Both the quantity and quality of complementary foods are important to ensure good health and development for the baby and young child. Infants older than six months should eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including animal products (e.g. eggs, beef, chicken, lamb, milk, cheese and butter), fruits, and vegetables.
WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at 6 months of age in addition to breast milk. Initially, they should receive complementary foods 2–3 times a day between 6–8 months and increase to 3–4 times daily between 9–11 months and 12–24 months.
Specifically: a) feed infants directly and assist older children when they feed themselves, being sensitive to their hunger and satiety cues; b) feed slowly and patiently, and encourage children to eat, but do not force them; c) if children refuse many foods, experiment with different food combinations, tastes, ...
Complementary food can be made using: Rice, sweet potato or taro Fish, meat, liver, egg or beans (peanut, mungbean) Vegetables such as morning glory, ivy gourd leaves, star gooseberry leaves (ngub), amaranth leaves, pumpkin squash or leaves, or moringa leaves (marom) etc.
Indian academy of pediatrics (IAP) is celebrating 'COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING DAY' on 6 June 2023. This day will be celebrated under the theme: 'C4GP Complementary Feeding for Growth and Prosperity' and is expected to be a boon in infant nutrition and in preventing stunting and wasting among children
Around 6 months, a baby's nutritional needs can no longer be met by breast milk or formula alone. This is the reason complementary foods are started. This is especially true for iron and zinc for breastfed babies. Introduction of solid food also helps with other development, such as baby's social skills.
Milk and other drinks should be offered in a cup rather than a feeding bottle. All foods given to infants should be nutritious and be fed in a safe way. Foods provided to an infant must be free of pathogens and of suitable quantity, size and texture. Infants should be supervised during feeding.
1921, a Swedish pediatrician, Jundell, reported for the first time that starting complementary feeding at 6 months of age was associated with a better growth and resistance to infections.
** Complementary foods include infant cereal, vegetables, fruits, meat, and other protein-rich foods modified to a texture appropriate (e.g., strained, pureed, chopped, etc.) for the infant's developmental readiness. See Figure 1 for more guidance on feeding skills and infant development.
The term “complementary feeding” or “weaning” refers to all solid and liquid foods other than breast milk or infant formula.29 Oct 2020
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