The way of implementing complementary feeding has changed a lot in recent years. Currently, some experimentation by the baby is allowed.
Complementary feeding begins at 6 months of the baby, but many doubts arise in this regard. Putting it on correctly can promote the development of the child and prevent health problems in the future.
For this reason, it is always recommended to be guided by a specialist when planning the introduction of solid products in the diet. It is essential to ensure that nutritional needs are metwhile starting to eat different foods at the right time.
Common questions about complementary feeding
Here we will tell you the main doubts that arise when talking about complementary feeding, as well as the position of science in this regard.
Can I let the child feed itself?
In the past, complementary feeding was implemented with a high degree of supervision and care. The baby was offered highly processed foods, so he had little difficulty chewing or handling them. However, today the trend has changed.
The most recent trend is called the Baby Led Weaning and it consists in offering the child food in its most natural state, letting him explore it and try to consume it. According to a study published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics , thanks to this system, there is a better acceptance of the organoleptic characteristics of food by the child, which reduces rejections in future stages.
Nevertheless, it is important to be attentive to how the child acts. Portions that could cause choking should not be offered and the whole process should be supervised.
Is it time to stop breastfeeding?
For many mothers, breastfeeding is uncomfortable because they feel some pain in the nipples (or they are cracked). However, this method of feeding turned out to be the healthiest, both for the woman and for the child.
In this sense, it is recommended to prolong breastfeeding until the baby reaches its first year of life. From there, breast milk can be replaced with a formula product, but always choosing one that has adequate nutritional value.
In the meantime, it is better to give priority to breastfeeding and avoid the inclusion of artificial preparations. Although some are well formulated, we never manage to have a food resembling breast milk, which is the most appropriate at this stage of life. Thanks to breast milk, good development is promoted and the risk of the appearance of chronic pathologies is reduced.
Can I include any food?
It is likely that, during the first months of the baby’s life, the pediatrician will provide a document indicating the appropriate time to introduce each food into the child’s diet. Up to 6 months, the only method of feeding considered, in normal situations, is breastfeeding.
From there you can include other products, even solid ones, but not all at once. First, start with those that present a lower risk of generating autoimmune reactions, and then gradually increase the spectrum.
In addition, there are certain foods, such as dried fruits, which are not easy for the baby to handle. The latter needs some development of his teeth and must be able to swallow, or he could choke.
In this sense, it is very important to follow the instructions of the specialist. Including a food too soon could cause a future intolerance or a more serious problem.
Complementary feeding, a critical moment in the life of the child
The timing of the start of complementary feeding is critical because it represents an important transition in terms of food. Implementing this change in the right way can have a positive impact on the baby’s health, but doing it the wrong way will cause medium and long-term damage.
For this reason, we recommend that you always let yourself be guided by a specialist, especially if you are a new mother. In this way, the risks will be reduced and the chances that the child will grow up healthy will increase.
Also remember that this complementary feeding process is part of nutrition education itself. This is essential to ensure that the little one follows a good diet throughout childhood and adolescence, which has a positive impact on health.
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