Complementary feeding: (weaning food)It is defined as any non breast milk food or nutritious foods given to young children in addition to breast milk.( i.e. it is to complement breast milk, not to replace it.)
Age of Introduction: after 6 months
Attributes of Complementary feeds:
- Soft and flowing
- Thicker than Breast milk
- Bland in taste
- Homogeneous ( based on cereal or root staple foods)1 to 2 times a day to start with. Gradually increase frequency and quantity
- Foods appropriate for complementary feeds: Pulses (lentil, beans, peas), meat milk, vegetable oil and sugar.
- To increase dietary energy levels : oil, ghee, sugar
- To increase quality of protein: milk product and animal food
- Calcium: Milk
- Iron: Meat, chicken, fish
- Rich in Vitamin & Minerals: Vegetable and fruits
- Conclusion:Anything which is free flowing and well mashed and easy to swallow and calorie dense can be given. And you should always consult your Pediatrician at the start of weaning diet/ complementary feeding, so that he or she can guide you in best possible , culturally acceptable option.
Various problems faced by young children while feeding and how to manage:
- Feeding problems occur for a number of reasons, many of which vary according to age.
- Most of these challenges can be met through proper instruction from your doctor.
- It may come as a surprise, then, if your baby develops a resistance to feeding weeks or even months after you thought this was no longer a problem.
- Tastes Change: Baby may take some time to develop taste
- Clearing the infant’s nasal passages with a bulb syringe prior to feeding may help with temporary nasal congestion.
- Teething can cause gum pain when nursing. Oral thrush can make nursing painful and requires a pediatrician’s attention.
- Spitting Up:Some babies take in a great deal of milk but then spit up what appears to be a large part of it after each feeding. Spitting up is common during or after feeding, and some babies spit up more easily than others. There is generally no need to be concerned, however, that your baby’s spitting up is preventing her from getting enough milk.Spitting up (as well as hiccups) can be minimized by keeping your breastfeeding sessions as calm, quiet, and leisurely as possible. Avoid interruptions, sudden noises, bright lights, and other distractions.
- Try to hold your baby more upright during and right after feedings, and attempt to burp her after she finishes each breast. Don’t jostle or play vigorously with her immediately after she has breastfed.
- If she vomits forcefully a number of times or if you notice blood or a dark green color when she vomits, call your pediatrician right away.Occasional small spit-ups or wet burps are generally more a laundry problem than a medical one. Fortunately, spit-up breast milk is less likely to smell sour or cause clothing to stain than infant formula. If you are worried that she is spitting up too much, consult your pediatrician, who will monitor her weight and check for any signs of more serious illness.
- Dehydration: As always, the best way to be sure your baby is getting enough milk is to monitor her physical condition, her weight gain, and the content of her diapers. It is very important to call your pediatrician if you notice that your child is not showing usual interest in feeding, she has a dry mouth or eyes, or she is producing fewer wet diapers than usual. These may be signs of dehydration. Severe dehydration, while uncommon in adequately breastfed infants, can be extremely dangerous or even life-threatening and is most likely to occur when a young baby refuses to feed or is experiencing frequent vomiting or diarrhea.