We have recently upgraded our guidelines for feeding babies in the first year of life and have added lots of examples of new foods to try, so read on and have fun feeding your baby
Guidelines for Introducing Solids:
Birth to 6 months:
¨ The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, both recommend as the gold standard, exclusive breast-feeding to age 6 months. No extra water needed.
¨ If not breast, an infant formula that contains iron [not low iron] should be used. Baby’s stomach doesn’t have the enzymes to digest anything but lactose [the sugar in milk]. The iron in breast milk or iron-fortified formulas is needed for brain growth.
Babies who are bottle fed need to be given water. a couple ounces a day is fine.
Introduction of solids
Ideally solids should be started at 6 mths if baby is breastfed. Can be started at 4 mths if baby is bottle fed and has lost the tongue pushing reflex.
¨ Start cereal: Cereal in a bowl with breast milk or formula. Cereal should not be added to the bottle as it prevents the baby from learning to advance to an adult type diet, and one may overfeed, and encourage obesity.
¨ Fruit: Fresh fruit such as banana/mango/watermelon/paw paw or applesauce etc. is best but fresh juices may also be given.
A high chair is useful as baby is now sitting up, and should be having 3 meals a day. No extra sugar/salt should be used.
As baby consumes more solids, they need to be given extra water. Give a few ounces a couple times a day.
¨ Cereals: such as – creamof wheat, sago, oats, cornmeal all with breast milk or formula
¨ Fruits: all fruits can be given either with a spoon or allow baby to feed themselves with cut pieces.
¨ Starches: such as – mashed potato, eddoes, dasheen, yam, sweet potato, rice, green fig
¨ Vegetables: such as -callaloo, pumpkin, melongene, zaboca, bodi, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli
¨ Peas: such as -split peas, channa, lentils – dhal consistency. Can add provision/vegetables/fresh seasonings and blend.
¨ Finger foods: such as – lightly toasted bread, crix, baby biscuits.
Eat 3 meals/day out of the family pot., seated at the table with the family. No extra sugar should be given. Can have salt
¨ Breakfast: porridge, egg, sardines, cheese, saltfish
¨ Lunch: soups with bread, sandwiches with salads, food.
¨ Dinner: pelau, roti, stew chicken, fish, callaloo, coo coo, macaroni pie, veggies, salads
¨ The volume of milk consumed will decrease; you may start offering the cup.
Milk is no longer the main food source. Baby should be having their meals at the table with other family members
¨ Should be given 3 meals a day from the family pot.
¨ Formula fed babies – stop the bottle and change to full cream milk in a cup – 2 cups a day at most.
¨ Breastfed babies should continue breastfeeding for up to 2 yrs, but less dependency.
¨ Growing up milk is not needed.
If your baby is consuming large volumes of milk in a bottle at this age, there is a risk of problems of anemia, poor growth and baby bottle tooth decay.