Protein and night wakings in babies older than 6 months | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

Protein and night wakings in babies older than 6 months

Your baby needs only milk (either breast milk or formula milk) as his main source of nutrition for the first few months of age. Some babies need the addition of some solid food from age of about 6 months or older, and that is usually when one introduces some cereal, vegetables and fruit. So, let us look at what happens when your baby reaches this magical age, of saying “goodbye” to being a small infant, and starts to enter the world of being an “older baby”! Your baby is now a real little person, sitting up and reaching out, laughing and chuckling and is starting to show a real interest in food. This is the time when the main nutrition is derived from solid food, and the emphasis from breast / formula milk moves. Your baby now needs PROTEIN in his / her diet. Protein builds healthy bones and tissue, and is vital for the growth and development of all children. Protein is also filling, so if your baby is still waking at night for feeds, the chances are that he is not getting adequate protein in his diet during the day. Follow these simple guidelines towards increasing his protein intake, and night feedings will become a long distant memory! Your baby’s minimum protein needs in his solid food is calculated on approximately 1g (1 serving) of protein per kg of body weight. The average 6 month baby weighs in the region of 6 – 9kg, so he will need a minimum of 6-10 servings per day, divided into his 3 meals.. Try and incorporate 2 - 4 servings of protein per meal. 1 serving = 1 heaped teaspoon, or a liberal pinch (approx 1g). Remember to always include a variety of fruit and vegetables into his diet, as well as carbohydrates e.g. Cereal or porridge, or pasta, potato or rice. Your little one also needs to start taking a daily iron supplement. Babies are born with iron stores, but by the age of 6 months, they have used them all up! It is important to add an iron supplement to his diet from now on. Ask your clinic sister or pharmacist to recommend one. Protein can be derived from either vegetable or animal sources, so it is really up to you what proteins you would like to start incorporating into his diet (see list below). Your little one will also let you know what his preferences are, so be guided by his likes and dislikes too! Vegetable Protein: Animal Protein: Avocado Pear Yogurt (plain white variety) Cashnut butter/ Macnut butter Cottage Cheese Ground Almonds Crème Cheese (Kiri, laughing Cow, Danino soft cheese etc) Peanut Butter Grated hard white cheese (mozarella, tussers etc) Lentils Butter (not margarine) Samp Egg (yolk to start, 4-5 per week / whites only from 9 mths of age) Soya beans / tofu Tuna fish Sugar Beans Pilchards / Sardines / Salmon / Hake / Kingklip Barley Chicken / livers (free range) Mung Beans Topside mince or grated biltong White kidney beans Ostrich / Lamb Chick Peas Turkey or Veal Sesame/sunflower/pumpkin/linseed seeds Tahini (sesame extract) Butter beans / baked beans Dates FOODS TO AVOID IF THERE IS A STRONG ALLERGY FAMILY HISTORY, OR IF YOUR BABY IS ALREADY SHOWING SIGNS OF ALLERGY: All nuts Dairy Wheat Eggs Fish GUIDELINE FOR A RECOMMENDED DAILY SCHEDULE: 06.00 : Breast / Formula Feed 08.00 : BREAKFAST: Cereal / Porridge - Oats, Mealie Meal, Taystee Wheat, Mabella, Millett etc. Add 2 - 3 proteins e.g. cottage cheese / peanut butter / milk / Tahini / yogurt / almonds / dates etc. OR - Egg OR - Fresh fruit, yogurt and ground almonds / date paste 10.00 : Diluted juice and Snack 12.00 : LUNCH : Avo mashed with soft cheese and banana. OR - Pasta, potato, mabella, corn, rice / fish bake, with white or cheese sauce, cottage cheese etc. OR - Egg OR - Veggie / bean soup and bread OR - Fresh fruit, yoghurt and almonds / date paste 2pm: Breast / Formula feed 3 - 4 pm: Diluted juice and Snack 5 pm: DINNER: Chicken Broth and veggies Bath, Breast / Formula Feed, Bed! On this diet, baby is quite capable of going for 10 - 12 hours at night without needing nourishment. HAPPY SLEEPING! By Meg Faure
Night feeds – from newborn to toddler | Babysense
Breast Feeding

