The introduction of complementary foods poses a challenge for many parents: when was the right time for the first meal of bread? How much porridge does my baby need? And which foods are suitable at all? We inform you extensively on the subject of complementary food and give you delicious porridge recipes to cook your own.
Supplementary diet – from when?
In the first months after birth, breast milk is the best nutrition for your child. But over time, the infant’s nutritional needs can no longer be met by breastfeeding alone. Now is the right time to start the complementary diet. As a rule, you can give your baby the first porridge to try after the fifth month of life. At the latest from the seventh month of life all babies should get complementary food.
Introduce complementary foods correctly
Each child responds differently to the first porridge – while some like the complementary foods from the beginning, the others struggle with the conversion. As a general rule, you should always replace your baby’s milk meals with porridge meals, step by step. In addition, you should make the transition as gentle as possible: start with a few spoons of porridge and continue to breastfeed your child mainly. Over time, you can then slowly increase the proportion of porridge meals.
As a rule, the milk meal is initially replaced by a vegetable porridge at midday. This can be enriched over time with potatoes and meat. About a month later, another milk meal can be replaced with a cereal and milk porridge. After another month, you can then give your baby the milk-free cereal-fruit porridge to try.
This is how it works
The first puffed bread does not always taste good to the baby – it is often a tough fight for the parents until the baby accepts the porridge without shouting. We give you tips, with which the getting used to work better:
- Match the right time for the first few foods: You can tell yourself when your baby is curious about other foods, when, for example, he reaches for food or puts it in his mouth. Then the time has come to try the first spoons of porridge.
- Get your child used to the spoon in time: You can give your baby the plastic spoon to play a few weeks before the complementary food is ready. So your child can slowly get used to the foreign object.
- Let your child touch the porridge with his hands if he wants. It is normal for babies to be curious about the foreign food.
- Stay patient while feeding: Your baby will not eat his porridge right away without a hitch, but will spit out some of it at the beginning. Also that when feeding initially goes wrong, is normal.
- If your child does not want to eat the porridge or has trouble eating, give him some more time. Maybe you just try it again after a week or ten days, then it will work better.
- It is also important for the introduction of complementary foods that your baby has certain physical requirements. So it should be able to sit upright and keep the head independently.
Supplementary Diet: Start with vegetable porridge
In order to introduce the complementary foods, a vegetable porridge is usually used. Suitable vegetables include carrots, pumpkins or parsnips. After some time, the porridge can also be fortified with potatoes, meat or fish.
Once your baby gets used to the vegetable porridge after a few weeks, the milk-cereal porridge and a little later the fruit-cereal porridge can be introduced. In general, everything is allowed to come on the table, what your child tastes and does not hurt him. However, you should not overwhelm your child: one new food per week is enough.
Blockages Caused By Complementary Foods
Supplementary diet should be administered to the baby at the earliest from the fifth month of life, because before the gastrointestinal tract is not yet sufficiently developed. If the child still gets solid food, it can cause diarrhea, constipation or abdominal pain.
If problems with bowel movements occur with the first supplementation, usually harmless causes are behind the symptoms. Maybe your baby does not tolerate the newly introduced food or you have not given him enough liquid. If the problems do not disappear again or if further signs of illness appear, you should consult a doctor.
In order to avoid constipation, it is important that your child drinks enough. At the beginning of the supplementary diet time, when only a meal is administered, the baby gets by breastfeeding, still relatively much fluid. However, the more porridge the child eats, the more liquid it should drink with meals. In general, there is nothing wrong with offering some water or unsweetened tea for the child from the first meal onwards.
Cook The Food Yourself
Whether you cook the food yourself or use ready-made baby food is your decision. Baby glasses have the advantage that they are available in many different flavors and only need to be warmed up. They are also great for traveling.
However, unlike home-cooked baby foods, you cannot decide for yourself, which ingredients will break in baby porridges. So can be dispensed with salt and sugar, which is contained in many baby food, in-house production.