Complementary feeding is one of the most crucial moments in the life of a child and his parents, on which the development and health of the baby as a whole largely depends. It is necessary to approach this moment with extreme caution and it is especially important to correctly identify the product with which you should acquaint your child with adult food. Recently, more and more pediatricians agree that this product should be porridge, but not fruit and vegetable puree. About with what porridge to start feeding and how to enter it correctly, we will tell in our article. Here we will show you how to cook porridge for complementary foods at home and how to choose it correctly in the store.
When to introduce complementary foods?
The timing of the beginning of complementary foods for different children are set individually and depend on several factors.
- The nature of power. Babies who are breastfed, as a rule, are later introduced to artificial foods, at approximately 6 months. At the same time, if the child does not show any interest in adult food and he still has enough breast milk, familiarity with cereals can be postponed for another 1-2 months. Babies who are bottle-fed can be given lactation more quickly, because their digestive system is more prepared, but not earlier than 4 months - this is a critical point of reference.
- Baby activity and weight gain. By the time of introduction of complementary foods, the baby must double its weight. If this does not happen, the pediatrician recommends introducing complementary foods before and starting with porridges. A similar decision can be made for active children who usually gain little weight.
- Teething and comorbidities also influence the decision on the introduction of complementary foods.
That is why you first need to find out if the child is ready to get acquainted with a new food for him, and then decide which porridge to start feeding with. It is not necessary to rush things, and then the introduction of complementary foods will not give either mother or baby any trouble or disappointment.
How should I start feeding?
Regardless of which product is chosen for the start of complementary feeding, there are some rules for its introduction, with which all pediatricians, without exception, agree.
- First, the supplements should be introduced gradually, starting with half a teaspoon, daily increasing the volume to the age norm for the child. The next product should be introduced no earlier than the third week of the start of feeding
- Secondly, with each new product, parents should monitor the reaction of the baby, and if any warning signs appear, such as constipation or allergy, the introduction of this dish should be canceled.
- Thirdly, the consistency of all the children's complementary dishes should resemble breast milk. When the baby gets acquainted with a new food, the consistency can be made thicker.
- Fourthly, complementary foods should be started with dairy-free cereals, such as rice or buckwheat. And only after the baby has learned them well, you can begin acquaintance with milk porridges.
Kashi: homemade or purchased?
When the product from which supplements are introduced is already determined, a new problem appears before the parents: is it better to buy porridge ready in a pack or to cook by yourself? This question should be solved by each parent for himself, taking into account the advantages of each option. If you listen to the opinion of the pediatrician, then the question is unequivocal - doctors advocate the use of ready-made instant cereals.
The advantages of shopping cereals:
- consistency from purchased cereals is homogeneous, gentle and homogeneous, which is ideal for the children's digestive system;
- their composition is balanced, they are hypoallergenic and are designed for a specific age;
- cooking speed of porridge from the package is much higher, it is convenient to cook them even in small portions.
When porridge can replace one feeding of the child, it can be transferred to homemade cereals. However, doing it at an early age is inappropriate.
What porridge to enter feed?
Even if the family, and the child in particular, does not have a predisposition to allergic reactions, supplements should be administered with gluten-free porridges. Thus, cereals that contain gluten should be excluded (rye, wheat, oats, barley). Then the question arises: with which porridge to start feeding?
There are three types of gluten-free cereals that are safest for a child’s body:
Buckwheat is considered an ideal cereal for the first feeding. It has valuable proteins, vitamins and amino acids. In addition, croup has a low level of hypoallergenicity, saturates the body with iron, increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood, improves intestinal motility, relieves constipation.
Rice should be introduced into the diet of the baby after buckwheat. This is the only croup, having in the composition of all 8 amino acids. It is hypoallergenic and helps to cope with diarrhea. The only drawback is rice porridge. She categorically cannot feed her children with constipation.
Corn grits are introduced into the diet not earlier than 7-8 months, after buckwheat and rice. It has a rich vitamin and mineral composition and helps to get rid of constipation. Gradually, you can add healthy fruits and berries to porridge.
Dairy-free cereals: benefits
It is believed that non-dairy, single-component gluten-free cereals are most suitable for feeding. Why dairy-free cereals? There are certain advantages to this:
- they do not contain whole milk powder, which means that they are suitable for children with lactose intolerance;
- they are hypoallergenic;
- such porridges are easier to digest and improve intestinal motility;
- do not cause bloating and colic, due to the absence of milk in their composition.
How to cook porridge for the first feeding?
If the parents still chose homemade porridge for the introduction of complementary foods, then you should prepare in advance for the cooking process and make flour from the cereal.
How to cook porridge for the first feeding?
- The croup is washed several times until the water is completely transparent.
- Next, the cereal is dried in a natural way on a napkin or in the oven and crushed into flour.
- In a small saucepan on the stove, water is heated (100 ml).
- A teaspoon of flour from the grits is added to the water and cooked for 15 minutes with thorough mixing.
- Put the remaining flour in a glass jar with an airtight lid and store in a dark place.
Before you feed the baby, you should learn in advance how to put porridge in the supplement. For this purpose, whole schemes have been developed, which should be strictly followed.
First of all, these schemes were developed in order to avoid a negative reaction from the use of a new product on the children's organism. Digestive problems, constipation or diarrhea, flatulence and allergies - this is only a small part of the trouble that can happen to a child due to improper introduction of complementary foods.
So, how to add porridge in the feed? Rules and scheme of introduction:
- A new product in the diet should be introduced only when the child is completely healthy and his teeth are not cut.
- How to cook the first lure? Buckwheat porridge (it is from this cereal to start) is diluted to the consistency of breast milk.
- The first portion of porridge - 0.5 teaspoons, the next day - 1 teaspoon, then - 3 spoons. Gradually, in 7 days, the volume should be increased to 150 ml.
- After 3-4 weeks, in the absence of any negative reactions to the product, the child should begin to introduce new porridge into the diet.
How to choose porridge in the store
Most parents are of the opinion that it is better to buy porridge for food in the store. It is optimized for the children's body, and the time to prepare meals saves significantly. It remains only to find out how to choose porridge for feeding in the store.
- First of all, you should choose dairy-free single-component cereals that do not contain gluten. This plant-derived protein is not digested by the child’s body, which can lead to serious disturbances in its work.
- Pay attention to the composition, it should not contain flavors, sugar, fructose and other sweeteners and additives.
- Porridge must match the age of the child for whom it is purchased.
- Check expiration dates, storage conditions, package integrity.
In the first porridges for the child there should not be any additional components in the form of an apple or berries. They need to enter the baby's diet a little later. If you have already decided from which porridge to start feeding, it is enough to buy one package of this product. Perhaps the child will not like the porridge of this manufacturer, and it will urgently have to be changed to a new one.
Children's cereals rating
Parents who come across the need to introduce complementary foods to their child for the first time are often lost in the store at the sight of the assortment. Make the right choice in favor of a package will help the following rating of porridge for feeding. The top three for several years in a row include products of the Nestle, Gerber and Heinz trademarks. Among the Russian brands, the most popular among buyers are the “Baby” and “Spelenok” cereals.
Despite the rating, it is important to get acquainted with the composition on the package right in the store. Since even eminent manufacturers sometimes add components to porridges which should not be too close. This is the only way to protect your child from poor-quality complementary foods.
How much a baby grows up healthy depends also on the correctness of complementary feeding. Therefore, parents should take responsibility for such a step in the development of the baby and make the right choice in favor of one or another porridge and in the timing of the introduction of complementary foods. It is important to buy or cook the correct and safe cereals, which will not lead to violations in the body.