It is important to introduce new foods gradually in order to prevent the occurrence of allergies and not discourage the baby to try uncharted dishes. At the initial stages, the food should be homogenized, that is, semi-liquid.
At about 7−8 months, with the advent of the first teeth, you can go to the puree dishes, containing small pieces of 1.5 mm. About 12 months after the eruption of incisors, canines and molars, should be added lumps larger – 3-4 mm.
As a rule, children try with solid foods with interest, enthusiastically chewing and chewing pieces of food with concentration. However, in some cases, the introduction of dishes thick, dense texture in a child may experience rejection. So, often the kids refuse the piece-like dishes for fear: the child is afraid that the particles are too large, he will not be able to swallow them and suffocate.
Of course, the crumb is not yet able to formulate (even mentally) his fears – fear arises unconsciously.
Forming the right eating habits begins at an early age. And parents should serve children with a basic example: if a mother, wanting to have a snack, takes candy or sweet cookies, how can you expect from a baby that he agrees to a piece of pear or savory yogurt?
The same applies to dishes served for lunch.
The unwillingness of the infant can be dictated by the excessively fast alternation of the diet: the mother too often changes the composition of the dishes, and the child does not have time to taste, adapt to the new food – which causes a negative reaction in the baby. And sometimes mothers, wanting to quickly transfer the crumb to the adult table, intensively increase the amount of solid particles added to the dish, which also causes dissatisfaction with the baby.
With the introduction of complementary foods, it is necessary, firstly, to take into account the child’s taste preferences, since each baby has its own passions: one is delighted with broccoli, the other loves potatoes with turkey. Secondly, when teaching a child to a new food, it is necessary to act gradually, paying attention to the infant’s well-being, individual tolerance of products, digestibility.
Thirdly, you need to give your child time to get used to changes in the diet and not to introduce more than one product during the week.
Sometimes when trying to feed a baby with solid food, the mother encounters not just the disturbance of the toddler, but the physiological aversion of food – the gag reflex. Often such a reaction is observed when it is introduced into the content of the ration of a dense consistency. The fact is that the sucking reflex lasts up to 5-6 months, and during this period the baby is not yet able to chew or even remove food from a spoon.
Therefore, a premature attempt to move to food with lumps, as a rule, fails – the child spits out or belches food.
Spoon only the tip, maximum of the baby’s middle tongue, during the meal. And remember that the spoon should not be excessively large – no more than 2-3 ml.
At an older age, the gag reflex can be caused by improper feeding techniques: improper spoon size or a large amount of mashed potatoes / porridge irritate the root of the tongue, which provokes a “reverse” reaction. Such processes are unpleasant, angry child, and with frequent repetition can cause a persistent rejection of any lumpy dishes. In such a situation, it is worthwhile to temporarily postpone the idea of introducing complementary foods and in no case persuade or force the crumb to “swallow at least a piece” – this will only strengthen the protest, and most importantly, may lead to aversion to food.
Remember: those who in childhood were hooked to soups and meatballs by hook or by crook experienced hatred of dinners. Therefore, do not push the baby!
After a couple of weeks, when an unsuccessful feast is forgotten, try again.
To delay with the introduction of solid food is no less harmful than to include it ahead of time, because with constant consumption of exclusively liquid (or semi-liquid) products, the gastrointestinal tract relaxes, becomes sluggish, “lazy.” As a result, blood flow to the digestive organs is reduced, the enzyme apparatus does not develop, the muscle layer of the stomach and intestines does not gain strength.
If the stomach does not train, digest and absorb the dense food, it will be more difficult to move along the intestines and get rid of it.
A “food diary” will be a good help for mom, where in the days of introducing new products you can record the serving size, the child’s reaction, allergic manifestations. Such a diary will help to explore the tastes and favorite dishes of the crumbs and think through the diet, in line with the preferences of the child.
It threatens with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the lack of solid foods in the child’s diet adversely affects the teeth: the chewing muscles do not exercise, which negatively affects the formation of bite.
As a rule, by the age of 2 all children switch to solid food, chewing well even large pieces. However, in rare cases and after 2 years a child may refuse products that are dense in consistency.
In such a situation, parents need to consult with a gastroenterologist and a neurologist to identify and eliminate the pathology that interferes with proper nutrition of the child.
Baby food can be bought in jars, and you can cook yourself. Manufacturers of industrial power strictly adhere to the principle of matching the size of food pieces to age categories. If the mother is engaged in preparing children’s meals on their own, it is important to follow the recommendations of experts.
So, making a homogenized puree, boil the vegetables, meat, mince twice, add vegetable broth and milk – mix it all together with a mixer. To make mashed potatoes with slices up to 1.5 mm, turn the meat in the meat grinder only once, and then – briefly mix the blender (if you want to make a dish with large pieces, instead of a blender, use an ordinary fork to mix the mass).
Canned food is divided into 3 categories:
- homogenized (for children 4–5 months old)
- puree (for babies 7–8 months)
- coarse (for consumers 9–12 months)
Try to introduce a new consistency by age, otherwise the baby may “slip through” this stage and later refuse the pieces. But if the crumb is not ready – try again in 7-10 days.
Rice porridge or banana puree will be perfect as the first “adult” foods. These products are gentle, do not injure sensitive children’s gums, but at the same time, pieces of banana and rice are hard enough particles that you need to chew before swallowing.
The initial portion can be only a third of a teaspoon, gradually the amount of food can be increased.
It is better to offer the crumbs new products when he is most hungry – for example, right after the walk. If the mother is breastfeeding, the reception of “adult” dishes should be postponed to the end of the day, when there is not enough milk.
Together with milk, it is undesirable to give solid food – it slows down the absorption of iron from breast milk.