On 15th March 2018, Cloudnine hosted a live Tweetinar on Starting Solids on its Twitter handle @CloudnineCare. It was helmed by Ms Abhilasha V., Senior Nutritionist at Cloudnine Hospital, Outer Ring Road, Bangalore. The Tweetinar received a spirited response and saw significant outreach. Here are some of its highlights. Specialist
Details: Ms Abhilasha V.
Clinical Focus and Expertise: Paediatric nutrition, diet counselling, weight counselling, diabetic counselling Tweetinar
Questions & Answers
1.What should a four-year-old's everyday diet include?
The best way to go about a four-year-old’s diet would be to have your child’s plate feature an assortment of food groups: cereals, pulses, protein-rich foods, vegetables, fruits and good fats.
2.When is the right time to start feeding baby solid foods?
As per the World Health Organization, the right age to start solid foods for babies is 6 months.
3.What is the best time of day to introduce solids?
9 AM to 11 AM is the best time so that if there is an allergic reaction, you have the rest of the day to observe the outcome.
4.How does one go about introducing new foods to the baby?
We advise going with the 3-day rule. As per this rule, you should give the same food to the baby for 3 days, continually monitoring for any allergic reactions. If all goes well, move on to introducing the next food.
5.Should breastfeeding be completely stopped when starting solid foods?
Breastfeeding and solid foods must go hand-in-hand as both help in the development of the baby. We recommend that breastfeeding be continued until 2 years of age (along with solid foods, from 6 months of age).
6.My daughter is four months old and although I've tried weaning her, she's just not accepting anything else apart from milk. I need to rejoin work next month. How do I make this transition smooth?
Four months is too early to start solid foods. At this age, the baby will not be able to absorb nutrients adequately. It is best to wait for the right time and age before trying to wean her onto solid foods. Do consult your paediatrician for guidance.
7.At what age should sugar and salt be introduced, or is it not necessary?
As per the latest guidelines, it is best to avoid introducing salt and sugar before the one-year mark. After one year of age, these two ingredients can be included in the baby's diet.
8.How will I know when the baby is ready to be transitioned to solids? Are there any signs or indications?
The most natural indication is the point at which the baby is able to hold his/her head and sit with minimal support. Also, if someone is eating and the baby shows interest, it is considered a good sign.
9.My baby has just started with solids. How much should he eat?
At least 30-50 grams or 2-3 tablespoons at a time is the ideal amount when starting with solid foods.
10.Would weaning/starting solid foods cause stress to the baby?
No, weaning does not cause any stress to the baby if solids are started at the right time and the baby is not force-fed.
11.What are some foods that will be easily digestible for the baby?
Certain food items like ragi, rice and pureed carrot can be easily digested by the baby.
12.When and how can I introduce egg?
Egg yolk can be started at 7-8 months and egg white, at 12 months of age. Egg white is rich in protein but it can cause allergies, so it’s important to be watchful of any related allergic reactions.
13.How good are OTC-available baby foods? Are they safe to give if they claim to have no added preservatives?
Paediatricians don't recommend OTC foods as babies tend to develop preferences for such foods and disregard healthy homemade options over time. Baby foods that claim to have no preservatives can be taken when travelling, but not on a daily basis.
14.Should I switch back to only milk while travelling during the weaning period? What solids should I carry while travelling?
During travel, moms can carry preservatives-free organic foods and rely on breastfeeding.
15.What is the ideal age for weaning to ensure that the baby doesn’t become deprived of essential nutrients?
Milk must go hand-in-hand with solid foods. 1.6 to 2 years is the ideal age for weaning a baby off breast milk.
16.What is the right age to start cow’s milk for a baby?
The right age to introduce the baby to cow’s milk would be after the first birthday.
17.What are the advantages and disadvantages of starting solids before the six-month mark?
Before the sixth-month mark, the child will not be able to absorb nutrients from solid foods effectively. On the other hand, if solid foods are started too late, the child might develop certain deficiencies.
18.How do I know if my baby is allergic to any food?
Look out for signs like rashes, difficulty in breathing, a bloated stomach. If any of these signs are severe, you should reach out to a paediatrician.
19.How much milk should my toddler drink as part of a balanced diet?
A toddler (1-3 years) should consume about 500 ml of milk per day, along with solid foods.
20.What solid foods should I first introduce to my child?
Ragi, rice and pureed carrots are good options as they can be easily digested by the baby.
21.Does postponing the introduction of allergenic foods reduce the risk of allergies in tiny tots?
The ideal time to introduce certain allergenic foods is 7-9 months but high-risk allergenic foods can be started after one year of age.
22.What are the repercussions of delaying the introduction of solids to the baby?
If the introduction of solids is delayed, the baby might develop certain deficiencies which may, in turn, hamper growth.
23.How many times a day should the baby consume solid foods?
During the first month, limit solid feeds to once or twice a day. After that, scale this number to 2-4 times a day.
24.Does starting solids adversely affect the eating habits of the baby?
There is evidence that babies who do not start consuming solids at the right age turn into fussy eaters later on in life.
25.What is the best way or position to feed the baby if they are unable to sit?
It is recommended that solid foods be given to the baby only when he/she is sitting. Make the babysit at an angle of 90 degrees, with support if required, and only then start feeding.
26.What points should parents looking to introduce solids in their baby's diet, keep in mind?
Always stay in touch with a paediatrician or nutritionist. Remember to start foods that are appropriate for the baby's age. To learn more, you can attend the Starting Solids Workshop, which is conducted at our Old Airport Road, Bangalore centre every last Saturday of the month!
27.What should I do if the baby refuses to eat?
Don't force-feed the baby. Try again after a few hours or the next day.
Click here to Book an Appointment with the Best Pediatrician near you Authored By: Ms. Abhilasha V. Senior Nutritionist, Cloudnine Hospitals
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