Infant Feeding - The very first menu
Introducing complementary foods (solid foods and liquids other than Breast Milk or infant formula) is an important milestone in your baby's life. We now know that the very first menu has a lifelong effect. Recommendations for infant feeding during the first year of life have varied over time and across cultures. This helpful leaflet will help and guide you with the latest scientific recommendations on a healthy complementary diet. According to recommendations, ideally, infants should begin weaning at six months, while breastfeeding should continue tor two years.
What is weaning?
Weaning is the process of gradually letting your baby become accustomed to a full adult diet. The introduction of weaning foods (also called complementary foods) is in addition to Breast Milk or infant formula, and doesn’t serve as a replacement for either. By the end of their first year, your baby should be accustomed to eating a variety of foods.
Tips and recommendations
How much food does a baby need?
6 -8 months: Start with two to four meals per day.
9 -11 months: Increase to three to four meal times per day.
12-24 months: Three to four meal times per day with additional nutritious snacks (such as a piece of fruit or bread) offered 1-2 times per day, as desired. Snacks are defined as foods eaten between meals usually self-fed, and is convenient and easy to prepare.
By 8 months, most infants can also eat "finger foods" (snacks that can be eaten by children alone). By 12 months, most children can eat the same types of foods as consumed by the rest of the family. Avoid foods in a form that may cause choking (such as whole nuts, whole grapes or raw carrots, whole or in pieces).
Refer to the table below for examples of menus for main meals to provide about one third to a half of daily complementary food needs for babies. This is to be served with two other daily meals of which one should be an iron and vitamin enriched cereal (South African maize meal is also fortified). The table clearly shows the differences in the consistency of the meals.
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