National Nutrition Day: Tricks to Introduce Food to Your Little One

National Nutrition Day: Tricks to Introduce Food to Your Little One

written by : MAKUKU - 25 Jan 2024

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After reaching the age of 6 months, your little one has started to be introduced to solid food as a companion to breast milk or commonly referred to as complementary food. However, for new parents, providing the first complementary food is a challenge. There may be questions on what foods are suitable and nutritious during complementary feeding. 

Coinciding with National Nutrition Day which falls on January 25, 2024, MAKUKU together with Aviantika Devi Subono Putri S,Gz. Dietisien Nutritionist from Happy Land Hospital Jogja held an Instagram Live with the theme "The Right Trick to Introduce Food to Your Little One". 

The right age to introduce food or complementary food

Complementary food can actually be introduced to your little one after the age of 6 months. Because the need for breast milk after 6 months cannot meet the needs of your little one who is starting to be active and the energy needed is getting bigger. So, Aviantika suggests that solids should not be given less or more than 6 months.

If solids are given to babies less than 6 months old, it can cause diarrhea and dehydration. This is because the digestive enzymes in babies are not yet mature or ready. Meanwhile, solids given more than 6 months can lead to malnutrition or nutritional disorders.

Things to consider before complementary feeding

Parents will always learn new things, including feeding their little ones.

According to Aviantika, there are quite a few things that must be considered before giving complementary food to your child. Starting from age, frequency, texture, to food variety. Moms and dads can give food according to their age. As the age increases, the frequency of eating increases.

"For example, the age of 6-8 months can be given 2-3 meals a day with 1 interlude. The frequency of eating your little one's complementary food increases when they are 9-11 months old, namely 3-4 times a day with interruptions 1-2 times a day," explained Aviantika.

Signs your little one is ready for solids

Every child's health condition and development is different. Ideally, solids are given at 6 months of age with some signs of readiness to receive solids. Aviantika mentions the following signs that your child is ready for solids:

  1. Your child's head is upright. This can make it easier for your child to swallow the solid food given. Unlike breast milk which can be consumed in any position because it is liquid.
  2. The baby can sit and lean well.
  3. Your child is enthusiastic when they see food or responsive feeding.
  4. Remains hungry and fussy even after feeding a large amount of food.

Texture levels of complementary food according to age

Aviantika explains that parents should pay attention to the food given to their little one. Because complementary food cannot be given just like that without paying attention to the texture that will be eaten by the child. In giving the right complementary food, moms and dads must serve food with a texture according to the age of the child.

  • Age 6-8 months: thick or puree
  • Age 9-10 months: not so fine or chopped
  • Age 12-24 months: family meals

Avoid Mistakes when Feeding

Every parent wants to give the best for their child. However, at the learning stage, parents may make some mistakes when providing complementary foods. In order to optimize your child's growth and development, avoid some of these mistakes:

Low nutritional quality

Foods that are recommended to be consumed by your child during complementary feeding should contain carbohydrates, animal protein and fat. These three components are the biggest contributors to increasing body weight, brain cells, gross and fine motor development. Your child's complementary food will be less than optimal if these three components are not available in your child's diet. 

Don't eat packaged food

During the growth period, avoid giving your child packaged or processed foods such as nuggets or sausages. Because usually packaged foods cannot meet the nutritional and nutritional needs of your child. While your child needs healthy food that can support growth and development.

Excessive snacking

Snacks may be given to your child, but should not be excessive. Limit snacks to 1-2 times a day and give healthy snacks. Giving snacks in large quantities can make your child easily full and make your child ignore the main food.

Spicy food

Serving delicious food can certainly make your child ravenous. Good healthy food does not always have to be given salt and sugar or foods that taste salty and sweet. Basically, savory flavors in food can be obtained from food ingredients. So, moms can add a little salt and sugar.

Conclusion

Introducing solid food or complementary foods according to age and time can provide good benefits to your child's health. Do not force your little one to eat because it can make him traumatized and afraid to try food. Also, pay attention to the nutritional content and nutrients in food to maximize growth and development. Happy National Nutrition Day! (Aq/MKK)

harigizinasional

MPASI

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