In the first six months of life, the baby should only consume breast milk. After six months, she can eat complementary foods called MPASI. However, giving MPASI must be done carefully and carefully.
Many people still give MPASI too early for babies, which is since the baby is four months old or less. Even though solid food should only be given at six months.
What are the Signs that the Baby Is Ready to Eat?
It’s best to avoid giving solid food or drinks other than breast milk before the baby is six months old. At this age, babies are more at risk of developing allergies, especially due to foods such as nuts, eggs, fish, cow’s milk, cheese, and foods containing gluten such as bread.
The growth of each baby is unique and cannot be compared with one another, but there are general characteristics that indicate that the baby is ready to consume MPASI, namely:
- Starting to reach for food and put it in the mouth because there has been coordination between the eyes, mouth and hands.
- Sitting alone without help, with the head well supported by the body.
- Interested in the food that you are consuming.
- Can swallow food. Because if not, he will take out the food that you gave back.
There are times when parents rush in giving food to babies because they think the baby shows signs of being ready to eat. Though a sign from the baby does not necessarily indicate that he is hungry and ready to eat. For example, a baby puts his finger into his mouth, not necessarily a sign of wanting more milk than usual.
Familiarize Babies with MPASI
Although you can start eating solid food, feeding your baby must be considered. The following is a guide in giving MPASI to babies.
Invite your child to eat with family at the dinner table
Children, including infants, tend to imitate the things that parents and those around them do. Place your baby in a special dining chair for babies and fasten his seat belt if there is, then include when eating with family. Thus, he can pay attention to other people eating and will later imitate how to eat well.
Give in small amounts at the beginning of giving MPASI
To introduce babies to solid food, start by giving them a few teaspoons of food, only once per day. Try to provide different types of food every day. Babies do not have to always eat three times a day. It’s better for babies to eat small portions, but more often than in large portions, but only occasionally.
Understand babies need time to adjust to MPASI
Food recognition in infants definitely requires time and patience. Avoid forcing the baby to eat food. Remember that if he is not interested at this time, it does not mean that he will not be interested in eating. Try to offer MPASI again the next day.
Let the baby try to bribe itself
If he wants, let the baby take and put his own food into the mouth. To anticipate that the baby does not choke while chewing and swallowing food, avoid leaving him alone. At this age, avoid feeding him when he is sitting in a rocking chair to reduce the risk of choking.
A pleasant dining atmosphere pleasing
For example, to the accompaniment of music or using brightly colored tableware. However, be prepared to face conditions that are a bit messy when eating, because Little will be enthusiastic to stir food. Always remember that this situation is also important for its development. You can prepare a plastic mat to cover the table and floor around where it eats.
It is better not to add MSG or add flavor, sugar and salt to food. All the additional ingredients given too early can risk baby’s development and make them want higher levels when they are older. Taste the food that will be given to your child first, especially hot food, but you should avoid blowing it. Just bring it close to the lips and fan if it is too hot.
Pay attention to the tableware used
Wear an apron on your baby’s neck to anticipate food spilling from the spoon or mouth. We recommend using eating utensils that are not made of glass so that there is no risk of breaking and hurting the baby.
Children’s habits and eating patterns start from the first time they consume food. Provide a variety of healthy and natural foods, especially vegetables and fruit, so that children get enough nutrition and are accustomed to eating it.
What to Look For When Giving MPASI
In choosing a menu for babies, consider some of the foods and drinks below, which should not be given to babies under the age of one year:
- Too much juice can cause baby to have diarrhea. Juices also have lower fiber and nutrient content than fruit that is cut or mashed. If it is too long in the mouth, juice can also cause holes in the teeth.
- Avoid giving cow’s milk and honey to babies under one year. Cow’s milk does not match the nutritional needs of the baby and can actually increase the risk of iron deficiency. Meanwhile, honey can cause botulism.
- Avoid giving small grains and hard foods such as popcorn, nuts, or candy, which can cause the baby to choke. Avoid giving fast food and packaged food to babies. It’s better to process your own food with fresh ingredients without preservatives or other additives. These food preparations can be stored in the refrigerator in containers according to the portion, and then reheated when it will be consumed.
Different age, different ways to eat and type of food
The method of administration and type of MPASI in each age group is different. Here are some things that can be a guide.
- 3-4 servings of rice, potatoes or bread.
- 3-4 servings of vegetables and cut fruit.
- 2 servings of fish, eggs or meat.
MPASI in infants of 6 months
What food should be given as complementary foods for babies after the baby is 6 months old? Blended vegetables and fruit, such as potatoes, apples, bananas, avocados, or melons. You can also give mashed porridge or rice. If your baby is used to fruits and vegetables, you can provide other types of food that is mashed, such as chicken, fish, bread, or eggs.
You can try introducing a special toddler cup to children to drink water. The cup usually has a small funnel on one side so the baby can learn to sip. You should not give a bottle so that the baby does not forget the shape of the nipple (refuse to suckle the mother and prefer to drink from the bottle) when suckling.
MPASI at 8 to 9 months of age
Generally starting at 8 months, babies eat three times a day. In addition to mashed foods, now you can introduce solid foods that are cut into pieces the size of an adult finger (finger foods). Vegetables commonly used as finger foods include carrots, beans and potatoes, which have been cooked until soft. Make sure your baby consumes various types of food groups, from vegetables and fruits, rice, to high protein foods such as fish, eggs, and nuts. In addition, keep breastfeeding whenever the baby wants.
MPASI at 12 months of age
The following is a menu that can be given when the baby reaches 1 year of age.
The important thing in giving MPASI is to avoid forcing the baby to finish his food. As long as it’s developing well, you don’t need to worry that he is short of food. At this age, the baby will eat if he is hungry, not because of pleasure. Let the child decide for himself when he wants to eat. If your baby experiences allergic symptoms after eating certain foods, consult a doctor immediately.