Night feeds – from newborn to toddler

Night feeds are simply a part of early parenting. All babies need them in the early days and all babies outgrow them in time. What you should expect at different ages? Prem or sick babies sick and under weight babies If your baby is born with higher needs than most babies, for instance if your baby is born prem, is ill or failing to thrive, you will be advised to wake your baby at night. In these circumstances, you may be told to wake your baby three hourly at night or to wake your baby at specific times. This is the only circumstance when babies should be woken at night. Be sure to keep these night feeds very calm and subdued so that your little one settles back to sleep as soon as possible. As soon as she is on the track to gaining weight nicely, ask your health care provider when you can stop waking her. Newborns If your newborn is a healthy little one and is gaining weight, there is no need to wake her at night. Allow her to wake on her own and do not be tempted to follow advice to wake her for a ‘dream feed’. Dream feeds are not conducive to setting the stage for good sleep long term. You can expect your newborn to wake 4 hours after falling asleep for a feed and then three hours thereafter until morning. If your newborn does sleep for longer stretches, it is absolutely fine to leave her to wake on her own. Some babies sleep through as early as 6 weeks and this is fabulous and no need to worry that she is stretching so long without a feed. 2-4 months By two to three months most babies are stretching for 6 -8 hours before needing a night feed and then three hourly thereafter. If your baby wakes more than this, try to cluster feed in the evening before 8pm to top her up so she sleeps for longer. Two or three extra little snack feeds at this time can help. If she wakes consistently three hourly at night and yet is gaining good weight, you can start to stretch your little one with a dummy or a little water at the first night waking. Be sure to do all night feeds quietly and calmly and not to burp your little one for longer than 5 minutes. 4 -6 months Many babies regress in their night wakings as they approach 4 months. If your little one was stretching to the early hours before needing a feed and suddenly picks up the 11pm feed again and is generally hungry, it may be that she is not fully satisfied nutritionally. Initially reintroduce the feed she is waking for. If this night waking persists and your baby is hungrier during the day too, it may be time for solids. By now your baby will have stopped soiling her nappy at night and it is fine to leave a wet nappy on for the night, without a change, if your baby has not poo’ed and does not have a tendency for nappy rashes. By not changing the nappy and keeping night feeds quiet, you have more chance of your little one settling off to sleep immediately after the feed. 6 months – 18 months Soon after 6 months of age your baby should be sleeping through the night without needing nutrition – this means 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If your baby needs a feed at 4am, do so quietly in her room. If your baby over 6 months of age still wakes for feeds frequently at night: Introduce or increase the protein in her day meals Offer a cluster feed or top up feed after bath Pat and sooth her back to sleep if before 12am Use white noise such as the Baby Sense Womb to World CD or MP3 Offer an iron supplement if she is anaemic You may need to break the habit, if your little one wakes repeatedly to snack on the breast throughout the night. Toddlerhood No night feeds are needed before 6am. If your toddler feeds at night, she is likely to be a fussy solids eater during the day. It is time to explain that she doesn’t need milk or you can say: “The Kitchen is Closed”. Keep the reason concrete and consistent. By Meg Faure
What is a picky eater? | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

What is a picky eater?

