Breast milk is an important source of nutrition, but the nutritional content for 6-month-old babies will be lacking if the baby is fully breastfed. Therefore, at this stage, the child should start eating miles to replenish enough nutrients according to the needs of the body.
1. Nutrition for 6-month-olds
Children's nutrition is important for their health and development in the future. In the early years of tissue growth, the muscles along with the physical and mental development of the child are very fast. Therefore, it is necessary to have proper nutrition for the child to meet the needs of the child while avoiding diseases related to nutrition.
Nutritional needs for 6-month-old babies are recommended as follows:
- Energy needs: Children from 6 months of age need 710 kcal/day. Energy supply is distributed 50% for basic conversion needs, 25% for operations and 25% for development.
- Protein needs: Children from 6 months have a recommended protein need of 21-25 grams / day.
- Lipid needs: Children from 6 months have lipid needs of 40% (up to 60%) energy ingeed. The proportion of the recommended balance between dynamic and plant lipids is 70% and 30%
- Demand for vitamins and minerals:Water-soluble vitamins (vitamins B, C, B6, B9, B12 …); oil-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D); minerals (calci, iron, zinc, …)
2. When to feed a child with nutritional supplements
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be supplemented with foods other than breast milk or formula when they are about 6 months old. However, breast milk or powdered milk remains the main source of nutrition for babies.
Some things to pay attention to when starting to feed your child miles:
- The beginning needs to give the child to be accustomed to the way of eating, and the number of beginner meals will be small. Feed the child 1 to 2 tablespoons of food and monitor the signs of the child.
- After the child begins to get used to the process ofeating miles , at this time will gradually increase the amount of food in the child's meal.
- Divide your child's meals from time to time. Children can be fed every 2-3 hours or about 5-6 meals a day.
3. Some recommended foods for 6-month-olds
A healthy diet will help promote your child's future healthy habits. It is important to choose the right food when feeding the child. Initially, feed the child with soft or crushed foods. At the same time, children should be encouraged to eat a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, meat, milk … Stimulate your child to eat by coloring meals with different colored foods.
Examples of additional diets of 6-month babies:
- Fruits: banana, strawberry, pear, orange, melon, avocado
- Vegetables: spinach, carrots, peas, female tubers, sweet potatoes
- Whole grains: Whole grain bread, crackers, pasta
- Beef: Beef, chicken, pork,fish…
- Milk: Sterilized yogurt or cheese.
As the child grows older, the amount of food will also increase gradually. It is recommended to feed the child a variety of foods especially seasonal foods.
In addition, the child should drink water every day (120-180 ml), and continue breastfeeding. When the child is 12 months old, formula milk can be started.
4. Foods and drinks that are restricted for children of 6 months
A healthy diet is a diet that ensures a balance of both quantity and quality. Besides the foods that are good for the development of the child, then in the child's diet it is also necessary to avoid certain foods and drinks.
4.1. Drinks to avoid
- Honey :Is a food that can cause serious food poisoning for young children under 12 months of age. Before the child is 12 months do not feed the child any food containing honey including yogurt with honey or biscuits with honey.
- Unclaved beverages or foods (juice, milk, yogurt, cheese). These foods can increase your child's risk of E.coli, a harmful bacteria that causes severe diarrhea.
- Enhanced cow's milk: It can put young children under 12 months at risk of intestinal bleeding. It also has too much protein and minerals that cause the child's kidneys to process and also do not meet the necessary nutrients for the child.
4.2. Foods to avoid
- Foods with sugar supplements: Do not feed your child foods that contain a lot of sugar such as candy, cake, biscuits, ice cream that contains a lot of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends children under 24 months of age.
- Foods high in salt (sodium): These foods include: canned products, processed meats (sausages, ham,…)
4. Some notes when feeding children supplements
When the child is not yet eaten raw, parents should note the following when feeding the child supplements:
- Risk of suffocation: Potential day risk in children between 6 and 12 months of age. Because at this stage the baby is learning to chew and swallow food. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to all kinds of food for feeding the baby. For example, some un processed foods, foods of special shape, it is necessary to cut into smaller pieces or grind food that will avoid suffocation when eating. In addition, to prevent the risk of suffocation it is necessary to adjust the eating position such as: sit up while eating, avoid eating in a stroller, …
- Practice for children to get acquainted with foods of various flavors and textures. This will help children develop motor skills, chewing, accepting and enjoying a variety of foods.
- Ensure 4 steps of food safety: cleaning, splitting, cooking and cooling. Children under 5 years of age are at risk of food diseases because their immune system is still developing. Therefore, ensuring food safety for this age group is extremely important.
Nutrition for 6-month-olds plays a decisive role in the child's development later on. Therefore, in addition to breast milk, when the baby is 6 months, parents should start nutritional supplements for the child by adding nutrients from vegetables, fruits, fish meat, eggs suitable for each stage of development.
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Source: unicef.org, cdc.gov, webmd.com
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