Complimentary feeding for infants

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When to introduce complimentary feeding

Your child’s health and attitude towards food in the future depend on how well the child will be eating in the first year of life. So nurture the true connoisseur of healthy food!

The most delicious and healthy food for the baby during the first six months of life is considered to be the mother’s milk. If the mother, for whatever reason can not breastfeed, it should receive a high-quality adapted mixture. But there comes a time when a growing body would need another food.


You will recognize that it is time to introduce the complimentary feeding by several criteria: interest in food of adults, ability to sit steadily, appearance of the first teeth. So, it’s time to think about how to introduce the complimentary feeding

 First complimentary feeding

Previously, doctors advised mothers to include juice in smallest amount in children’s menu literally from two weeks of age. Now nutritionists talk more often about the dangers of early introduction of the complimentary feeding. Even moreover they confirm their words with an irrefutable evidence.

When it comes to babies who are breastfed, the World Health Organization recommends not starting familiarizing them with new products before they are six months old.

A formula-fed babies should be introduced to a complimentary feeding at the age of five and a half months.


However, this does not mean that you have to put your toddler at the table in a certain day.Wait until he or she asks you for what you eat.

Chances are, the baby will do it out of pure curiosity. But the result of his research will be pleasantly surprising! Give your child a piece of peeled apple or pear. You can also offer half a teaspoon of boiled potatoes from your plate or buckwheat porridge made on the water.

Pediatricians call this method a teaching complimentary feeding. It differs from the usual one in that it’s goal is not to feed your baby but rather to introduce him to an adult food and table manners.

There’s time for everything

Do not rush to make your child sit at the common table. Despite the fact that the baby’s digestive system is sufficiently developed, it still can not eat fried, salted, smoked and fat food. Semi-finished products, hot dogs, sausages, some raw vegetables, candies and cakes are prohibited.

An Important rule

Allow your child to decide when to end the meal. Do not force him to eat up, do not force-feed and you’ll have no problems with food later.

Introducing complimentary feeding

For starters offer your little gourmet half a teaspoon of a new dish before the main meal.


It is advisable to do it in the morning. Then, immediately feed your baby breast milk or formula. The next day you may given him a whole spoon. The main thing is to monitor the overall child condition. Redness, rash and stomach-ache are the warning signs. Immediately exclude the product from the diet, and generally refuse from introducing something new for at least three days. Gradually increase the portion.

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A week later, boldly introduce another product

From the moment you completely replace one meal by a complimentary feeding, start giving your baby water or tea. Offer a drink after a meal or between meals.

As for the baby fed by a formula, he has long been familiar with water.

In this case follow his wishes.

Almost immediately after the introduction of a new product you will notice changes in the child’s stool and appearance of a bad breath. Do not worry: everything is in order. It is simply one of the stages of the physiological development.

 Table manners

Do not expect your child to obediently sit at the table carefully wielding a spoon. Even if you put a bib, he would still get dirty. And, no doubt, would touch the food with hands, smear it on the table or on the knees.With a spoon, too, experiments are coming: the baby certainly would want to hold in his teeth or knock on a plate.

Naturally, the child does not immediately begin to use the spoon on his own. But the sooner you give it to him the sooner he would learn to use it. While he is at it, feed him with another one. Plastic cutlery is the most comfortable and safe in this case. Yours with a straight handle and his with a curved one.

A bit later you can introduce a fork. Believe it, it is never too early to start mastering it. But only under condition that adults in your family are using it correctly themselves.

Rules of complementary feeding

Collecting information on complementary feeding a baby, you probably noticed: there are no definitive opinions and recommendations. Pediatricians and nutritionists advise to introduce complimentary feeding at the age of four months or of six. Age indication on the baby food jars confuse mothers in general.

However, this should not discourage you. Firstly, some countries which produce purees and cereal have different standards for introduction of the complimentary products. Secondly, they are designed for children on formula feeding who should be introduced to a new food earlier than others. To date, the majority of experts adhere to the following feeding scheme.

 Scheme of the complimentary feeding

Complimentary feeding for babies of 6 months is better to begin with porridge or vegetable puree. Corn, rice or buckwheat porridge should be first grinded in a coffee grinder and cooked on water (although it might be too liquid) or use a similar porridges from a supermarket.

As for vegetables, boiled zucchini, cauliflower or potatoes would do nicely for the first complimented feeding. Grain them with a blender and give to your baby. A 100-150 g portion will be perfect.

As for vegetables

Complimentary feeding for infants of 7 months. You can cook your little gourmet puree of the already familiar to him mashed vegetables, make soup, adding vegetable oil and egg yolk (¼ teaspoon no more than twice a week).

Complimentary feeding for infants of 8 months. It is time to find out what is a dessert. Fruit puree of apple, pear or peach is perfect for a baby. Mix them with cereal or offer as a separate dish. But remember: if your baby has eaten 70 g of vegetables, give him no more than 50g of fruits.

