Nutrition through life cycle – Infants - from breastfeeding to weaning

▴ nutrition-through-life-cycle-infants-from-breastfeeding-to-weaning
Solid foods ought to slowly begin to replace milk as weaning advances, however, children should even now be given breast milk or formula as the fundamental beverage up to the age of a year.

     Newborn children from the principal day of life begin on breast milk which is the ideal technique for feeding babies and is suggested worldwide for the initial a half year of life to guarantee infants have the best beginning throughout everyday life. Breast milk gives all the energy and nutrients that an infant needs, just as development factors and immunological segments that help shield the child from infection. Breast milk contains more than 300 unique components and an amazing aspect regarding breast milk is that its production changes as requirements by the infant's changes.


The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests exclusive breastfeeding for the initial half year of life. It is presently not suggested that strong nourishments (and fluids other than breast milk or formulas) are presented before 17 weeks old enough.


In the event that a mother can't breastfeed, or decides not to, at that point formula feeds ought to be given as another option.


Foods you should not give to your infant before they turn 6 months

Since an infant's immune system takes time to develop, to decrease the danger of allergies, or exposure to unsafe microbes, foods like wheat, eggs, fish and shellfish and certain cheeses (which may contain microorganisms that the child's immune system isn't yet prepared for) should strictly not be given.


Weaning – post 6 months of age

Weaning is the introduction of complementary foods or 'solid' food sources into the child's eating routine, in addition to breast milk or formula feeds. Weaning is a continuous cycle that should begin at around a half year old and proceeds into the infant's first year. At around a half year old, the stores of certain supplements, for example, iron; begin to run out, and subsequently extra sources are required.


Weaning should not be delayed past 6 months as this can prompt issues and decreased the acceptance of foods in later childhood.


There are sure signs that show a child might be prepared for weaning, which is recorded beneath. 

  • Starts to show enthusiasm for food
  • Is ready to sit up, despite the fact that may even now require some help
  • Wants to bite and put objects in the mouth
  • Is ready to reach and grab
  • Still appears to be eager after a milk feed


Starting phases of weaning

The underlying point of weaning is to get a child used to the impression of food in the mouth that isn't 'free-flowing', requires an alternate mouth activity, and comes on a spoon or from fingers. The primary weaning stage is a touchy time for the advancement of taste. Guardians should attempt to present a wide scope of various foods, textures, and tastes at this stage on the grounds that there is proof that this will diminish the danger of a child turning into a picky eater later on. 

  • Start with pureed nourishments for example organic products, vegetables, or infant rice. These might be blended in with a tad bit of the child's standard milk (breast milk or formula) at first. A couple of teaspoons ought to be offered once per day when the child isn't excessively tired or hungry.
  • The sum and recurrence can be step by step expanded, from once per day, to twice and in the end three feeds for every day.
  • It is essential to go at the child's own pace and permit a lot of time for eating. Children need to figure out how to move solid food from the front of the mouth to the back and swallow it.
  • Babies ought to be urged to eat by themselves for example by giving them their own spoon while taking care of them with another spoon, or attempting some finger foods.
  • During the underlying phases of weaning, infants will even now be getting a large portion of their wholesome prerequisites from either breast or formula milk (at any rate 500-600ml recipe every day).


Stage 2 (around 7-9 months)

After the underlying phases of weaning, infants ought to before long be acquainted with a more extensive scope of foods, textures, and tastes. After 6 months infants can be acquainted with dairy foods, foods containing wheat, and scope of protein-containing food sources.

The texture now should move from smooth purees to mashed and lumpier food:

  • Purees of vegetables and chicken or different sorts of meat
  • Purees of vegetables and beans or lentils
  • Bread, rice, and pasta
  • Full-fat dairy nourishments, for example, yogurt
  • Full fat milk can be utilized in cooking for example to make cauliflower cheddar or different vegetables in cheddar sauce (or with breakfast oats).


Soft finger foods ought to likewise be given at this stage. These give biting practice and help urge children to eat by themselves. Finger nourishments can likewise assist withdrawing to an infant's advantage – a few children favor food they can hold to pounded food sources. At this stage, finger nourishments that can be given incorporate cooked vegetables (for example sticks of carrot, bits of broccoli), bits of the organic product (for example banana, cuts of stripped apple), pita bread or bits of toast.


