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Experts provide tips to feed an infant in the first year

Posted:  Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A newborn baby is a mother’s delight. However, every new mother faces the dilemma of how best to feed her tiny tot. Experts in a new article elucidated the ways to identify an infant’s hungry and satiety cues; feeding nutritious foods based on their developmental milestones; helping an infant develop flavour preferences through new foods and monitor food intolerances.

According to the experts, breast milk and/or formula should be baby’s prime source of nutrition during the first six months. Infants have a limited stomach capacity of around 2-3 ounces per feeding necessitating 2-3 feeds hourly. Growing up to 4 months, the feed frequency may drop to 3-4 hours due to an improved capacity of 4-6 ounces per feeding.

Much incredibly, infants communicate hunger and satiety through their actions opine experts. Typical hunger cues for infants include movement of arms and legs; suckling on hands or feet and opening their mouth when hungry. Satiety cues include moving away from bottle or nipple, snoozing off or fussing and kicking.

The complementary feeding period or the time to get infants started on different foods around 6 months are also a matter of much turmoil for mothers. Experts recommend introducing foods with different tastes and textures. The introduction of the foods also coincide with developmental milestones such as sitting straight, keeping head upright and steady and stick the tongue in and out of their mouth.

So what can be the ideal first foods for the babies? Infant cereals seem to be a favourite due to nutrient fortification, ease in preparation, easy to digest. Paediatricians caution against foods which double up as a choke hazard such as hard nuts, stringy meats, hard fruits and vegetables. Allergenic foods like eggs, fish and nuts could be given provided no signs of allergy or intolerance appear.

In a parting note, the experts suggest visiting a doctor and/or dietician immediately if your baby displays signs of food allergy or intolerance such as fussiness, rash or diarrhoea. So, new mothers bear these handy tips in mind when feeding your baby during the first year to have your child reap a harvest of good health in the future!

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