25 May 6 weaning Tips For healthy baby
When your infant is born their gut is naturally leaky and can take up to 4 months to join together to form a leak-proof structure. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended not to wean your infant before 4 months of age. Why is your newborn’s gut leaky? In the first few months of life they are need to absorb more nutrients and immune boosting substances from their mother’s milk.
When your infant reaches their 6 month milestone they will start to give you signs they are interested in food and ready to move to solids. They may display this new found interest by either watching what you eat, trying to grab your food or they are hungrier in betwean their milk feeds, especially if they want extra at night. In the beginning it’s important to remember food is a totally new experience. While they become familiar with having food in their mouth and develop new muscles to move it around, all their nutritional requirements are being met by their milk feeds.
If your infants gut doesn’t seal and become leak-proof, they could be prone to developing the host of childhood illnesses plaguing our kids such as food allergies and intolerances, eczema, asthma, poor immunity and brain related conditions.
Weaning Tips to Build a Strong Leak-proof Gut
In the first couple of weeks give first foods after your infant has either been breast or bottle-fed and not hungry, tired or grumpy.
Have them sitting upright and never leave them alone with food.
These are our top 5 nutritional guidelines to follow when introducing food to your child. ??????
Until 6 months old breast/bottle milk is enough. Once they start solids offer drinks too, but only water. Fruit juice has too much sugar and should be avoided. If they do drink juice, make your own and dilute it 1:10 juice to water. Store-bought juice has added man-made chemicals and is high in sugar and should be avoided.
Do not add salt to their food. Check store-bought food not especially formulated for infants for its salt content. Avoid bread, it can have a very high salt content. Keep an eye out for the salt content in cheese, hummus, baked beans etc. Home-made is best.
Limit or Avoid Sugar
It’s very important to limit your infant’s sugar intake because it can disrupt the friendly bacteria living in their gut and cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria. Sugar or carbohydrates is naturally found in fruit and vegies and you shouldn’t need to add it to their foods. Steer clear of processed foods because they are high in sugar especially fruity yoghurts, dried fruit, fruit juice and cereal bars etc.
Once your child reaches their 6 month milestone their iron stores begin to drop. Iron is very important for your infant’s neurological development and low iron levels can impact their IQ and social development. It’s really important to provide your child with iron-rich foods when they start eating solids. The best iron-rich food is provided from an animal source such as red meat, chicken, turkey and eggs.
Make bone broths are an essential component of your child’s diet. They are simple to make and a nutritional powerhouse to boost vitamin and mineral stores and gut healing glutamine with each mouthful. Aim to add broth to each meal – n the beginning to purees and moving forward as a base for casseroles, soups, bolognese sauce, scrambled eggs, sauces and veggie mash – the list is limitless. Make broth regularly and freeze into silicon ice-cube trays, for easy use and enough for each meal.
While the friendly bacteria are still establishing themselves in your child’s gut, it’s important to feed your baby plenty of fibre because this is friendly bacteria’s favourite food source. When the bacteria living in your child’s gut are well fed, they produce short chain fatty acids which are used to feed the cells that make up the paper thin gut wall. In turn this helps to support your child’s immune system and optimal brain functions. The best source of fibre comes from vegetable purees.
FIONA STOCK | THE CHILDREN’S NATUROPATH | MELBOURNE NATUROPATH
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