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Aside from that, it is time to try yogurt (full portion – 100 ml) and cottage cheese (50 grams per day). Make them yourself using yogurt cultures – you would do it wonderfully. However special baby food would also be good. Just do not forget that the beneficial bacteria live from 5 to 14 days. If the package indicates that the product can be stored longer that means it contains no probiotic cultures.

Complimentary feeding for infants of 9 months. You can start giving meat. Beef, rabbit, turkey – it is healthy and tasty! Boil the meat and then grind it in a meat grinder or use a blender. Baby’s canned food is also O.K. First time give half a teaspoon of meat together with vegetables. Gradually increase the number up to 3-4 teaspoons a day.

Just do not make your baby soups with meat broth – a child’s stomach is not able to digest such a complex dish.

Complimentary feeding for infants of 10 month. From now on meat should always be in your baby’s diet. However, nutritionists advise to have one “light” day as well, replacing meat with fish. Choose lean types (hake, cod, sea bass). Do not forget that the first portion of the new product is half of a teaspoon, while full is 50g.

At this age, it is already possible to offer your baby some soup. But first check his reaction to the brightly colored vegetables: beets and carrots. Try also introducing pumpkin, berry puree, yogurt and baby biscuits.

Complimentary feeding for infants of 11 month. Fresh greens would perfectly compliment the soup (better if you start to grow dill and parsley on the window-sill, so as not to question their environmental friendliness). You can add some sour cream to a vegetable soup to make it tastier. Your little gourmet would also like bread with butter. Feel free to make him semolina, barley, barley, oats and millet porridge – they certainly will be to his liking.

Complimentary feeding for infants of 12 months. The kid’s menu at that time has already expanded. Surely he has already picked favorite dishes. For example, apple and celery or steamed meatballs. Now it would be good to introduce juice (make it yourself and at first dilute with water 1:1) and milk (intended specifically for children).

Cooking lessons

Of course, you care about your baby’s health and wish to feed him only with healthy and freshly prepared food. However, the concept of “proper nutrition” in respect of a child has a number of specific features. Cooking for children has its own laws.


Boiled or steamed. Vegetables cooked in a steamer or in a small amount of water have remarkably rich taste and their consistency is more tender. Besides, such processing better preserves the vitamins. Never fry anything, even a liaison for a soup.

Without salt and sugar. All products contain a bit of these natural ingredients, so let your baby get accustomed to the natural taste of them. But you can safely add a little bit of vegetable oil to the soup or mashed potatoes. Start to slightly add some salt to dishes using iodized salt only closer to the age of one year.

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As for drinks, sweeten the sour compotes and jellies with a natural grape sugar or honey, considering your baby is not allergic to it.

Strained food. As a rule at the time of introduction of the complimentary food your baby yet has just one or two teeth, meaning he can not chew on their own. Therefore,your food should be worked into puree (homogenized). A little later, after 8-9 months it will be enough to knead it with a fork. And by the age of one year just cut the food into small pieces.

The most fresh. Try to make food for the baby only for one meal. Never offer your child something that he has not finished off the last time. And especially not to cook in the evening for the next day.

To drink after the food or not to drink?

Nutritionists advise not to drink during meals but only afterwards, preferably 10-15 minutes later. So do not put on a table everything that you are going to give to your baby. It is better to do it in turn. Purchase convenient utensils for tea, juice and water. Do not pour the drink into a bottle with a pacifier. Try teaching the baby to drink from a cup from the very beginning. Choose a model with a convenient spout and a blocker: if the kid upsets the cup the liquid would not overflow. For older children a model with a straw would be better.

Food allergy

Nutritionists say: cases of allergic reactions in young children became more frequent. There are several reasons for the disease, including incorrect or untimely introduction of complementary food and intolerance of some products.

Gluten. Wheat, oats and rye contain gluten protein, which is poorly digested by the body before the child reaches the age of 5-6 months. First introduce the gluten-free cereals: corn, buckwheat, rice. Hold off with the introduction of other cereals as well as with bread and cookies. Offer them to your baby only after 8-9 months.


Cow milk. Before the age of year enzyme system of your child’s body is not ready to digest this product. If you want to pamper your baby with milk porridge, dilute it with the breast milk or formula.

Eggs. Allergy to protein is a rather common case. So give your baby only the yolk (in small quantities) until he is older than a year.

Besides these products, rash on the cheeks can be caused by fish, honey, beans, lamb, vegetables, berries and fruits of red and orange colors. Be careful with them. Never offer your child a number of new products at the same time and keep a food diary, especially if the allergy is apparent none the less. Record each dish, method of cooking and your baby’s reaction. This information will help you to easily identify the cause of the red spots on your child’s skin.

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