Published: 11/14/2005 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
The development of children depends largely on the food they receive from the first days of life. In recent years, it seems clear that natural food, giving the breast to the child, is the biggest and best guarantee to provide the best nutrients and the best defense for our children.
However, over the months, children begin to introduce other products in their food, in many cases, we developed them in house and in many others, we buy.
Useful and well-developed
The baby food helps children learn to discover flavors and chew and swallow. These are an alternative to homemade purees.
The food in the first year of life is crucial in the development of the baby, since its growth is faster than ever and the nutritional requirements, greater. It is at this time that the infants (less than 12 months) are more immature and vulnerable, it becomes crucial to assure adequate food that meets their nutritional needs, prevent any diseases and to help create healthy eating habits.
There are three stages: during the firts (up to 4-6 months), the food is based on milk, which may be maternal (most recommended), artificial (formula of initiation) and mixed. In the transition period, (from 4-6 months), we should increase both the energy value as the amount of various nutrients. That is why introducing semisolid foods (homemade purees and / or baby food) is good, although continuing to maintain lactation at this stage should be largely artificial (formula below). Non-dairy food is being incorporated gradually and according to the pediatrician, prepared on a consistent and adequate quantity and appropriate to the development and maturation of the baby. So boys and girls learn to chew and swallow and taste new flavors. During the maturation period, digestive foods are introduced.
Milk is not enough
Milk does not provide the needed energy and nutrients for a baby who has already reached 4 to 6 months. Their digestive functions have matured, so please include a supplementary feeding. It is not recommended before, but neither should be introduced later, because the lack of diversity is a cause of loss of appetite, and misses an ideal time for the education of taste and gradually adapted to a balanced diet.
Although selecting the ingredients and preparing puree at home with meat and fruit mixtures is ideal, using puree from store is a correct solution, as this analysis demonstrated.
Labeling and packaging
In addition to the compulsory in any food packaging, the labels of baby food should provide information on nutritional composition, preparation instructions, presence or absence of gluten and minimum age from which they must consumed (minimum 4 months). The study noted only one deficiency: the two samples showed no Hipp name, net weight and best-before date on the same visual field, thus complying with the rule.
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The packages have sealing: to open, you have to press the center cover, highlighted in another color. If the cap is moved, or if the turn does not sound "pop", do not consume the food.
What are the fruits purees?
For their contribution in vitamin, we should include fruits and juice purees in the diet of the infant when it meets four or five months old. But the fruits are not a substitute for milk, because it should assure the baby providing sufficient calcium and protein.
Therefore, milk and fruit should be complementary, not exclusive. Important: the fruits are sweet by nature, so it is not necessary to sweeten with sugar.
Allergens and health
The introduction of new foods in the diet of infants should be done gradually, following the recommendations of a pediatrician. At this age, children are very sensitive to sudden changes and might arise food allergies and intolerances. Gluten is a protein fraction (own cereals such as wheat, barley, rye and oats) discouraged for infants under 6 months of age with the aim of reducing the risk of Celiac. The more is the late introduction of gluten, the more benign is the debut of the disease, if it occurs. Other foods such as egg, milk, fish and certain fruits, are potentially allergenic if introduced too soon.
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Moreover, baby foods must not contain pesticide residues above 0.01 mg / kg of product ready for consumption or as reconstituted.
The microbiological status of this food has to be impeccable: babies are going to eat them as are or after a slight warming (like chicken with rice).
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