Early nutrition has a significant impact on physical and mental development, as well as lowering the risk of developing serious diseases later in life. Expanding your child's diet is one of the most important steps.
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When to start expanding your diet?
Breastfeeding is without a doubt the best way to feed a newborn baby. All of the nutrients required for proper development are found in mother's milk. However, it stops providing an adequate supply of energy, protein, iron, zinc, and some vitamins, particularly fat-soluble (A, D, E), after about 6 months of age, necessitating the use of supplementary products.
According to experts, the toddler's diet should be expanded after he or she is 17 weeks old, but no later than 26 weeks. During this time, the child not only learns to bite and chew food, but also to sit. New equipment such as a feeding chair can be introduced if he can hold it for a few minutes.
Where to start with the baby's first meals?
The need to broaden the toddler's diet stems from his or her increasing demand for certain nutrients that mother's milk alone can no longer provide. They'll have to gradually switch to dairy-free meals.
When dense meals are part of a child's diet, it's also important to make sure he or she gets enough fluids. Water is the best way to satisfy your toddler's thirst. After the age of one, the child should start drinking fruit juices.
How should the baby be fed?
When it comes to expanding their baby's diet, many parents are unsure where to start.
We frequently carry our toddlers on our laps, but this is not always practical for both the toddler and the parents. Most infants develop the ability to sit with support and reach neuromuscular maturity around the age of six months, allowing them to control neck and head movements and eat from a spoon. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce the feeding chair.
When and which high chair should you choose?
A high chair is required around the 6th–8th month of a baby's life. This type of equipment is available in a variety of configurations. A good stone chair must meet a few basic requirements.
First and foremost, it must have a stable and solid structure made of high-quality materials that ensures comfort while also ensuring the safety of the toddler, who will not always sit still. Adjustable belts, preferably 5-point belts, will help to maintain the correct position. The backrest They should also be adjustable, which is especially important for children who are just learning to sit independently.
The footrest, which serves as an additional point of stabilization for the baby's pelvis, is an essential component of the high chair. The seat must not be too soft. A useful, profiled, and easily removable tray is a must-have component.
What not to do when expanding your diet?
We should not increase the number of meals we eat when expanding our diet. At the age of 6-8 months, a breastfed or formula-fed toddler should consume 2-3 complementary meals, and at the age of 9-24 months, 3-4 supplementary meals and 1-2 snacks. It's also against the law to make him eat or force-feed him.
Remember to gradually introduce new products into your child's diet when expanding his or her diet. Sugar (which, for example, influences the formation of incorrect food preferences) and salt (which may increase the risk of hypertension later in life) are two of them that should be avoided at all costs. High-fat foods, raw meat, fish, or eggs, as well as honey, which may contain botulinum spores that cause childhood botulism, should be avoided until the infant is 12 months old.