Children ought to be urged to attempt family nourishments and numerous dinners arranged for the remainder of the family can be adjusted for infants, yet it is significant not to include any salt or sugar while planning. To spare time, suppers can likewise be set up in bunches and afterward solidified (for example in ice shape plate with covers) to be utilized later.


Solid foods ought to slowly begin to replace milk as weaning advances, however, children should even now be given breast milk or formula as the fundamental beverage up to the age of a year (in any event 500-600ml every day). Breast milk can proceed past a year for whatever length of time that mother and infant wish to proceed.


Stage 3 (around 9 – 12 months)

By this stage, children ought to have three meals per day, plus mid meals. Nourishments ought to be slashed, pounded or minced and include:

  • Starchy nourishments, for example, bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes – around 2-3 servings for each day.
  • Fruit and vegetables – these would now be able to be given crude or prepared and presented with dinners or given as finger nourishments.
  • Milk (explicitly whole milk) and dairy items (full fat) for example cheeses, for example, gentle cheddar, and yogurt.
  • One or two servings for each day of soft cooked meat, fish, eggs (all around cooked) or pulses, for example, beans or lentils


Nourishments ought to preferably be chopped or minced at this stage. It is significant that infants are given lumpier nourishments at this phase to urge them to figure out how to bite. Regardless of whether infants don't yet have any teeth, they can at present chew and bite and can deal with nourishments utilizing the tongue, salivation, and gums. Finger nourishments are incredible at this phase for helping infants figure out how to bite and feed themselves.


It is significant that children are offered a wide scope of nourishments to ensure they acquire all the nutrients and minerals they need. Urging children to attempt a wide scope of nourishments at this stage will likewise make them less inclined to become fastidious eaters later on. Infants can be given two courses at this stage for example a flavorful course of meat, fish or pulses and vegetables followed by fruits or yogurt.


Foods to stay away from when weaning

  • Salt – children under one year ought to have less than 1g of salt every day as their kidneys can't adapt to especially salt. Nourishments arranged at home ought to have no salt included. While most infant nourishments don't contain included salt, other prepared food sources do, so it is critical to check the name and stay away from nourishments especially high in salt.
  • Sugar – often devouring sugar-containing nourishments and beverages can prompt tooth rot and may empower a sweet tooth. In this manner abstain from adding sugar to nourishments, or giving an excessive number of sweet food sources, for example, scones and sweet pastries during weaning.
  • Honey – Honey ought not to be given to children under one year in light of the fact that there is a hazard it can contain microscopic organisms that can cause a genuine sickness called baby botulism.
  • Raw eggs – eggs ought to be cooked until the white and yolk are strong. Dodge any nourishment containing raw or mostly cooked eggs.
  • Entire nuts - ought not to be given to youngsters under age 5 on account of the danger of gagging.



Children should in any case be given breast milk or formula as the principle drink as long as a year old enough (in any event 500-600ml every day). Whole dairy animals' milk isn't reasonable as a beverage until following a year old enough (however cow's milk can be utilized in cooking following a half year). 

Water is the best choice to take as a beverage. Make sure to boil and cool it before giving it to your infant.   

Fresh fruit juices can be allowed following a half-year-old enough however ought to be diluted with water). Since fruit juice contains characteristic sugars and is acidic, it can conceivably cause tooth rot and dental lacquer disintegration whenever given too oftentimes.



Breastfed newborn children ought to be given an enhancement giving nutrients A, C, and D (as fluid drops) from the age of a half year. Babies getting in any event 500ml of formula feed every day needn't bother with these nutrient drops since the nutrients are as of now added to the formulas. In the event that children are devouring formula feeds or follow-on milk in littler sums, it is prudent to give nutrient drops.

Tags : #myhealth #nutritionthroughlifecycle #infants #breastmilk #formulafeed #weaning #solidfoods #fingerfoods #textures #tastes #stagesofweaning #softfoods #mashed #pureed

About the Author

Rabia Mistry Mulla

'For vessels to change their course, they have to be hit by a strong wind first!'
So here I am penning down my thoughts on health and research after 6 years of planning Diets.
Being a Clinical Dietitian & a Diabetes Educator I always had a thing for writing, alas, been hit by the winds towards a new course!
You can write to me at [email protected]

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