17 February, 2021

Complementary Feeding

The practice of introducing complementary foods (solid foods and liquids other than breast milk or infant formula) during the first year of life is variable. The American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization recommend that complementary foods be introduced around six months of age

What is the ideal time to start complementary feeding?

The optimal time to start solid foods depends on the child’s age, the child’s ability to sit up, support his or her head, and meet other developmental milestones. These guidelines apply to all children, including those who have delays with gross motor skills. Your infant should be able to do the following: sit with support, have good head and neck control, must be ready for varied textures of supplemental foods by placing their hands or toys in their mouth and lean forward and open the mouth when interested in food, and lean back and turn away when uninterested in the food or not hungry.

Why should solids not be introduced earlier?

Introducing solid foods before age four to six months is not helpful and could be harmful. Reasons for delaying the introduction of solid foods include the following:

  1. Introducing solid foods before your infant is four to six months of age may interfere with his or her ability to take in an adequate number of calories or nutrients.
  1. Young infants do not have the coordination and/or skills to safely swallow solid foods, which could lead to aspiration (inhaling food/liquid into the lungs).
  1. Infants younger than 4-6 months  have a reflex (called the extrusion reflex) that causes them to raise the tongue and push against any object that is placed between their lips. 

What are the ideal foods to start complementary feeding?

There is no single preferred food that is recommended as a first food. Single-ingredient foods should be introduced first, one at a time, every few days, to determine if the child is developing an allergic reaction. As solid foods are introduced, infants should not consume too much milk t volumes exceeding 800 ml/day . Breastfed children are allowed to nurse on demand.

Cereal — Single-grain infant cereal is a good first supplemental food because it supplies additional calories and iron. Rice cereal is traditionally offered first because it is widely available and is least likely to cause an allergic reaction. Oat cereal is also a good choice. Likewise, wheat products (in cereal or other foods) may be offered by six months of age.

Infant cereals can be prepared by adding breast milk, infant formula, or water. The consistency should initially be thin and may be made thicker over time. Cereal should be offered initially by spoon in small amounts (one teaspoon) at the end of breast- or bottle-feeding. Spoon-feeding helps to develop your infant’s ability to coordinate mouth and swallowing movements as well as enhance future speech development. Gradually increase the amount of cereal to two tablespoons two to three times per day by 8 to 10 months of age and four times per day by 12 months of age.

What are some important tips to prepare ideal complementary feeding?

(a) Complementary feeds must be made in a thick, homogenous consistency from locally available food while continuing on demand breast feeding. During this phase, one must support breast feeding optimally. Complementary feeding should be projected as the bridge that the mother has to make between liquid to solid transition and to empower the baby to ‘family pot feeding’.

(b) In order to increase calorie density of the food, each meal must be made energy dense by adding sugar / jaggery and ghee/butter/oil. To provide more calories from smaller volumes, food must be thick in consistency– thick enough to stay on the spoon without running off, when the spoon is tilted .

(c) Foods can be enriched by making a fermented porridge, use of germinated or sprouted flour and toasting of grains before grinding .

d) One to two nutritious snacks must be interspersed between the  three main meals to provide optimal calories and proteins. Snacks are in addition and should not replace meals. They should not to be confused with foods such as sweets, chips or other processed foods.

(e) Parents must identify the staple homemade food (as these are fresh, clean and cheap), comprising of cereal pulse mixture in the ratio 3:2, and make them caloric and nutrient rich with locally available products.

(f) Research has time and again proved the disadvantages of bottle feeding. Hence bottle feeding shall be discouraged at all levels.

(g) The food should be a balanced diet consisting of various (as diverse as possible) food groups /

components in different combinations. Easily available, cost-effective seasonal uncooked fruits, green and other dark colored vegetables, milk and milk products, pulses/ legumes, animal foods, oil/ butter, sugar/ jaggery may be added in the staples gradually.

(h) . Hand washing with soap and water at critical times- including before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet .

(i) Practice responsive feeding. Self-feeding should be encouraged despite spillage.  Forced feeding, threatening and punishment interfere with development of good/ proper feeding habits . 

(j) Consistency of foods should be appropriate to the developmental readiness of the child in munching, chewing and swallowing.  Introduce lumpy or granular foods and most tastes by about 9 to 10 months. 


blog featured image

29 January, 2022

Common Diseases and Issues: Caring For a Baby And How To Prevent Them.

Caring for a baby is very crucial because during the initial first year the baby’s immune system is quite weak. Due to this, there are amplified chances for him or her to develop several common diseases in babies or sickness in infant. But with the right care, you can treat common diseases in babies easily. However, new parents and caregivers may have several questions related to their infants’ healthcare. So this guide will help you to know how to care for your baby and prevent the common diseases in babies and sickness in infant. Now let’s have a look at the common diseases in babies worth one year or less and how to care for them, or how to prevent them earlier only.  Bowel movements Keeping track of the bowel movement of your infant is crucial because this can help you to know if your infant is likely to develop any disease. So the different factors you need to consider regarding the bowel movement of your baby are as follows. Consistency. Initially, the consistency of your kid’s stool will range from loose, runny or soft. However, infant or formula-fed may have stools with a tan yellow shade and firmer as compared to the infants who are breastfed. All you need to consider while checking the consistency of your infants’ stool is that it should not be hard or very
blog featured image

24 January, 2022

Baby’s First Year – Feeding Schedule and Nutrition Tips

You’ve happily clicked a snap of your little munchkin eating messily! That’s great, but now are you worried about how to provide the best nutrition to your baby in the first year? Fret not, here’s a guide on the feeding schedule for baby in the first year. Keeping in mind the fact that different infants require a different amount of nutrition, the nutrition you provide to your infant depends on his or her age, appetite, and body weight. So let’s have a glance at the healthy food for baby according to their age in the first year of birth. Newborns. As you must know, infants should receive the nutrition and calories only through breast milk or formula.  So let’s know the feeding schedule for baby with both these items. Breast milk According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, an infant should drink one to two ounces of breast milk per feeding. However, once your baby is at least two weeks old, the amount of this quantity will amplify to two to three ounces.  Generally, you need to feed breast milk to your newborn every two to three hours ass it proves to be a healthy food for baby. Formula. If you’re opting to include a formula in the feeding
blog featured image

21 January, 2022

What is a Neonatal Care Specialist and What’s Their Job Description?

Once a baby enters into this world, he or she needs to be taken care of. The transition of the baby from the womb to the outside world is made smoother with the efficacious services of a neonatal care specialist. A neonatologist or a Neonatal Care Specialist is a physician who provides care for newborns, especially infants that are born prematurely and have different health issues. Due to this, the services of a Neonatal care specialist are hired by different Community hospitals, University Medical centers, and other children’s hospitals. Now let’s have a peek at the job description and the qualifications or education required to become a Neonatal care specialist.  Education of a Neonatal care specialist  What is a Neonatal doctor? A Neonatal doctor or a neonatologist is a physician responsible to maintain the proper nutrition of a newborn. To practice the profession of a neonatal care specialist, you need to acquire a demanding educational path. This means you have to procure your undergraduate degree and then spend four years in a medical school. Once medical school is done, a neonatologist spends another three years in residency in general pediatrics.  When your education is completed, you need to obtain general certification from the American Board of Paediatrics. This requires you to pass certain education requirements along with the certification exam. Once done, you
Loading booking..