For all the mommies and aspiring mommies out there, who are fretting and excited at the same time, let me share with you the nutrition pattern to be followed to achieve the 5 milestones in your child’s growth and development.
What are the 5 milestones?
- Neck support
- Crawling or roll over
There Is No Substitute for Nature’s Perfect Food
From 0-6 months of age your child should be only on breast milk. Breast milk contains all the nutrients a child needs for their growth and development. It contains properties to strengthen the immune system, fight against infections and other life threatening diseases like diabetes and cancer. Studies show that children consuming breast milk, grow with healthier weight and are less likely to be obese in the future. In case your infant stops drinking breast milk before 12 months, start with a formula feed until 12 months of age.
World Health Organization (WHO), recommends breastfeeding up to 3 years. Whereas, The American Association of Pediatrics makes breastfeeding mandatory for 1 year.
When your baby reaches 7 months, he/she should be introduced to external nourishment supplements mostly liquid based, like single mix foods using any one vegetable or fruit in addition to mother’s milk. The consistency of the mixture should be watery or thin.
Around 8 and a half months of age, your child can be introduced to combination mix like apple carrot pulp, porridge, etc. These foods should be cooked property and should be given in a semi-solid form but more on the liquid state.
10 month onwards, your baby can be introduced to multiple mix nutrition. Ensure the food is cooked and mashed properly, the food can be served more towards the semi- solid state in addition to mother’s milk.
At 12 months you can start giving finger foods, like boiled vegetables, cut into strips, etc. foods that can help your baby to eat on their own using their hands. Start with small foods, which has a grip on your child’s fingers. Your child can also be introduced to a spoon and a cup when eating or drinking. Breastfeeding can continue till 12 months or more depending on the mutual consent of the mother and baby.
After 12 months the baby should stop with bottle feeds and drink from a cup, as babies who continue with bottle feed are more prone to tooth decay, ear infections and iron deficiency.
According to the American Association of Pediatrics nuts or food containing nuts should be avoided until the age of 5 years.
Other than the right nutrition, it is important to follow certain actions to ensure your child’s healthy growth. A neat and hygienic environment plays an a very important role as infants are more prone to infections and tend to fall ill quickly, so ensure all your child’s products are cleaned and disinfected. Timely, vaccinations should be given to your baby as per your pediatrician’s advice.
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