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Around six months of age, babies are usually ready to start taking solid foods, so it is convenient to watch out for signs such as their interest in adult food, the loss of the extrusion reflex (which causes them to expel that which enters the front of the mouth) and being able to stand upright in a sitting position.
Until then, breast milk, or formula if you are not breastfeeding, is sufficient to meet your nutritional needs. However, from this age, deficiencies may begin to appear and that is why that it is recommended to start introducing other foods. It is the so-called complementary feeding.
Traditionally, pediatricians or health centers have provided a list of foods to mothers, in many cases so specific that it specifies the specific amounts of each of them that should be used. However, is this necessary?
The truth is that, respecting recipes or a specific order when introducing new foods into the baby's diet, it is absolutely unnecessary. However, certain rules must be respected, such as do not introduce foods with a high risk of allergies or hard foods with the possibility of causing chokingBut for the rest, introducing the pear or banana, green beans or zucchini beforehand, does not matter. With this in mind, a series of basic rules can be established to respect.
1. Wait for the baby to be ready to start introducing new foods into your diet.
2. Start with just one meal a day, and continue to offer the breast regularly as was done before starting the complementary feeding.
3. It does not matter if you choose to start with fruits or vegetables, and they do not have to be mixtures, a pear puree, a mashed ripe banana or an apple in thin strips can be offered if the baby led weaning option is chosen. In the case of vegetables, purees tend to work better if they have sweeter vegetables such as carrots.
4. Introducing meat should be one of the priorities, since iron is one of the micronutrients that breast milk does not provide in sufficient quantities. Fish and eggs can cause allergies so they should not be at the top of the list, and should be introduced with caution.
5. Respect the rhythm of the babyYou will start just by trying the new food and little by little you will become more interested and eat more. Large amounts are not necessary, as this is just a test, it is not about changing your diet but about introducing new foods so that you know and accept them. The baby will express his own tastes and will let you know.
6. Some vegetables should be avoided for different reasons. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach or chard should not be introduced until after one year of age, and from there, they should be introduced in small quantities. The others, as well as legumes, can be chosen according to what is normally consumed at home. There is no need for the baby to eat pumpkin if it is not eaten at home.
7. Some fruits should also be postponed, such as strawberry, kiwi or peach, since they can be related to allergies. The others can be chosen without problem. Again, there is no need for the baby to eat mango if it is not eaten at home.
Each house has menus and the ultimate goal of complementary feeding should be for the baby to taste the foods his family eats regularly, to adapt to family meals as soon as possible.
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