Picky eating is such a broad term and something that may mean different things for different people. So what actually is a picky eater? A picky eater is a child who will have a decreased range of foods but still eat quite a variety. Foods are eaten for a while and then lost due to ‘burn out’ and then often regained after a break from that food. Picky eaters are often able to tolerate new foods on their plates even if they won’t eat them but will be selective about what they choose to taste. A picky eater will most often eat at least one food from each of their food groups but will most likely favour one or two food groups over the others. The risk with picky eaters is twofold - both nutritional and emotional. If your child is consistently avoiding a whole food group eg the fruit & veggie group then he will be at risk of certain key vitamins and fibre. If this is ongoing you as a parent are likely to become stressed and this will lead to a stressed out feeding environment and unhappy eating time. (Emotional fallout). To put it simply, during a picky eating phase it is important to supplement the missing food group by adding a good multivitamin. If you feel your child is missing out on energy (eating too little overall) as well as avoiding a whole food group then adding a milk supplement for picky eaters may assist you in managing this phase to avoid added stress around meal time. You need to diffuse the situation and avoid food battles at all costs. Remember your responsibility is when, where and what you feed your child and your child’s responsibility is how much they eat. It is a phase, which will pass, maintain their health with the use of good sound supplements if necessary and relax as they explore foods and find out their own likes and dislikes! By Kath Megar
Feeding your baby cow’s milk from 12 months old | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

Feeding your baby cow’s milk from 12 months old

"When is the right time to introduce cows milk straight from the fridge?" Must we continue with formula milks into the toddler years or can regular cows milk suffice? The answer is complicated and does depend on your individual baby. The main points to look at are: 1. Does my baby have allergies? If so continue on the formula he is on. 2. Is my toddler a good eater? If you have a poor eater, you may need specially formulated toddler milk for fussy eaters. 3. Is my toddler on breast milk? Breast milk still offers wonderful nutrients into the toddler years. If your baby is on cows milk formula and is a good eater on only two milk bottles a day (as he should be at this age) using cows milk is a good option. By Meg Faure
Introduction of solids and the development of food allergy | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

Introduction of solids and the development of food allergy

There is a great deal of debate and conflicting information out there on when the right time to introduce solids is. Pediatric dietician, Kath Megaw to present the latest research-based evidence for when to introduce solids. Complementary Feeding The World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends the term weaning be replaced with the term complementary feeding. Complementary feeding incorporates any nutrient-containing food or liquid other than breastmilk. There is universal consensus that breastmilk remains unchallenged as the milk of choice for all infants. There is however conflicting advice with respect to the age at which complementary feeding should occur. Most allergy and gastrointestinal opinion leaders suggest that complementary feeding may occur from 4 months of age onwards. (References - 1- 4) WHO however recommends that complimentary feeding should occur only after 6 months of age. (5) How does complimentary feeding affect the development of food allergy? Kramer and Kukuma (6) looked at all the available evidence concerning the effects of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months vs exclusive breastfeeding for 3 to 4 months followed by complementary feeding. They looked at 20 independent studies. They were unable to establish evidence for a significant reduction in the risk of allergies for exclusively breastfed infants up to 6 months of age and those exclusively breastfed for only 3 - 4 months followed by mixed feeding. Observational studies suggest that complementary feeding with 4 or more solid foods in the first 4 months of life may increase the risk of developing allergic disease (but not food allergy). There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of solid foods beyond 4 months of age is protective, and some evidence suggests that the delayed introduction of solids may promote allergies (7). There is a significant body of evidence with respect to oral tolerance that in Africa, Asia and middle Eastern countries where peanuts are consumed throughout pregnancy and early childhood have low rates of Peanut allergy compared with western industrialized societies such as the UK and USA, where Peanut Allergy is high despite the low consumption in pregnancy, infancy and childhood. (8) There are studies in humans to suggest that early introduction of food such as peanut, cereal grains and egg, is not associated with an increased prevalence of allergy to these foods and may possibly serve as a means of inducing oral tolerance to that protein. More studies are needed to guide public health strategies. In summary, international consensus does not support allergen avoidance as a strategy for the primary prevention of food allergy. Starting solids at 6 months of age alongside breastfeeding will not put an infant of increased allergy risk. References Greer FR et al: Effects of early nutritional interventions on the development of atopic disease in infants....aediatrics 2008;121:183-91 Infant feeding advice:Australasian Society of Allergy and Immunology Agostoni C et al. Complementary feeding: a commentary by the ESPHGHAN Committee on Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastoenterol Nutr 2008;46:99-110 Boyce JA et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010: 126:S1-58 World Health Organization, Breastfeeding Recommendations, 2010 Kramer MS, Kakuma R. The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: a systematic review. Adv Exp Med Biol 2004;554:63-77 Du Toit G et al: Can food allergy be prevented? The current evidence; Food Allergy in Children: Paediatric Clinics of North America 2011;58:(2): 492 Shek LP, et al. A population based questionnaire survey on the prevalence of peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergy in 2 Asian populations. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;126:324-31, 331 By Kath Megaw
Teaching your baby and toddler about healthy eating | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Baby Talk>Feeding

