It is meant by complementary feeding, the introduction of new food into the baby’s diet. Until that time comes, the baby feeds exclusively on milk, either breast or formula. Although milk is still the main food, from a certain moment onwards solid foods should be incorporated into the baby’s diet.
Although each pediatrician can give you a different opinion about what foods should or should not be offered to the baby, the general guidelines are basically the same in any case. It also does not influence whether instead of starting complementary feeding with purees, you choose the Baby Led Weaning option. The question is how food should be offered, the space to be left between each new food, and other basic guidelines recommended by specialists.
Guidelines for introduction to supplementary feeding
According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), it is advisable to wait until 6 months to start with the introduction of solid foods. Before 6 months, the organism is not yet mature enough at the digestive, immune and neurological level, so that the baby can correctly and healthily digest and assimilate food.
Usually, by 6 months of life, the baby already has enough skills to be able to take solid food. You can already hold your neck, is able to pick up food with your hand and hold them, keep sitting with support and has lost the extrusion reflex, that is, no longer spits food with your tongue. Also, from that age the baby begins to show interest in the food and food that parents take.
Once it’s time to start offering different foods to the baby, it is important to consider certain aspects. Beyond the chosen food, it is usually easily digestible fruits and vegetables, such as banana, pear, apple, orange, zucchini, green bean or potato. The important thing is to leave a certain space between food.
Time between food
Every time we offer a food to the baby, it is necessary to wait between 2 and 3 days. In this way, we can see if the baby likes food, if he digests it well and whether or not some kind of reaction appears. Foods with which complementary feeding is started, are usually easily digestible. That is, in very few cases they cause allergic or intolerant reaction.
It is also very important to offer food one ata time. Before you start preparing purees or porridges from various foods, it is necessary to check how each of them is assimilated. In addition, if we mix various foods and the baby does not like, we will hardly be able to find out what food he does not like. If after 2 or 3 days the baby shows rejection for certain food, try another and try again after a few days.
Milk should be the main food during the first year of life
It is very important to remember that feeding the baby during the first year of life, should be based primarily on milk. Breast milk is the best food that the baby can take, but if it is not possible, formula milk contains the nutrients that the baby needs to grow and develop properly. Complementary feeding should be tackled as a background race.
Do not be in a hurry because the baby takes all kinds of food. In fact, it will be a few years before your child can safely eat some foods. Like leafy green vegetables, they should not be taken until the first year. Large fish, which because of their high mercury content are not recommended in infants. Or nuts, which because of their high risk of choking are not recommended until after 3 or 4 years of age.
You should not offer your baby unhealthy foods, with excess sugar or salt. Fruit juices do not bring any benefit, even when they are homemade, since the fruit when crushed loses vitamins and minerals and increases its natural sugar content. Always choose food in its natural form, lightly cooked or roasted and chammed with a fork. Gradually your baby will eat more and more food and the day will come when he eats everything.