By Anvesha Mahendra, Clinical Nutritionist, Cloudnine Malleshwaram
When Neha‘s (name changed) baby girl turned five months, there was overwhelming and enthusiastic advice from every end as to how to start weaning / solid foods for her baby. There were grannies and aunties telling her to start early with some weird looking herbs with honey, boasting of raising generations and the internet looked fancy but never-ending. All this made the process more puzzling. Today, this is a common situation many new mothers face with easy information circulating everywhere but, credible and evidence-based nutrition should be a priority.
To Consult: Best Pediatrician in Chandigarh
As a parent, you want the best start for your baby and there are studies showing ‘What your child eats and drinks is important for his/her health now and in the future’. It is true that mother’s sensibility of how much may be right for her baby is far better than science, but it is a great idea to seek advice about weaning the right way from a well-qualified Nutritionist than internet /family/friends. This is exactly what is done at Cloudnine. A growth monitoring assessment is followed by assessing the individual needs of a baby to prescribe a tailor-made nutrition plan, which suits the taste, culture, growth needs and attitude of a baby.
Must Read: Complementary Food for your baby
Most world health authorities agree that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for healthy infants and can provide complete nutrition for the first 6 months of life. This holds true for most infants who were born and are growing in the normal weight range. But by the time a baby reaches 6 months, breast milk alone cannot supply all the nutrients needed for growth. And the infant’s stores of micronutrients like Iron, Vitamin C and Zinc are rapidly depleting and therefore there is an immediate need to start solid foods.
To Know More: About Toddler Nutrition
This process of starting solid foods in stages at six months in addition to breastfeeding is called weaning or complementary feeding. These two terms are often used interchangeably but the former term should never be interpreted as displacing an infant from breastfeeding.
Starting solids the right way is essential, as this is a crucial stage in your baby’s development and it is a fact that a baby’s growth is maximum in the first one year than at any other stage in his or her life. Apart from the requirement, a baby gets the opportunity to learn new tastes and textures based on family practices and also biting and chewing help to develop the muscles needed for speech development.
And for new parents, this can be challenging, fun and messy at the same time.
Attend our Starting Solids workshop to know more and start first foods right for your little one.
(To know more about Cloudnine Hospitals, please visit: www.cloudninecare.com)