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Infant Feeding - 6 - 9 months

 

 

Introduction Qualities of weaning foods To improve the nutritive value
Guidelines during Weaning

Major weaning foods

Care during preparation Cereals
Tubers and Starchy Roots
Pulses
Oil Seeds and Nuts
Vegetables
Fruits
Juice of fresh fruits
Fish Liver Oil
Oils and Fats
Sugar and Jaggery
Foods of animal Origin
Milk and Milk Products
Summary
Calorie dense foods
Malting
Various food preparations
 

INTRODUCTION

Infants in our country thrive mainly on breast milk upto six months of age and have a satisfactory growth rate during this period. But, breastmilk alone is not able to provide sufficient amounts of all the nutrients needed to maintain growth after six months. Increased needs of calories and protein of growing children cannot be met by the mother’s milk.

Milk is a poor source of vitamin C and its supplementation through the diet is essential. Iron stores in the liver of the infant would last only upto 4-6 months. Hence iron rich foods should be given from six months onwards. Milk is also deficient in vitamin D. If the baby is to maintain the expected rate of growth and remain healthy and well nourished, supplementary feeding has to be resorted to at six months.

This is the task we are happily performing by telling you how to make food sufficient, attractive, appealing and acceptable to your little darling. You are invited to send in your experiences about weaning foods and practices helping other mothers like you.

QUALITIES OF WEANING FOODS

What are the desirable qualities of Additional (Weaning) Foods?

Breast milk is the only "standard" food for the infant. At the onset, with the infant still predominantly breast-fed, weaning foods are used as an additional source of energy as well as to satisfy the increasing requirements for all essential nutrients. Particular attention should be paid to proteins, iron, vitamin A and C, as these are frequently found to be deficient in the diet of young infants.

Keep in mind that you are feeding an infant with a small stomach capacity that has been used to liquid/semisolid diet only.

Desirable Qualities of Weaning (Additional) Foods

  • Should have high energy content
  • Should be easy to digest
  • Should be semi-solid to mashed in consistency
  • Should not be too thick
  • Should be fresh and clean
  • Should not be expensive and should be easy to prepare

GUIDELINES DURING WEANING

Stomach capacity has never been given much importance while telling a mother how to feed her baby. This results in mothers either force feeding or getting unnecessarily worried about baby not taking enough.

The stomach capacity (6 – 9 months): 130 –190 ml (26 –38 tsp.)

We offer few guidelines to help you wean your darling child better:

What points should be considered while feeding weaning foods?

  1. Introduce only one food at a time to permit the infant to get used to it.
  2. Allow the infant to become familiar with the food before trying to give another.
  3. Give very small amounts of any new food at the beginning, 1-4 tsp.
  4. If, after several trials, that baby has an acute dislike for a food, omit that item for a week or two and then try again. If the dislike persists it is better to forget about the food for a while and substitute another.
  5. Food should be only slightly seasoned.
  6. Child should be encouraged to try new flavors.
  7. Infants may object to taking some foods by themselves but will take them willingly if when one mixed with another, e.g. egg may be mixed with formula, cereal or vegetable. Vegetables may sometimes be made accustomed to the new flavor.
  8. Variety in choice of foods is important.
  9. The mother or anyone feeding the infant must be careful to avoid showing in any way a dislike for a food that is being given.
  10. A baby’s appetite varies a lot from meal to meal and day to day. During hot weather suffering from cold the child’s appetite may be less.
  11. The quantity of each feed should be increased as the number decreases.

Supplementary feeding at 6 months:

  • Encourage gradual progression to 3 – 4 meals/day.
  • Continue breastfeeding along with cows milk.
  • By 6 months, lumpy foods should be introduced.
  • Consistency gradually changes to mashed foods.
  • By 6 – 7 months: add salt to cooked food.
  • Sugar in the form of honey, syrup, juices and jams should be controlled as harmful to erupting teeth.