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Raising children is a huge responsibility for parents. It is not at all a piece of cake. The most challenging part of it is dealing with infants. They cannot speak or express anything they are feeling. Hence it becomes very difficult for parents to understand what the child needs or does not need.

In a recently conducted survey, new mothers were asked what the most challenging part of their motherhood was. 76% of them answered that it was taking care of  infant nutrition.

Infant nutrition needs to be selected carefully as their digestive system is still developing and they do not have a good immune system. Food given to infants varies from age to age. Let’s see how that is done.

For infants below the age of 4 months only breast milk should be given. If that is not available then only formula must be give. At this age they do not have the digestion power to digest anything else. Hence only breast milk or formula should be given,

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For infants of age 4.2 to 6.5 months along with breast milk some solid food can also be fed. Solid food given should be made into puree or semi solid state. They do not have teeth with makes it hard for them to completely digest slid food. Pureed vegetables and fruits is a good idea. It gives good nutrition to the infant and also it is easy to digest. Semi solid cereal and Cerelac can also be given.

The last stage of infants before they can perceive everything happening around them is the age of 6.6 to 9 months. At this age the infants’ skills to perceive things through sight, touch and sound has improved. They would have learnt how to react to stimuli also. At this age the digestive system is more capable of digestive solid food and also the immune system has more capabilities.

At this age infants can be given yogurt along with everything that has been being fed before. This is along with breast milk, pureed fruits and vegetables, yogurt can also be given. In case of non vegetarian’s pea sized amount of pureed meat can be given. For protein pea sized amount of pureed meat and pureed beans can be given.

If all this is given from time to time to the infants their mental and physical health is kept in check. They also grow at the required pace and learn. They receive all the proteins, vitamins and minerals required for them at that age. Hence parents should keep a close watch on what they feed their infants.

 

Author: Niketha Mohan

 

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