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.
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