Teaching your baby and toddler about healthy eating

What is healthy eating? Healthy eating can be defined as: Providing adequate food intake from a variety of sources that will allow your child to grow and develop and reach their full potential physically, mentally and emotionally. Babies are born knowing how to eat. As a mother you will listen to a hunger cry, feed your baby, and watch as she turns away, indicating she is satisfied. This process of getting hungry, being fed and feeling full is at the heart of healthy eating. As your infant grows you will realize that her hunger is satisfied by food, tiredness by sleep and boredom by activity. Avoid using food to satisfy the latter two and you are on your way to encourage healthy eating patterns. Whether you opt to breast feed your baby or bottle feed your baby you can still choose and encourage feeding on demand (i.e. according to your baby’s needs). We know that breast milk is nature’s food for babies and nothing else has or ever will be able to compete with the amazing qualities of breastmilk and its perfect composition. Is breast milk the food of choice for babies? – the answer is yes. Is breast milk the only food that will grow a nutritionally healthy baby – the answer is no. Human science has been able to reproduce many qualities of breastmilk in the form of different formula feeds. Breastfeeding is not an exact science and moms are guided by their baby’s signals indicating hunger and when the baby is full. Likewise, if you are bottle feeding, don’t be tempted to ‘follow the tin’ as over or underfeeding can be a result. Aim to stop when your baby indicates fullness and be prepared to give more if your baby appears hungry. For a period after solids have been introduced, your baby needs very little solid food as milk is the primary food source. Pureed fruit, vegetables and maize/rice cereals in the early weaning stage are easily digestible options and good starter foods. With solid food, too, your baby will give you signals. When she has had enough of the offered food, she will signal the end of a meal, probably by turning away. This may not mean that she is full, but only that she has had enough of the solid food. She may still be hungry for milk. If your baby learns to eat solid foods while remaining a demand feeder (i.e. on her own terms), she will become more ready to try new foods and textures. Unless your child is an allergic child or has risk of food allergy development, you can become quite liberal as to what foods you introduce within the first year. Work within the following guidelines; Keep foods initially separated Don’t introduce more than one new food at a time Avoid the use of excessive condiments, but make food tasty Keep it simple Encourage tasting foods from all the various food groups listed below: Protein foods are foods that build muscles in the body and contain iron necessary for growth and development. Protein foods include chicken, fish, meat, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, beans and lentils. Some proteins are more allergenic than others and need to be avoided if there is a history of allergies in your family. Consult your clinic sister before introducing proteins. Energy foods fuel the body and include breads, pasta, rice, cereals, sugars and treat foods like cakes, sweets etc. Avoid simple and very processed carbohydrates. Fats provide energy as a backup resource, however the primary role of fat in the diet is to build brain pathways, ‘oil’ the joints and assist the immune system while providing insulation for those cold winter months. Fats in the diet can include olive oil, canola oil, butters, margarines, tree nuts, avocado pears and olives. Do not be tempted to put your baby on a low fat diet. Babies need fat in their diets. Fruit and vegetables are protective to the body and are the glamour foods. They sustain the immune system of the body to fight ‘bad bugs’ that cause illnesses and they also ensure our hair, skin and overall appearance is optimal!!! So what exactly is your role then as parent? Quite simply to: Provide a variety of the above foods on a daily basis in various forms. Identify the favourite foods of your little person, and provide these foods regularly Offer texture changes as your child grows Encourage (not force) introduction of new foods in a pleasant environment. Watch and learn the cues your baby /toddler gives when they are hungry, or when they are full and satisfied and respond accordingly. Remember YOU can influence what YOU offer in your home as far as good food goes. What you can’t influence is when your baby is hungry or when your baby is full if you want your child to be an intuitive eater. Intuitive eaters enjoy having all kinds of food available when they are physically hungry. They enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, whole grains and dairy products – as well as chocolates and sweets sitting on the shelf and liters of ice cream in the freezer. They don’t need to compete for any foods. Nothing is forbidden. Weight gain and lifestyle disease will not be the punishment for enjoyable eating. Instead of saying “Don’t spoil your appetite,’ Rather say ‘Eat when you are hungry, eat foods of your choosing and stop when you are full.’ Is this not perhaps the ultimate definition of Healthy eating? By Meg Faure
Fussy eaters | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

