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What To Give

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING FOODS FOR AN INFANT

Choose easily and locally available foods that are culturally acceptable to the family.

Staples like cereals (rice, wheat, maize, millet) and, roots (tapioca & potato) are bulky due to starch and water content; provide less energy.

Energy rich foods like ghee, butter, jaggery or sugar add to the energy density of food.

Pulses, beans, groundnuts, milk, and eggs/chicken could be added for extra & rich protein.

Green or colored vegetables and fruits provide vitamins and minerals.

Foods in combination provide better net protein utilization, through 'mutual complementation'.

Cereals are deficient in Lysine and poor in methionine while pulses have the opposite quality. A combination of both will provide first class proteins

Germinated cereals (sprouts) rich in alpha-amylase that breaks down carbohydrates and reduces food viscosity; Called Amylase Rich Foods.

FINGER FOODS easy to give; easily accepted by infants who reject spoon feeds; satiate the desire to self feed and explore with mouth; could be sucked, bitten, or chewed. Some examples: Potato finger chips, Soup sticks, toast slices, French fries, boiled/raw carrots, fruit slices, Idli slices, soft cookies etc.

SUPERVISION IS A MUST TO PREVENT CHOKING.

Finicky babies may resist semi-solids. Never force-feed. Babies always win. Never feed in a hurry. Change menu frequently.

EXAMPLES OF TYPICAL WEANING FOODS

4 - 6 MONTHS : --Mashed ripe Banana , Chickoo,
Apple, Papaya etc.
Porridge made from milk, sugar, & cereal (rice, wheat, sooji, nachni, maize)
Overcooked rice.
Mashed vegetables like potato & carrot.
Add oil/ghee/butter & sugar/ jaggery while cooking.

7 - 8 MONTHS : --Pulses (moong , tur), Sprouted beans, Dark green leafy vegetables, mashed and mixed with cereal.

9 - 12 MONTHS: --Egg, fish & chicken added.
Child should be eating family food, softer and less spicy. By 12 Months a child should take in ½ an adult's diet. He may eat himself from his own plate.

PREPARATION OF A TYPICAL FEED

3 Parts cereal (rice) + 1 Part pulse (moong dal)
Roast the mix with a little oil/ghee.
Grind to a powder & store in airtight jar.
Ready to be cooked with little fat & water when required.
Add sugar if required. Salt unnecessary.
Cultural alterations could be tried.

AMYLASE RICH FOODS (ARFs)

Thick & viscous gruel is difficult to swallow
Difficult to feed and provides low energy density
Amylase
Long chain carbohydrates are broken down by amylases into short chain dextrins
Germinated cereal flour rich in amylase activity and liquefies thick gruel instantly improves
Acceptability increases intake by 3-4 times.
Infants on ARF show BETTER growth (6 mo)

METHOD (STEPS) OF PREPARING ARF

SELECT uninfested whole-wheat grain.
STEEP in three times volume of water, after
cleaning and washing. Cover. Leave for 12 hours.
GERMINATE grains by wrapping in wet cloth, kept covered in a cool dark place, for 48 hours. Sprinkle water every eight hours. Root and shoot develop.
SUN-DRY grains with occasional stirring for 8 hours, and roast on mud or metal tava.
MILL grains by hand pounding or electric grinder
STORE flour in well-stoppered bottles at room temperature. Shelf life is 30 days in high humidity areas. Re-roasting increases shelf life to one year.

AN ARF RECIPE
*Roast 25 Gms wheat flour in 5 Gms of fat until brown. *While on fire, add 25 Gms of jaggery/sugar dissolved in 75 ml of water, slowly and stirring well. *Add one Gm of ARF (two fingers pinch) powder to the food and stir well while cooking.


INFANT FEEDING SCHEDULE

PREGNANT MOTHER - extra nutrition.

AT BIRTH - early start of breastfeeding; On-demand feeding

BETWEEN BIRTH AND 6 MONTHS - exclusive & unrestricted breastfeeding.

BETWEEN 6 AND 9 MONTHS - Breastfeeding + mashed cereals, vegetables and fruits.

BETWEEN 9 AND 12 MONTHS - Breastfeeding + Soft family diet.

BETWEEN 12 AND 15 MONTHS - Breastfeeding + ½ the adult's diet.

BETWEEN 15 AND 24 MONTHS - Regular family food + breastfeeding.


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Disclaimer: All material provided at Breastfeedingindia.org is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.