Early nutrition, especially in-utero and during the first years is crucial to be healthy adults. The first two years of life is a period of rapid physical growth and mental development. Hence infants are more vulnerable to nutritional insults during this period and consequently it has a great bearing on health as adults; development of non-communicable diseases, reduced work capacity, reduced IQ , and complications during delivery and LBW with regard to women etc. these factors seriously affect human development which will have negative implications on development.
Click here to access guidelines on infants and young child feeding: Family Health Bureau - Child Nutrition
This is a general guide for all infants. You can change it according to your baby’s special needs whenever necessary. Amount of a meal, number of meals and the amount of oil added to meals can vary from one baby to another. A good guide is the weight of the baby measured monthly.
As soon as your baby completes 6 months (180 days) complementary feeding has to be started. This includes solid foods made in to purees (Thalapaya) using rice.
Start with mashed cooked rice (Bath Thalapaya) with some added breast milk. Feed when your baby is hungry. On the first day, give 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 all together 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 complementary foods you should add Iron rich foods such as sprats, fish, chicken.
Add a variety of vegetables and leafy vegetables as well .e.g pumpkin, Ash plants, potato, sweet potato, Carrot, Thampala, Sarana, Gotukola.
Add one new food item at a time initially.
Once a day give a fresh fruit such as Banana, Papaw, Avocado, Mango, Melon.( mashed or scraped) You can select locally available fruits - best is from your own home garden.
Give 2-3 main meals per day.
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.
Give mashed food with small particles.
Rice + dhal + sprats (Ground into small particles) + vegetable+ leafy vegetable add coconut milk or oil – one tea spoon to cook. Instead of oil you can add unsalted butter as well. Make this up to ½ cup (200 ml tea cup can be used as a measure) Give 2-3 main meals.
Gradually increase the size of food particles. This will allow your baby to learn how to chew.
Breast feed in between meals. Give fruits as well (veralu, nelli, guava)
It is important to introduce food particles as well. Therefore do not blend foods using a blender.
Finger food is food that’s cut in to pieces big enough for your baby to hold using the thumb and forefinger. Your baby learns to chew this way. Boiled vegetable sticks are a healthy start.
If your baby shows any of the above symptoms seek medical advice immediately.
A) Yes, can start after completion of 6 months of age (Around second – third week after starting complementary food will be alright)
A) Perfectly all right
A) No, you have to continue breast feeding with complementary feeding up to 2 years,
A) Yes. You can offer normal balanced adult diet.
A) Baby should receive a normal balanced diet as much as possible. You can offer small frequent meals if your child has less appetite during an illness. Give an additional meal after the recovery to maintain the normal weight gain.
A) Yes, feed as usual. He should be given solid foods and need higher amounts of liquids as well.