Four stages

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PARENTING -

MY child is grow­ing up fast. How can I make sure he is pro­vided with the best?

You’ll need to recog­nise the four dif­fer­ent stages your child goes through. These stages are cru­cial as they will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on your child’s im­me­di­ate health and his fu­ture well-be­ing. What is the first stage and what should I ex­pect? 6 months on­wards (Stage 1)

What to ex­pect: Time to start wean­ing and giv­ing him his first taste of solid food. It is im­por­tant to give solid food that has the cor­rect tex­ture – best to be in a smooth pap.

Mile­stones: Sits with sup­port, plays with toes and can grasp feet, en­joys watch­ing things, shows abil­ity to swal­low nonliq­uid food.

At this stage, there may be a de­crease in the re­serve of an­ti­bod­ies, so boost his im­mune sys­tem by pro­vid­ing suf­fi­cient nutrition. And this ap­plies to all four stages of his devel­op­ment. Good nutrition will en­sure op­ti­mal growth. Now that he’s six months old and above, in­tro­duc­ing the right food, in the right amounts and at the right time, will en­sure he gets all the nu­tri­ents he needs. Rice ce­re­als are the best way to in­tro­duce solid food. Look out for in­fant ce­re­als that are en­riched with nu­tri­ents. What kind of nu­tri­ents should I look out for?

BL Bi­fidus is one of them. A type of friendly bac­te­ria, BL Bi­fidus helps main­tain a good di­ges­tive sys­tem and en­sures your lit­tle one en­joys op­ti­mum ab­sorp­tion of es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents. Rice ce­re­als that have been treated with the Ce­re­als Hy­drol­ysed En­zy­mat­i­cally (CHE) technology are much eas­ier to di­gest and al­low for easy ab­sorp­tion by your child’s del­i­cate di­ges­tive sys­tem. What hap­pens dur­ing the sec­ond stage? 6 months on­wards (Stage 2)

What to ex­pect: Your child is prob­a­bly en­joy­ing his food more now, thanks to his rapidly de­vel­op­ing taste buds. En­cour­age him by in­tro­duc­ing dif­fer­ent flavours to his menu as well as food with a dif­fer­ent tex­ture – thick pap with in­te­grated pieces.

Mile­stones: Sits up in a high chair, starts to crawl, picks up ob­jects and puts them in his mouth, turns his head to­wards sounds, be­gins to chew.

Now that he has tasted solid food, he’ll soon be crav­ing for dif­fer­ent flavours and tex­tures.

Ap­ple Crum­ble

Prepa­ra­tion & cook­ing time: 30 mins Serv­ings: 4 Per serv­ing: 2.1g pro­tein, 3.2g fat, 15g car­bo­hy­drates, en­ergy 95 kcal Tempt his de­vel­op­ing taste buds with a va­ri­ety of fruits and veg­eta­bles along with his favourite rice ce­real. Re­mem­ber to mash or cut his food ac­cord­ing to his eat­ing abil­ity and go slow. In­tro­duce one new food at a time and give him a few days to get used to it be­fore mov­ing on to the next item on the menu. What kind of food should I give him?

Veg­eta­bles such as car­rots, pump­kins, sweet pota­toes or peas are de­li­cious and good for him. For fruits, try ba­nanas, ap­ples, pa­payas or pears. He’ll love them. He is grow­ing hap­pily into the third stage. What’s next? 8 months on­wards (Stage 3)

What to ex­pect: It’s time to sat­isfy your child’s urge to con­stantly bite and chew. And be­ware, now he’s got teeth.

Mile­stones: Be­gins to stand with­out sup­port, holds head up­right, re­sponds to his name, shows first teeth.

By now, he should be ap­pre­ci­at­ing more com­plex tastes and tex­tures. Make his diet more in­ter­est­ing with bites and tex­tures. Add lit­tle pieces of chicken or fish. Or try in­fant ce­re­als that come mixed with tiny bits of chicken, fish and other nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents. He is now in the fourth and fi­nal stage. 1 year old (Stage 4)

What to ex­pect: Your task is to pro­vide him with a smooth tran­si­tion to adult food. At this stage, you can in­tro­duce com­plex tex­tures with big­ger fruit and veg­etable pieces and ce­real flakes.

Mile­stones: Be­gins to walk in­de­pen­dently, re­mem­bers things by their shapes and colours, takes food with his fin­gers, be­gins to self-feed, uses his lips, tongue and teeth prop­erly. He may even use his fin­gers to feed him­self. What can I give him for break­fast?

Con­tinue with the right ce­re­als. Try whole­grain ce­re­als con­tain­ing nu­tri­ents such as BL Bi­fidus, DHA, tau­rine, iron and cal­cium. Early in­tro­duc­tion of whole­grain has been shown to con­trib­ute to a broader di­ver­sity of food ac­cep­tance and an over­all healthy diet. 1 green ap­ple, peel core and slice thinly 1 tbsp raisins 1 tsp brown sugar 2 tsp but­ter 50g Nestlé Cerelac In­fant Ce­real Rice & Mixed Fruit ¼ tsp cin­na­mon pow­der, op­tional

Place ap­ple in greased shal­low oven­proof dish. Sprin­kle with raisins and brown sugar.

Mean­while, rub but­ter with In­fant Ce­real Rice & Mixed Fruit un­til they re­sem­ble bread­crumbs.Then sprin­kle over fruits and dust with cin­na­mon pow­der.

Bake in pre­heated 180°C oven for 20 min­utes or un­til lightly brown. Cer­tain whole­grain ce­re­als have com­plex car­bo­hy­drates and are for­ti­fied with es­sen­tial vi­ta­mins and min­er­als for older in­fants and tod­dlers. Is there any­thing else I should know about my child’s first year?

Dur­ing your child’s first year, his weight triples and his height in­creases by more than 50%. All that growth re­quires lots of nu­tri­ents but your child only has a 20% gas­tric ca­pac­ity com­pared to you. So give him food with high nu­tri­tional den­sity. There are many for­ti­fied rice ce­re­als that can de­liver the right nutri­ent-en­ergy bal­ance at ev­ery meal.

Here are two yummy recipes for your lit­tle one. – Ar­ti­cle cour­tesy of Nes­tle Cerelac

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