Complementary Food and How to Introduce it to Your ChildThursday, 19 July 2018
6 - 9 Months
The nutritional requirements of the Little One at the age of 6 months can no longer be fulfilled by just breast milk, and the Little One should be introduced to complementary food. Other than nutritional requirements, the oral motor abilities (basic abilities pertaining to oral movements, including the tongue, teeth, lips, and jaw) of the Little One also continue to develop. This causes the Little One to show interest in other food aside from breast milk.
The provision of complementary food is done gradually in terms of the type, quantity, frequency, texture, and consistency. Introducing complementary food can be simple. To avoid confusion, parents should obtain information on selecting the type and texture of food in order for the Little One to obtain the appropriate type and variation of complementary food.
The source of food substances should also be noted. Food substances should originate from a healthy source and be free of hazardous chemicals to make it safe for consumption. As an alternative, parents can also serve food from organic food substances.
The first complementary food for the Little One
There are no fixed guidelines regarding the type of food that should be given as the first complementary food for the Little One. Parents may select vegetables, fruits, or cereals first. To support their growth and development, select the food substances that can fulfill the calorie requirements of the Little One.
To fulfill the calorie requirements, cereal is an appropriate choice as it contains high calories. Some examples are brown rice and green beans. Cereals are also rich in fiber, which can prevent constipation.
In choosing the first complementary food for the Little One, parents should no longer find it difficult to search for the best quality. Milna Baby Porridge is a series of complementary food products that are aimed to complement the meal of the Little One after the age of 6 months. Milna Baby Porridge offers a wide variety of types and flavours including cereals, vegetables, and fruits.
The texture of complementary food at introduction
At the initial attempts of feeding complementary food, the texture should be very soft and slightly watery. This is done to ensure a smooth transition from breast milk to solid food. Once the Little One becomes accustomed to the food, increase the consistency to be thicker. One way to test that the consistency is thick enough is that the food should not fall if the spoon is tilted.
The correct serving size
When initially introducing food, 1-2 tablespoons is adequate. Then, parents can begin increasing the serving size in accordance to the age of the Little One. It should be noted that the eating abilities of children may differ, and therefore the serving size should be adjusted to the ability of the Little One. Observe the reactions of the Little One when eating, do they show a sign of satiety? This is the principle of responsive feeding (serving food to the Little One when they appear hungry and stop if they are full).
In addition to the three things above, to ensure that the Little One is accustomed to the feeding routine and that a good eating pattern is established, parents should create an eating schedule and try not to change it unless there are urgent conditions. Moreover, it is also important to create an enjoyable atmosphere during every meal time.