cup (200 ml tea cup can be used o measure) Give 2-3 main meals.
Gradually increase food particle size. This will allow your baby to learn how to chew.
Breast feed in between meals. Give fruits as well ( veralu, nelli,guava)
General Feeding Tips
- Prepare a separate place for feeding. Allow your baby to observe other family members’ eating pattern.
- Talk with baby about taste and colours of food while feeding.
- Feed your baby with lots of patience and love so that meal time would become a exiting and pleasurable time for your baby and you.
- Do not force your baby to eat. Wait until the next time if the baby is not interested this time.
- If the food is hot, allow it to become cool and test it before giving it to your baby.
- Do not add salt, sugar or any artificial flavours to your baby’s food or cooking water. Always use clean utensils and wash your hands before handing food.
- Always offer fresh and homemade foods to your baby.
At 8-9 months
- Allow your baby to taste varieties of food . Give 3-4 main meals amount more than ½ a cup per a meal.
- Give nutritious snacks 1-2 times in between main meals.
Healthy Snack suggestions
- ½ Banana (ripe) or ½ an Avocado mash together, 1 table spoon yogurt or curd
- Boiled Sweet Potato (medium size) + unsalted butter 1 teaspoon
- Hard-boiled egg, mashed
- Boiled green gram tempered with 1 tsp coconut oil mash together.
Have to introduce food particles as well. Therefore do not blend foods using a blender.
Introduce finger foods
Finger food is food that’s cat in to pieces big enough for your baby to hold in their fist and stick out of the top of it. Pieces about the size of your own finger working well. Your baby learns to chew this way. Boiled vegetable sticks are healthy start.
- Give 3-4 main meals amount is ¾ cup.
- Give 1-2 nutritious Snacks in between main meals
- Breast feed after meals
- Baby should be able to eat family foods after 12 months completed.
- Sweet drinks – Do not give frissy drinks, milkshakes and fruit juices which can have lots of added sugar. Avoid other drinks as tea, coffee.
- Sweet foods like Chocolate, Sweets, Pastries, Cakes , Biscuits have lots of sugar added. Babies do not need them.
- Salt and salty food like Bacon, Sausages Chips, Convenience food, take ways are bad for your baby.
- Choking can happen with hard foods, round foods like chick peas and grapes peel the skin off and mash before giving.
- Your baby may be allergic to certain foods. When introducing new food give them in small amounts first and watch carefully for any signs or symptoms of an allergies reaction.
Signs and symptoms of allergy
Skin reaction : blotchy, raised red rushes, itchy patches and swelling around mouth or ears or red and itchy eyes.
If your baby shows any of symptoms seek medical advice.