Fussy eaters

If your family dinner table has become a battleground, take heart – Specialist Dietician, Katherine Megaw gives guidelines on how to take the stress out of mealtimes with your toddler and child, end the arguments over food, and feed your fussy eaters. Solving a complex problem at work, finally achieving a personal goal is nothing compared to your child finishing a whole plate of food. Isn’t it amazing that no matter how big your accomplishments in your day, NOTHING, absolutely nothing compares to the satisfaction you get watching your toddler successfully finish a meal. You can sleep peacefully knowing your baby has eaten ‘well’! Having a fussy eater is more common than you may think. While some babies eat almost anything they can get their little hands on, other babies are a lot pickier. Some fussy eaters are simply trying to express their independence with a say in what, when, where and how they eat. Others just need some coaxing, distraction and gentle encouragement. There is nothing like a food battle to cause stress and anxiety in parents – take heart and remember fussy eating isn’t just common, it’s normal! Understanding your child A classic time for problems to arise is when your baby is 12 months old. As a child is more aware of the world his natural instincts make him more suspicious of new foods. This is nature’s way of protecting us from eating food that is potentially harmful. If you’re one of the lucky parents that sailed through weaning, another common time for problems to arise is during the challenging 2’s. Having lulled you into a false sense of security, your toddler could wake one morning with dietary requirements that even a top chef would struggle to meet. Children’s appetites are affected by growth cycles and they have different taste preferences to adults. You will encourage her appetite to work properly if you give her more when she’s hungry and let her eat less when she’s not interested. Growth slows down and appetites fluctuate between one and five years of age. Studies have shown that most children get plenty to eat even if it seems like they are barely eating at all. Try looking at mealtimes from a child’s perspective. Toddlers have a different agenda: from their point of view, eating is a waste of their playing time, and if we make mealtimes boring by nagging, it’s even worse. Some practical tips Here are some tips to help your little fussy eater learn to eat better, while giving you some peace of mind. Put your mind at rest: If you are concerned about the health of your child, take her for a check up at the doctor to rule out any potential health problems. Keep a food diary for 2 weeks and record EVERYTHING that she eats and drinks (include quantities). You can then get this assessed by a health professional to assess adequate nutritional intake. Give an appropriate vitamin & mineral supplement during the fussy eating phase. Stay off the battle field: Remember picky eating can also be a child’s way of asserting his independence and may have less to do with the actual food than his need to push the limits of your authority and assert some control over his life. This is why pressurizing a child to eat often backfires and you become a ‘casualty of war’. Wean at the appropriate age Weaning late has shown some link to fussing eating. Parents who delay introducing their babies to chewy food and a variety of tastes could find their babies grow up developing food fads. A recent study showed that babies should be introduced to a more varied diet between the ages of 6 to 9 months to decrease the risk of becoming fussy eaters. Babies learning to eat will spit food out, and this is more than likely due to a ‘tongue-reflex’ action than a sign that your baby doesn’t like the food. Keep trying with that food and soon he will get used to it and swallow. Fun food presentation Sandwiches cut into moon shapes, a cracker with a smiley face, carrot sticks as soldiers and apple boats can make food presentation more enticing. Presenting meals as a smorgasbord from which they can pick and choose from a variety of colours, shapes and textures. Toddlers and young children prefer foods that are identifiable and not one big mush. Using a compartmentalized plate that prevents different foods from touching is a great help. Make mealtimes fun and relaxed Use it as an extension of playtime and time when you and your baby can bond uninterrupted (no cell phone calls or text messages!!!). Do puzzles, read a book, tell a story. Educate Talk about the food and its value in simple terms. E.g. this piece of chicken will help your muscles grow strong like daddy (or superman!!) and this carrot will give you beautiful eyes like Cinderella! Involve your child in food preparation By involving your child they will be likely to eat what THEY have made and may eat a bit while preparing their meal. Empower your child in decision making Allow your toddler to choose between two food options. Children are more likely to eat food they have chosen for themselves. Serve simple, easy to prepare meals. There is nothing more demoralizing than spending ages cooking a gourmet meal for your baby, who after the first spoonful turns her head away. Prepare easy meals that you know your child likes and should they refuse the food, offer one alternative that is a sure win e.g. Yogurt. Milk intake By the age of one, babies need drink only 500ml of milk daily. Most babies can go onto cow’s milk from one year of age unless health reasons dictate otherwise. Do not substitute milk for meals. Social eating People are social beings as are our children. Nothing makes a toddler want his food more than having another toddler after his food. Invite a friend over who has a good appetite and watch how your child eats. Children generally eat better at school than at home. Often a toddler will eat more food off daddy’s plate than his own plate of food. Some final tips Serve small portions in a fresh and attractive way Limit drinking before and during meals Offer new foods when you know your child is hungry and more receptive to new tastes If your child is playing with his food, quietly remove his plate with no fuss. And finally relax, you are doing a great job and statistics have shown that children do not wilfully starve themselves!!! By Katherine Megaw
Finger food for little ones | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Finger food for little ones

