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Introducing Complementary Food to Your Child? Keep These 4 Things in Mind

By: Lifestyle Desk

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Last Updated: June 15, 2022, 10:59 IST

All children are special and they grow at their own speed. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

All children are special and they grow at their own speed. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

The health expert suggested introducing one food at a time. She even warned that the baby may spit the food initially before accepting the feed.

Adequate nutrition is an integral part of an infant’s overall growth and development. The initial few years of an infant are extremely important as optimal nutrition during this period fosters better development. All children are special and they grow at their own speed.

However, it is essential that one must know the correct ways of feeding a child in order for good health. Just like what a child eats is important, timing also plays a vital role. Chief Nutritionist, Dr. Latha Sashi spoke to HT Lifestyle and gave a few tips to make a child’s meal healthy. “When breast milk (or infant formula) alone is no longer sufficient for nutritional and developmental reasons, complementary food is required. Exclusive breastfeeding (only breast milk) is sufficient for a baby up to 6 months of age. Solid feeds that supplement breast milk, or complementary feeds, must be introduced gradually into the infant’s diet,” she said. She further added that mentioned that the ideal time to introduce complementary food is after 6 months.

The health expert suggested introducing one food at a time. She even warned that the baby may spit the food initially before accepting the feed.

Tips you can follow:

  1. Consistency is important
    When you start complementary feeding at the completion of six months, go for liquid consistency. Slowly as the child develops teeth, make the consistency of the food thick. By the age of 1.5 years, give solid foods to your baby.
  2. Say No to packed and processed foods
    To develop taste and reduce the hassle of cooking, many parents start giving their kids biscuits, chips, cold drinks and other processed food items. They are harmful and can lead to obesity and other health issues at a small age.
  3. Continue breastfeeding for at least 2 years
    Even after starting complementary foods, a mother must regularly breastfeed her child. As per the MoHFW guidelines, a mother must breastfeed at least for the first 2 years of their life for proper physical and cognitive development.
  4. Make your child’s bowl colourful
    One can add different types of vegetables and fruits to the diet of a child. It will not only make their bowl look attractive, but will help them get maximum nutrients.

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first published:June 15, 2022, 10:59 IST
last updated:June 15, 2022, 10:59 IST
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