BREAST FEEDING IS BEST FOR BABIES – FEEDING YOUR CHILD
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- If you are unable to breastfeed, discuss the choice of formula with your paediatrician.
- Don’t change your baby’s formula if you haven’t discussed it with your paediatrician. It is detrimental to a baby’s developing gastrointestinal system to be subjected to too many different types of formulas.
- Starting solid foods is an important part of your child’s nutritional and developmental needs.
- Complementary (weaning) foods should be started at 4-6 months, while the infant is still being breastfed. Not before 4 months, not after 6 months.
- With the introduction of solids between 4-6 months, the point is only to allow new antigens to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. At this stage, it is not about portion size.
- It does not matter what food type you start off with when introducing solids, but you should introduce one new food at a time. It also makes sense to introduce new foods in the mornings so that you don’t end up with a sleepless night if there is an untoward reaction.
- The introduction of allergenic foods like peanuts, fish, citrus, eggs and dairy should not be delayed. It should also be introduced from 4-6 months.
- From the age of 6 months, the main source of calories should gradually change from being only from milk, to coming mainly from solid foods.
- Once you start with complementary feeds, you can also start introducing non-milk drinks. This should mainly be water or unsweetened tea. Fruit juice contain only empty calories and children should not be taught to get into this bad habit.
Older than 12 months
- Formula is given until 18 months, thereafter full cream milk.
- At the age of 1 year, the maximum amount of milk intake is 300-600ml/24 hours.
- Children below the age of three years should not have a reduced fat diet. They should be taking full cream dairy products, oily fish and meat as sources of fat.
- Don’t add additional sugar or salt to your child’s weaning foods. What they eat during this stage, will determine their taste for the rest of their lives.
- Try not to transfer your food tastes to your child. If you don’t like broccoli, try to look as excited as possible when offering it to your child!
- If your child doesn’t want a certain type of food the first time, don’t give up. Persistence is the key to prevent a picky eater.
- Having said that, don’t force feed your child and thus create negative connotations regarding eating.