Snacks are a wonderful and under-utilized resource by parents. Babies and toddlers have such small appetites that to meet all their dietary needs in 3 meals a day is impossible. This is where healthy snacks come in. Snacks need to be seen as part of the day’s intake and should have the following characteristics: They should include at least two food groups e.g. a protein food and a fruit. They should be simple to prepare and easy to eat e.g. a yogurt and a banana. They should be served in between mealtimes. Snacks should be transportable i.e. they should be able to be packed in a container and taken to grannies house, the shops or a doctor’s appointment. They should be nutritious and as fresh as possible. They should be weather appropriate e.g. a Fruit ice lolly is lovely for the warm summer months but not appropriate in cold weather. They can be homemade and do not need to cost a lot of money. Snacks are also lovely opportunities for babies and Toddlers to learn to self-feed and also try new textures. Use snack times to introduce your baby to new foods and allow them to eat with their fingers. You can serve up to three snacks per day. E.g. mid-morning, midafternoon and last kitchen call snack. The last kitchen call snack is very helpful for the mom that has a fussy eater or when your toddler is in the fussy eater stage. You can offer dinner and relax knowing that you will offer a small nutritious snack half hour before bed. This avoids the “I am hungry” moment before bed. So what are some healthy snack examples? Choose any two of these foods from the following groups to make up a healthy snack time as well as a liquid Protein Starch Fruit Veg Liquid Biltong Jerky (organic and low salt) BreadCut into-slices- cookie cutter- squares Fresh fruit cut up Crudités -cucumber -carrots Herbal tea Dairy yogurt Snack breads like Provita or Ryvita Dried fruit Bite sized Frozen veg, steamed e.g.carrots, peas and corn Water Soya yogurt Cracker breads Raisins Homemade ice tea Cheese Rice cakes Frozen fruit Milk Peanut or other nut butter Digestive biscuits Fruit ice lolly Smoothies Crushed nuts (age appropriate) Rusks Fruit smoothie Chicken/beef strips Mini muffins Mini meatballs -chicken -ostrich -beef Milk smoothie And how much: Offer a Toddler handful each from the two food groups you have chosen above. Happy snack time! By Meg Faure
Feeding your 6 month old baby and healthy sleep | Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

