All of us mothers know the importance of breastfeeding and the indication of the first six months of life to be exclusively breastfed. But even though they are aware of the real need and importance of this, many still prefer to follow their intuitions and offer food prematurely. That’s why we decided to clarify doubts about food introduction before 6 months and all its pros and cons.
Babies during their first year of life need even more special care, as they are totally vulnerable and dependent on parents and caregivers. It is through proper nutrition that it receives all the nutrients to develop and grow properly. And in this list of adequate nutrition is breast milk, which is the richest food in nutrients and still offers antibodies to the baby so it becomes indispensable and essential for the best development. After the sixth month of life, breast milk no longer offers all the necessary nutrients and therefore the introduction of new foods that will complement this nutritional need is started.
Food introduction should be started gradually in the sixth month, where juices and fruits are offered alternately to present the baby with flavor and to observe possible food allergies. After the introduction of fruits, vegetables are included in the menu and only after tasting them all individually can they be offered in the form of baby food and soups. Its preparation should also be initially separated from the rest of the family , without spices and with consistencies that are easier to swallow. The consistency should also be progressive and from soup to porridge, from porridge with more solid pieces until it reaches the family food.
Does Early Introduction hurt?
Even though it is an international recommendation made by the World Health Organization to feed exclusively with milk, some pediatricians break this recommendation and advise introducing food before 6 months. But what can happen if I do this early introduction? Are there any health risks to my baby? Or are we just going to ignore the doubts and follow the famous “my grandmother raised 12 children and at 4 months of age she gave rice, beans and polenta, and they are alive”?
Many studies were carried out before this determination and babies fed exclusively were compared to those who received the food introduction before 6 months. And it was concluded that babies who were fed before reaching the sixth month of life weaned early and stopped receiving food that was so nutritious and important for them. Many cases of diarrhea caused by these foods have also been observed, directly affecting the baby’s development. In this context, a greater number of asthma and atopic dermatitis cases were also observed , since this protection would be received through breast milk.
For women who work outside, considering that maternity leave lasts an average of 4 months and it is advisable to breastfeed the baby until the 6th month, they can withdraw breast milk through milking or breast pump and offer in cups or bottle. If you are not breastfed using breast milk and use the formula, please be aware that all formulas in Brazil are approved by ANVISA. They are safe and in their composition they have the necessary nutrients for the baby’s development. Therefore, the period of food introduction is the same, from the 6th month of life.
How to Start Food Introduction?
Pediatricians usually follow an order for introduction, where first the fruit juices must be offered and then the mashed fruits. In the morning during the first feeding of the day offer a small amount of fruit juice, you can start with 30 ml. It can be offered with the help of a spoon, a cup or a bottle if the baby is already using it. Do not add sugar or water and give preference to less acidic and sweeter fruits such as lime orange which is well accepted by babies.
IMPORTANT: Many babies when they start feeding may experience reactions such as constipation or diarrhea. So it is recommended to offer the same food for 2 or 3 days to observe possible reactions.
Fruits and vegetables
Usually the first tastes will not be well accepted, but over time they will get used to the taste and the taste will adjust. Offer the same juice for 2 to 3 days until you get used to it and analyze possible allergies or reactions. For the afternoon snack, offer the smoothie or mashed fruit , the best options to start are apples, pear, silver banana, nanica or apple and can be offered with a small spoon.
Start with little, enough to taste and with time getting used to the flavors the baby will show his fruit preferably. It is easy to know when the baby is satisfied, because he will close his mouth if he refuses to eat more. Progressively introduce each fruit separately and offer each fruit every 2 or 3 days . That way in a month it will be possible to start offering the vegetable porridge.
Once adapted to juices and fruits, start the food introduction with baby food and vegetables. Remember without seasoning and with very little salt, since the baby needs to taste each food and it is not necessary to season. Start by offering mixed porridge of vegetables, tubers and vegetables for lunch. In the beginning you can beat the blender or cook and sieve. Over time, the baby will get used to the consistency and you can start to thicken the soup with small pieces. Meats should be avoided at the beginning of the introduction, since digestion is more difficult, so they should only be introduced after a while.
Lunch successfully accepted? Dinner can start to be offered too! If the baby does not like a certain food very much, try offering it again a few days later, the reaction may be different. Once you are used to the baby food , add small pieces of meat or chicken to the recipe to increase the flavors.
The introduction of food at the right time will complement the nutrition necessary for the proper development of the baby, which even completes the first year of life needs even more attention and care. It is during the first years that the child’s eating habits are established, so offer as healthy foods as possible, as it will make all the difference in your diet for life.
See also: Soup Recipes for Crescidinhos
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.