Published: 11/14/2005 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
Good nutrition is essential for the healthy growth of the baby. If the child is well fed or not during the first years of life, can have a profound effect on their health and their ability to learn, communicate, think analytically, effectively socialize and adapt to new environments and people. Food is the basis for a good physical, mental and social development of children. Good nutrition is the first line of defense against many childhood illnesses that can leave scars on the children for life.
Good nutrition and good health are directly connected through the lifetime, but the connection is even more vital during childhood. It is in this period that children can acquire good habits during lunch when it comes to variety, taste, and so on.
The effects of malnutrition in early childhood (0 to 8 years) can be devastating and long lasting. It can prevent the behavioral and cognitive development, educational achievement and reproductive health, thus weakening the future productivity.
Breast milk is the best food that a mother can give to her newborn. Not only by its composition but also by the bonding that takes place between mother and baby during the act of breastfeeding. Because it contains everything the child needs during the first months of life, breast milk protects babies against many diseases such as colds, pneumonia, diarrhea, ear infections, urinary infections, and other future as asthma, allergies, obesity, etc. also helpful to the mother. Women who breastfeed lose weight gained during pregnancy more quickly, and rarely suffer from anemia or hypertension and postpartum depression.
Adding even more advantages, we can say that breast milk is an organic food. Not manufactured, packaged or transported, thereby avoiding energy wastage and environmental pollution. For the family is a big savings. Breast milk is not an economic cost.
For all these reasons and in agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast feeding during the first 6 months of a child's life and continue breastfeeding with adequate complementary foods up to 2 years of age or older.
The sooner the better. It is important that the child is offered the breast in the first half hour after birth. After the first date, the newborn is usually a few hours asleep. During this time, it is recommended that the baby stays with her mother to stimulate the skin to skin contact between the two. Thus, the breast can be offered as soon as it appears that the child is ready to suck, and not only when it cries. Crying is a late sign of hunger.
It should not be forgotten that the healthy newborn does not need more liquid slab than from its mother's milk, so it is not necessary or advisable to provide water or dextrose saline solution. Before giving "extras" or any food other than breast milk, you should consult with the pediatrician.
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From feeding to the slurry
Up to 6 months of the first year of life is strictly necessary to nurse the baby because it completes the training of their intestinal functions by this means (for example, enzymes that are found in the stomach and intestine).
From 6 months, it is necessary to change the power not only because to do so officially, but because the baby will gradually be leaving their nutritional needs. The baby cannot maintain a diet of only breast milk. That will lead to a nutritional disadvantage.
The change in food aid and requires patience. The first thing is to control the potential food intolerances, that is, if any food causes diarrhea, increased temperature, constipation, or other diseases to the baby. The body of the baby should start getting out.
Age of introduction of various foods in the diet in infants
Remember that about 7 months, the child recognizes the primary emotions in the figures close to care, so whether the mother or father gets very uptight when it comes to providing food, the baby can handle the situation fairly, being very tense.
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For the change of feeding power transition, follow the recommendations of the board above, the only problem that arises is that of authority and firmness in decision dietary change. It is absolutely counterproductive to keep a baby with only breastfeeding after the first year. The baby will be at a severe risk of malnutrition.
If the baby cries because he does not want to eat, and parents turn to the pediatrician, he may recommend the use of syrups or additions to the appetite. The rate of feeding a child under 1 year should obey their nutritional needs, physical activity and its elimination. Therefore, we must feed him until not hungry. In principle, introducing a new food takes about 2 or 3 days and then establishing a normal pattern of hours required in the diet. Example: a bottle of fruit or yogurt in the morning, lunch, snack, and dinner.
Introduction of complementary food after weaning: Beikost
Milk, as food from six months, does not provide energy and nutrients the infant needs from this age, as well as their digestive functions have matured, new foods should be included in their diet, according to regulated standards.
It is not justified to introduce new foods before three months, although it is not advisable to do so beyond the six, because the lack of diversification is a frequent cause of anorexia (loss of appetite), and also misses a very good time for the education of taste and knowledge of the basic foods that the baby will adjust to a balanced diet, and varied enough.
The infant is especially sensitive and vulnerable to dietary transgressions and their consequences are more serious as adults. There are certain conditions associated with infant feeding: anemia consumption of cow's milk intolerance to cow's milk, Celiac sprue, or gluten intolerance, food allergies…
The usual way of introducing complementary feeding is to replace, one by one, taking the milk that the infant receives to various components of feeding (cereal porridge, fruit, pureed vegetables…) so gradually, with sufficient interval so that the child will accept new foods, testing the tolerance of the child to them before introducing a new, allowing time to adapt their body. It is very important in this period, allowing the amount of food may vary from day to day and week to week, depending on the child's appetite.
