Complimentary foods are defined as any food or liquid other than breast milk that can be introduced to a baby’s diet once he/she hits the 6-month mark.
Let’s answer the most common questions asked about complimentary foods.
Why are complementary foods so vital for a baby’s growth?
This is the million-dollar question. A baby needs to start eating foods other than breastmilk in order to get enough iron, zinc, and energy to achieve their full growth potential. Complementary foods are important because of the energy and essential nutrients like proteins, fats, calcium, iron, and carbohydrates they provide to babies. It is important to note however that breastmilk should not be substituted for complementary foods.
When can you start giving complementary foods to your baby?
Complementary foods are to be introduced to a baby’s diet once he/she hits the 6-month mark to complement breast milk. At this stage, breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of the baby’s growth.
What kind of complementary foods should I give to my baby?
- Mashed fruit: At 6 months, the baby grows faster and needs energy and nutrients more than ever. Mashed fruits such as strawberries, watermelons, oranges, bananas, and avocadoes are great energy sources and they’re easily absorbable.
- Dairy products: Milk is a great source of proteins and energy, it contains a wide range of vitamins, calcium, and minerals. The calcium and protein found in milk will help the baby grow strong and healthy bones.
- Nootri Toto: As a cereal-based porridge that contains skimmed milk and is further enriched with vitamins A, B6, B12, C, E & D, Calcium, Zinc, and Iron, Nootri Toto would be a great and healthy addition to an infant’s diet. It is specifically designed to complement the diet of breastfeeding infants above six months.
- Vegetables: Carrots, potatoes, spinach, peas, and pumpkins are great examples of vegetables that can be introduced to a baby’s diet. These vegetables help maintain healthy blood pressure since they contain nutrients such as vitamins A and C.
You can introduce complementary foods to a baby’s diet gradually to learn what his/her preferences are. Keep in mind that your baby still needs breastmilk, so any foods introduced to his diet should be a complement to his/her breastmilk regimen because complimentary foods are not breast milk substitutes.