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Till the age of 6 months the infant should exclusively breast fed so the child requirements are met entirely. Mother’s milk is the best choice till six months as not only is it nutritionally sufficient but also has the added benefit of giving immunity of child.

But after the sixth month it is a vital period where the foods that are normally consumed by the family are introduced in the diet (Weaning). This is an important period in the life of a child as food of the child’s choice in adequate quantity to make sure that the demands of growth are met.

If not, the child may suffer from malnutrition (under and over) making tem prone to a host of diseases. Weaning should be started with liquids (cow’s milk, fruit juice, tender coconut water, etc) progressing to malted cereals, then to mashed foods and then finally semi solid food. The nutritional requirements are as per the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Tips for introducing Weaning foods.
  • Introduce only one food at a time
  • Allow the infant to become familiar with the food and then introduce the second food
  • Give small amounts of food in the beginning and gradually increase the quantity
  • Use a thin consistency at first and then progress to solid foods
  • If, after several trails the baby has acute dislike for the food then omit it for a week or two and then try again. If dislike persists then substitute with another food
  • Food should be lightly seasoned
  • At first mashed or strained fruits, vegetables and cereals are given
  • When the baby can chew substitute with finely chopped fruits and vegetables
  • Infants may object to taking one food but when mixed with another they might find it acceptable
  • Variety is important
  • Baby’s appetite varies a lot from day to day and with weather
  • Give freshly prepared food
  • Make the food calorie dense by adding oil, butter or ghee
  • Try using a cup to feed instead of a bottle
Problems commonly found among these children
  • Obesity
  • Underweight
  • Allergy
  • Choking
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