Introducing complementary nutrition is part of the children’s nutritional process. An act of love, and for this it must be aimed at providing them with the essential nutrients for growth.
Although some topics related to infant food safety are universally addressed on the basis of proven scientific studies, every family must pay special attention. Let’s find out in this article how to introduce complementary nutrition.
The steps to introduce complementary nutrition
The subject has been addressed over and over again and has been subject to variations especially regarding the most appropriate time to introduce new eating habits to the newborn.
The early introduction of complementary foods during lactation has been the subject of extensive study due to the risk of allergies to the baby, not mature enough to receive all foods.
The Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics underlines that:
The same source recommends maintaining breastfeeding as an exclusive form of nutrition for the first 6 months of age.
After this time, other foods can be gradually introduced while maintaining breast milk as long as the mother or baby wishes.
It is important to bear in mind that not all newborns are ready for complementary feeding at the same time. Parents and health professionals alike need to pay attention to the child’s development.
On the other hand, other official sources advise against delaying the introduction of solid foods beyond 8 or 10 months, in order to avoid eating disorders in the future.
Additional comments and recommendations on complementary nutrition
There is new information regarding the inclusion of complementary foods in the diet of infants. From the blog Siamo Mamme they let you know that:
As for the quantities, the same source mentions that “if during breastfeeding the baby was used to eating every three or four hours, with the addition of solid foods the times are prolonged”.
Although there are no defined quantities or frequencies regarding the portions of food that the baby must consume, there is a list of foods that are not recommended for the little ones. Furthermore, it is advisable to adopt complementary nutrition in a natural and gradual way, so that the little one can gradually discover different textures, temperatures and flavors.
To sum up
- It is essential not to rush or anticipate the time required for the adoption of complementary nutrition.
- Rely on authorized professionals so that they can guide you in the best possible way. However, do not ignore the opinion of the closest family by taking personal experience into account.
- Be wary of some fashions that, as in other fields, also occur in that of feeding the little ones. To give an example, there is currently the Baby-led Weaning (BLW) method, or complementary feeding guided by the baby, which raises doubts about the serious risk of suffocation.
- In this sense and with reference to the previous point, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated in a 2016 publication, the following: “Further efforts are required to allow parents, or guardians, to provide safe food to the newborn. in a protected environment “.