Breastfeeding should continue to be the main food of the baby even when weaning has started. To minimize interference with normal breastfeeding, weaning foods should be given between breastfeeds. It should be continued as long as possible, preferably till 2 years of age. This is important as the first two years is a period of rapid brain growth and breast milk contains factors essential for brain growth and development .
From the age of 6 months you can give him fruit juice diluted with cool boiled water. You can give your baby, plain boiled water also.
Wash your hands before preparing food. Put a little food on the tip of the weaning spoon.
Be careful not to overload the spoon. Offer the spoon up to your baby’s bottom lip and let him suck the food. If he spits onto his chin, scrape it off and offer it to him again. If this fails, try offering him a small amount of food on your fingertip. While doing this support his head and upper body to help him swallow.
A new food should be introduced in the morning session and only one item should be introduced at a time.
High chair can be used from 6-7 months of age. This would allow your child to sit comfortably and independently. Your baby will also learn to feed himself than always depending on you.
As toddlers are more interested in play, they might have to be forced to eat but you have to be calm. You must remember a toddler cannot be persuaded to eat. Threats of punishment will have no effect, other than upsetting both of you. Congratulate him on what he eats.
A variety of food items such as cow’s milk, soya protein, egg white, citrus fruits, wheat, fish, spices, yeast can lead to allergy.
They can have skin rashes, diarrhoea or vomiting, failure to put on weight, coughing or wheezing. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. The sooner symptoms appear after a meal, the more likely it is due to allergy.
Food should never be used as reward. It may result in unhealthy eating habits. You should choose items other than food such as toys and sporting equipment. Phrases such as “finish your vegetable and you will get ice-cream for dessert” should be avoided.
Give him energy rich cereal pulse diets with milk and mashed vegetables. Never starve your child. Give him small quantities at frequent intervals. Ensure giving him plenty of fluids during illness and give him oral rehydration solution to prevent and correct dehydration during diarrhoea episodes.