Feeding your 6 month old baby and healthy sleep

For the first few months of age, your baby needs only milk (either breastmilk or formula milk) as his main source of nutrition. Some babies’ individual needs mean that they require the addition of some solid food from the age of about 6 months, and that is usually when one introduces some cereal, vegetables and fruit. Not all babies need to have solid food at such a young age, so if your baby is healthy and thriving, and is able to go for long stretches of 6 hours or more at night without needing extra feeds, don’t rush into solids. However, by the time your baby is 6 months old, milk alone is not adequate nutrition to sustain him, especially if you want him to start sleeping through the night! So, let us look at what happens at 6 months of age from a nutrition perspective, when he reaches this magical age, of saying “goodbye” to being a small infant, and starts to enter the world of being an “older baby”. Congratulations! You’ve survived the first few months! Your baby is now a real little person, sitting up and reaching out, laughing and chuckling and is starting to show a real interest in food. This is the time when the main nutrition is derived from solid food, and the emphasis shifts from breast/formula milk. If your baby is drinking formula, then move to the next stage (number 2). Your baby now needs the addition of PROTEIN in his diet. Protein builds healthy bones and tissue, and is vital for the growth and development of all children. Protein is also filling, so if your baby is still waking at night for feeds, the chances are that he is not getting adequate protein in his diet during the day. Follow these simple guidelines towards increasing his protein intake, and night feedings will become a long distant memory! Your baby’s minimum protein needs in his solid food is calculated on approximately 1g (1 serving) of protein per kg of body weight. The average 6 month baby weighs in the region of 6 – 9 kg, so he will need a minimum of 6-10 servings per day, divided into his 3 meals. Try and incorporate 2-4 servings of protein per meal. 1 serving = 1 heaped teaspoon, or a liberal pinch (approx 1g). Remember to always include a variety of fruit and vegetables into his diet, as well as carbohydrates and fats. Your little one also needs to start taking a daily iron supplement. Babies are born with iron stores, but by the age of 6 months, they have used them all up! It is important to add an iron supplement to his diet from now on. Ask your clinic sister or pharmacist to recommend one. Protein can be derived from either vegetable or animal sources, so it is really up to you what proteins you would like to start incorporating into his diet. (see list below) Your little one will also let you know what his preferences are, so be guided by his likes and dislikes too! Once your baby is established on a full diet, he should no longer need to be fed during the night unless he is ill. Remember that if you are offering him milk during the night (even though he does not need it), he will come to expect it! So, the obvious thing to do is to stop offering him milk should he wake during the night. Make sure he is not ill, too hot or cold, or that there is another reason for his waking. Once you have established that all is well, you may have to teach him how to put himself back to sleep without a feed. Some gentle sleep training is what you will have to do. Proteins for babies Vegetable Protein Animal Protein Nuts: Ground almonds Almond/Cashew/Macadamia/Peanut Butters Dairy: Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Yogurt, Grated hard white cheese, Powdered infant milk formula Seeds: Flax, Linseed, Sesame, Sunflower Poultry: Free Range Chicken, Chicken Livers, Turkey Pulses and Grains: Baked Beans, Butter Beans, Barley, Brown Rice, Mabella Corn Rice, Lentils White Meat: Veal Avocado Pear Red Meat: Beef, Ostrich Dates Biltong, Liver Chick Peas Egg: Cooked Egg yolk (only add egg white at 9 – 12 months of age) Fish: Tinned Tuna, Pilchards, Salmon, Cooked white flaky fish such as Sole, Hake, Kingklip. FOODS TO AVOID IF THERE IS A STRONG ALLERGY FAMILY HISTORY, OR IF YOUR BABY IS ALREADY SHOWING SIGNS OF ALLERGY: All nuts Dairy Wheat Eggs Fish By Ann Richardson

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