Weaning to meet nutritional needs

Tips on infant weaning - what's after breastfeeding? - The Nutrition PressThe Nutrition Press

weaning to meet nutritional needs

They meet the baby's grow- ing needs, and help develop the baby's ability to eat new foods. Breast milk will go on being a baby's main source of food for. 7. By around 6 months of age, breast or formula milk alone will no longer be sufficient to meet a baby's nutritional needs and the process of weaning onto solid. Thereafter, it is important to start introducing weaning foods after 6 months of age to meet the changing nutritional needs of the growing infant.

Age-appropriate weaning foods 24 September Weaning practices have changed frequently over the years whether due to trends or in response to new evidence — leaving families and sometimes health professionals unsure of the latest guidance.

Supported by Petit Filous Yet age-appropriate weaning remains vital for helping children to prevent allergies, lowering the risk of obesity, contributing to development, and fostering independence. Given their significant interaction with parents of young children, health visitors and other community practitioners are well placed to give the most up-to-date advice on weaning.

Examine how age-appropriate weaning can contribute to child health Discuss official advice on weaning, also called complementary feeding Look at the steps involved in successful introduction of complementary feeding, including which foods and textures to introduce when Consider how to tackle problems arising during weaning, such as pressures around the timing of food introduction, avoidance of certain foods, fussy eating, or poor cooking skills Address common food myths which lead to confusion amongst families Impact on weaning and child health The purpose of weaning is to meet the increased energy and nutrient needs of growing infants while contributing to their development of social and physical skills e.

Early introduction of complementary foods prior to 17 weeks presents risks to the infant as the gut, kidneys and immune systems are underdeveloped[1]. A meta-analysis found evidence to link bottle feeding, maternal smoking, birth weight and early weaning to an increased risk of childhood obesity[4].

weaning to meet nutritional needs

Inappropriate weaning can also lead to choking as the young infant is less able to sit upright. In a similar way, late or slow introduction of complementary foods could risk delaying normal development. Anecdotal evidence suggests that children who remain too long on fine pureed foods may take longer to develop oral motor skills or accept different flavours and textures.

However, there has been little research on this. What the experts say Sinceofficial UK advice has been to encourage exclusive breast feeding or breastmilk substitute where the mother is unable or unwilling to breastfeed until infants are around six months of age[6]. The advice was based on a report from the World Health Organisation which found optimal infant health and development when the introduction of complementary foods was delayed until this time[7].

This can present a dilemma for healthcare professionals when faced with an infant who has been weaned too early and will require careful handling, including a discussion between the professional and the family to understand their circumstances and assess the weight, health and readiness of the infant.

Life stages | Weaning

The weaning journey When starting weaning at 6 months, it is appropriate to rapidly progress from smooth to rough purees and finally onto soft whole foods with around a week spent at each texture stage. Infants weaned between 4 and 6 months may need to spend longer at each texture stage as their motor skills will be less developed.

Eating requires skills which most adults take for granted.

How can I wean my toddler from nursing?

An infant needs to be able to swallow food, chew, manipulate their tongue inside the mouth, and have enough jaw strength to break up and grind food, with or without teeth. This is why smooth, thick purees are an excellent first weaning food. Parents are often alarmed about their babies gagging during feeding. This is because the pharyngeal reflex or gag reflex in infants is in the back of the throat and can be easily stimulated by touching the roof of the mouth or the back of the tongue[10].

As babies get older, the gag reflex moves further back in their throat allowing food to be moved around the mouth without activating it. It takes some children longer than others to outgrow a sensitive gag reflex, which is why smooth textures are advisable to begin with. UK Government Advice Exclusive breastfeeding from birth until weaning, at around 6 months, is optimal. Infants should not receive complementary foods before 17 weeks of age. Infants should be considered individually as they develop at different rates.

High allergen foods, e. Age appropriate weaning foods The table below shows which foods are suitable at the different stages of weaning. However, some foods should be avoided completely as they represent a hazard, e. There are broadly three stages of weaning taking an infant up to a year when they should be enjoying regular family meals. Progression from stage 1 to 2 should be fairly rapid — i. However, as each infant is different, progression has to be tailored to the individual.

Baby feeding and nutrition

They also contain vitamin A, which helps the body resist infections and is needed for healthy skin and eyes. Try to give your child at least ml 12oz of milk a day or two servings of foods made from milk, such as cheese, yoghurt or fromage frais. Semi-skimmed milk can be introduced from the age of two, provided your child is a good eater and growing well for their age.

  • Weaning and solid foods
  • Nutrition Module 2: Age-appropriate weaning foods

You can use them in cooking from the age of one though. You can give your child unsweetened calcium-fortified milk alternatives, such as soya, almond and oat drinks, from the age of one as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Toddlers and young children under the age of five shouldn't have rice drinks, because of the levels of arsenic they contain. If your child has an allergy or intolerance to milk, talk to your health visitor or GP. They can advise you on suitable milk alternatives. Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins Young children need protein and iron to grow and develop.

weaning to meet nutritional needs

Try to give your toddler one or two portions from this group each day. Nuts also contain protein but whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldn't be given to children under five in case they choke.

It comes in two forms: Foods containing fat, sugar and salt Fat Young children, especially those under the age of two, need the energy provided by fat.

There are also some vitamins that are only found in fats. This is why foods like whole milk, yoghurt, cheese and oily fish are so important. Keep an eye on the amount of fat particularly saturated fats in the food your family eats.

Healthy Eating

Try to keep it to a minimum. The following tips will help you reduce the amount of fat in your family's meals: Grill or bake foods instead of frying them During cooking, skim the fat off meat dishes such as mince or curry Buy leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat meat products, such as lower-fat sausages and burgers Take the skin off poultry Reduce the amount of meat you put in stews and casseroles.

Make up the difference with lentils, split peas or soaked dried beans For children over two, use lower-fat dairy products, such as low-fat spreads and reduced-fat cheeses Use as little cooking oil as possible.

Choose one that's high in mono- or polyunsaturates, such as rapeseed, soya or olive oil. Semi-skimmed milk can be introduced once they are two years old. You can also offer diluted fruit juice one part juice to 10 parts water served with meals.

Serving it with a meal helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay. From age five, it's OK to give your child undiluted fruit juice or smoothies, but stick to no more than one glass about ml a day served with a meal.

Salt There's no need to add salt to your child's food. Most foods already contain enough salt. Too much salt can give your child a taste for salty foods and contribute to high blood pressure in later life. Your whole family will benefit if you gradually reduce the amount of salt in your cooking. Try to limit the amount of salty foods your child has, and always check food labels. A box of raisins is fine if eaten at lunchtime.

A piece of kitchen towel is also useful. You can give milk, water or well-diluted fruit juice in a leak-proof beaker. I've heard that high-fibre foods aren't suitable for toddlers. Fibre is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. But foods that contain a lot of fibre such as wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice and wholegrain breakfast cereals can fill up small tummies, leaving little room for other foods. My child will only drink sugary drinks. What can I do? Drinking sugary drinks increases the chance of tooth decay.

If your toddler will only drink sugary drinks, it can take a while to break the habit. Start to dilute the drinks with water, increasing the amount of water gradually over time, so the change isn't too noticeable to them. Water and full-fat cows' milk are the best drinks for toddlers.