Table of contents:
- Signs Baby is Ready to Eat
- Familiarizing Babies with MPASI
- Foods to Avoid When Giving MPASI
- Types and Methods of Giving MPASI according to Baby's Age
MPASI or complementary foods for breastfeeding can be started to be given to babies after the age of 6 months. However, complementary feeding should be done gradually. Know how to give the right complementary foods so that the baby's nutritional intake remains adequate
Giving MPASI is one of the important periods for baby's growth and development. In this period, babies begin to learn to recognize the shape and taste of food, other than breast milk.
MPASI itself should not be given before the baby is 6 months old, because at that age babies are more at risk of developing food allergies. In addition, giving complementary foods before the baby is 4 months old can also increase the risk of the baby choking.
Signs Baby is Ready to Eat
The development of every baby is different and cannot be compared with one another. However, there are some signs that indicate the baby is ready to eat food, including:
- You can reach for food and put it in your mouth, because there is good coordination between the eyes, mouth and hands.
- Sit alone without assistance and can hold head up.
- Interested in the food that other people eat.
- Able to open mouth well to take food from spoon.
- Can swallow food and not expel it back from the mouth.
However, some of the other signs your baby displays, such as putting his finger in his mouth and crying at night, can lead you to mistakenly think your baby is ready for solid food. In fact, this can be a sign that the baby wants more milk.
Familiarizing Babies with MPASI
The following is a guide that you can do to introduce and familiarize your baby with solid food:
1. Invite the baby to eat with the family at the dinner table
Children often imitate the things their parents do and those around them. By taking the baby to eat with the family, he can pay attention and imitate good eating habits.
To start with, you can place your little one in a special baby dining chair and don't forget to put a safety on so that he doesn't fall.
2. Give MPASI gradually
To introduce solid food to your little one, start by giving it little by little, at least three times a day. However, don't be too forced if your little one doesn't want to eat the food given.
It's better for your little one to eat more often in small portions than in large portions, but only occasionally.
3. Give baby time to adjust
Avoid forcing your little one to eat and finish their food. If he is not yet interested in a food, it does not mean that your child is not interested in consuming that food in the future. Try to offer complementary foods the next day.
4. Let the baby try to feed himself
Let your little one take and put their own food in their mouth. This is part of the learning process in recognizing food. However, do not leave your little one alone when eating food, because he is still prone to choking when chewing and swallowing food.
To be on the safe side, Mother can accompany your Little One to eat alone when she is around 9 months old.
5. Pay attention to the eating utensils used by the baby
Avoid using glass cutlery which has the risk of breaking and injuring the baby. Put a cloth or apron around your little one's neck to prevent food from spilling from a spoon or mouth.
You can also use bright cutlery to make the dining atmosphere interesting and more enjoyable for your little one.
Baby eating patterns start from the first time they eat food. Therefore, give him a variety of he althy foods, especially vegetables and fruit, so that he gets enough nutrition and gets used to eating them.
Foods to Avoid When Giving MPASI
In choosing the complementary food menu, the following types of food should not be given to babies:
Too much juice consumption, especially packaged juices with added sugar, can cause babies to have diarrhea and cavities. In addition, juice also contains less fiber and nutrients than fresh fruit that is mashed or chopped.
Avoid giving cow's milk to a baby before he is one year old. This is because cow's milk does not meet their nutritional needs and can actually increase the risk of iron deficiency.
The provision of formula milk as additional nutrition should be done according to the doctor's advice when the baby has certain conditions.
Honey should not be given to babies under the age of 1 year as part of the complementary food menu. This is because honey can cause babies to get botulism, which is a poisoning condition caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria contained in honey.
Avoid giving grains or foods that are hard and small in size, such as popcorn, nuts, or candy, because these foods can increase the risk of the baby choking.
You should not add flavoring, sugar, or s alt to the baby's solids menu. All additives that are given too early are at risk of interfering with the baby's development.
In addition to some of the foods above, Mother is also advised not to give food that is too hot, fast food, and packaged food for adults, to the Little One.
Types and Methods of Giving MPASI according to Baby's Age
The way of giving and types of complementary foods are generally adjusted to the baby's age. The following are some things that can be a guide for mothers in determining complementary foods for their little ones:
MPASI for babies aged 6–7 months
When your little one is 6 months old, Mother can give her vegetables, fruit, and mashed rice. If your little one is used to these foods, you can give other types of food, such as chicken, fish, bread, and eggs, which have been mashed.
MPASI for babies aged 8–9 months
At this age, your little one can usually eat three times a day. In addition to mashed food, you can also start introducing solid foods that are cut lengthwise to the size of an adult finger so that it is easier for your little one to grip it.
Try to give your little one vegetables, such as carrots, beans, and potatoes, which have been cooked until soft.
MPASI for babies aged 12 months and beyond
When your little one is 1 year old, you can give him three meals a day and add snacks between meals.
Give your baby he althy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, toast, and yogurt. However, make sure not to add sugar or s alt to the snacks, okay?
The important thing to consider when giving complementary foods is not to force your little one to finish their food. As long as your little one grows and develops according to his age, you don't have to worry about his lack of food.
If your baby has allergy symptoms after eating certain foods, such as red and swollen skin, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing, take him to the doctor immediately for treatment.