Complementary food used in a baby’s diet should be of highest quality, low quantity and proper energy, protein and nutrients contents. Also, some principles should be observed in order to make the baby accept and succeed in this method.
The main and important note is that between 6th to 12th months, breast milk is the main food of the baby and complementary food is better to be fed after breast feeding, because if this food is fed during breastfeeding, it may decrease secretion of breast milk.
At the beginning of feeding with complementary food try to prepare it denser than breast milk and increase its density gradually. Within some days it should be so dense that if you tilt spoon, food will not pour easily.
It is recommended to feed baby with spoon or by mother’s finger after washing hands. Do not feed the baby with their milk bottle or pacifier tip.
A baby may be fed by complementary food 2 or 4 times a day, according to their needs. When baby is not hungry, no more meals are necessary.
At the beginning, a simple complementary food should be used to feed the baby and start with low quantity. For example, you can feed the baby with one or two dessertspoons and increase it based on the baby’s appetite.
To diversify foodstuffs and feeding babies with new foods, it is recommended to feed them with these foods in 3-day intervals. This interval reveals any contingent allergy to new materials and also the baby will have opportunity to get used to these new materials.
To prepare complementary food, you have to gradually have all food groups, including legumes and starch, meat and its substitutes, dairy products, vegetables and fruits. While respecting diversity, a baby’s food should be prepared in a way that every day includes a foodstuff with animal source like red meat, chicken or other poultries, fish, egg and dairy products.
It is recommended to cut meat to very small pieces or grind it at home to be cooked faster and softer, in order to be easy to eat for a baby.
To soften foods, it is recommended to use back of spoon, fork or masher, because blender or electric masher make foods very soft and smooth, and in long term baby will not learn chewing skill.
Salt and spicy spices should not be used in preparing supplementary food. If necessary, use mild spices or stuffing like fresh lime or sour orange juices in low quantities.
Also, upon starting to feed with complementary food, increasing the times of breastfeeding, you have to give cool boiled water to the baby to prevent their colored urine or stiff feces.
It is recommended that after the 6th month, in addition to 1cc vitamin A+D or multi-vitamin drops, give your baby 15 drops of iron drop.