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Nutritional guidelines for children’s diets

Nutritional guidelines for children’s diets

CEREALS: How does eating cereals benefit children?
Cereals are sources of energy. They give infants the energy they need to develop properly. They contain vitamins and minerals which are essential nutrients.
As well as cereals, the other solid food that infants can eat is fruit. These two foods become part of infants’ diets once they have reached 5 months old. At this age, mothers can give children fruit in their second morning meal, before they drink their milk. A few days later, the fruit can be blended in the mixer to make pureed fruit. The amount of fruit puree that the baby eats can be increased in accordance with his/her appetite, but it should not replace milk completely.

FRUIT: What are the benefits of eating fruit?
Infants obtain vitamins and minerals from eating fruit. Fruit helps promote normal bowel function and prevents constipation.

GREENS: What are the benefits of eating greens?
Infants obtain vitamins and minerals from greens. Green leaves contain iron which is essential for our blood. Like fruit, greens help promote normal bowel function and thereby prevent constipation.
Greens, meat and fish will become part of infants’ lunchtime meals. Greens are the first of these foods to be included in infants’ diets, and are added after fruit. The first step is adding the water used to boil vegetables so that the child becomes familiar with the taste and smell. After that, you don’t need to wait long before introducing greens which have been blended in the mixer. Infants should try two or three types of greens, one by one, before eating vegetable soup made from a mixture of greens.

MEAT & EGGS: What are the benefits of eating meat and eggs?
Meat and eggs give infants the albumin which helps them to grow and develop. For the first 4 - 5 months of their lives, infants get all the albumin they need from milk. After they reach 5 months old, infants can eat cereals. These also provide their own albumin, and therefore help to meet infants’ needs. 

From the 7th month, infants get more and more of the albumin they need from meat and eggs. These foods also give infants the iron they need for their blood.

Once infants are 8 months old they can also eat egg yolks. Eggs should be soft-boiled.

All solid foods should be put through a blender and should be fed to the infant with a spoon. From the 7th month, infants should be given the opportunity to chew a little food as this is the best age to start. Infants should be given a very small piece of food which has not been put through the blender. If you place a small piece of food on an infant’s lips they will get used to the feel of more solid food in their mouth. This is the starting point. Infants should start chewing at this age, as it is the age at which they are ready for this step.

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