The child also has reached a certain level of development. Begins to be able to sit with support, who offers to communicate with the food, show willingness to open his mouth to eat or some form of pointing out the spoon, or do not eat, thereby closing the mouth or face. At this age the reflex disappears extrusion (rejection of everything that is not a nipple) and displayed a sense of satiety. Also begins to swallow semisolid food.
Introduction of new foods one by one
Cereals: will be introduced around 4-6 months and not before the four. First is to avoid gluten sensitivities and intolerances tothis. After 7-8 months, it can be a mixture of cereals containing gluten. It is often the first element other than milk is introduced into the diet of infants.
Cereals contribute to energy intake, are a source of protein, minerals, vitamins (especially thiamine), essential fatty acids and carbohydrates of slow absorption, thus allowing a larger spacing of the shots. However, being a food calorie, there is a risk of overfeeding if abused its consumption. To prepare the porridge, you should add the milk and cereal usually required, thus maintaining a minimum contribution of 500 cc of milk daily. Less good are the source of preparations containing milk and cereals and are prepared with water, since the amount of milk actually provided depends on the dilution that takes place. Cereals containing gluten are wheat, oats, rye, barley. Those that do not contain gluten are rice and corn.
Fruits: We start from 4-6 months with a slurry of fruits for their vitamin supply, never replacing a shot of milk, but complementing it. It should employ various fruits (orange, apple, pear, grape, plum), to help educate the taste, and is preferable to avoid the most allergenic as strawberry, raspberry, peach and kiwi. Usually made after getting the acceptance of cereal, but can be done in reverse, first fruit and then grains. Should not be sweetened with sugar and biscuits until after the 7 months, as these contain gluten.
The vegetables and potatoes: Introduce them from 6 months for their contribution of minerals and fiber. First, the broth can be added to the bottle half days, then mashed vegetables alone, supplemented with milk. Vegetables with high nitrate content should be avoided, such as beets, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. There have been cases in young children who have reheated vegetables rich in these elements, in which the skin becomes bluish, because it affected the transport of oxygen, a box apparatus that is not serious with the right treatment. There is also a risk that this situation occurs if the cooked vegetables are kept in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours along with the broth.
Therefore initially prefer potatoes, green beans, zucchini, etc. later introduce all the others. You can add a dessert spoon of olive oil to the puree, but should not add salt. Cook with little water and take advantage of the cooking broth, which are part of the dissolved salts. Initially, it is recommended to prevent flatulence (cabbage, cauliflower, turnips) or very aromatic (garlic, asparagus).
Meat: Preferably less fat, starting with the chicken and not before six months, in an amount of 10-15 grams per day and 10-15 grams per month increase maximum 40-50 grams, mixed and whipped meat with vegetables. Subsequently introduce the calf and lamb, they provide a high biological value proteins, lipids, iron, zinc and certain vitamins. Viscera (liver, brains, etc.), have no advantages over the lean and make excess cholesterol and saturated fat.
Fish: Never before in the nine months due to their greater ability to cause allergies, and if the baby has a family history of food allergy, even to the last year of life. After this age, the fish can be substituted for some shots of the flesh. It should start with white fish.
Eggs: Never raw. Introduce first cooked yolk on the ninth month; initially quarter, half the following week and the whole on month, then the whole egg (with the clear) at twelve months. You can substitute for meat, taking 2-3 units per week. The yolk is a good source of fat, essential fatty acids, choline (a substance necessary for good functioning of the nervous system, since from it produces acetyl-choline), vitamins A, D and iron.
Vegetables: Add mashed vegetables, from 18 months. If mixed with rice or other grains, can replace part of the rations of meat, and may well take up to two times per week.
Yoghourt: From the eighth month, in addition should be unsweetened, natural or mixed with the slurry of the fruit snack.
Refined sugars, honey and other sweets: we do not recommend the consumption of sugar, because the baby's diet has an adequate supply of carbohydrates. It is very important not to feed infants with honey or corn syrup, because these foods have been identified as the only dietary sources of spores of Clostridium botulinum and this age have no immunity to resist the development of these spores that cause botulism.
Water: As long as the infant receives only breast milk or formula adapted, usually does not require additional fluids, except in extreme heat or increased losses (fever, diarrhea). By contrast, the feeding means an increased renal solute (substance dissolved in liquid mineral salts, glucose…), not enough fluids produced by the milk and other foods, and must provide the child with water often.
Cow's milk: Never introduced years before, and when included in the diet should be whole, for their contribution of fat-soluble vitamins A and D and fat unless a doctor has to specify otherwise.
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