You took your baby in your arms with health. You missed the most important part. Now a new era begins before you and of course new questions: how should I feed my baby? Should I only breastfeed for the first 6 months? Will I give water? When should I switch to complementary foods? Which should I give and which should I not? How much of each food should I give? questions … questions … questions … I know you are very confused.
There are also many mentors during this period. Everyone around you suddenly becomes an expert on the subject. Everyone who raises a child shares their experiences with their child in good faith. This is very normal behavior. What you need to do here is to listen to what you are told and write it as an example in a corner of your mind. By reading the articles of experts like me and myself, you will be informed about the latest developments, you will have access to the right information and you will benefit from the information we provide to you about the nutrition of many babies. Make sure that the articles you read are written by people who are experts in infant nutrition. Because now you can reach a lot of dirty and wrong information on the internet. Unfortunately, there is an environment that speaks with a mouth. If you would like further assistance, do not hesitate to seek help from a dietitian in your city.
Nutrition is important for us at any age, but it has an extra importance in the first 2 years after birth. Because this period is the period of the child’s fastest growth and development. Growth retardation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and diarrhea are mostly seen in this period. It is very difficult to correct the growth retardation that occurs in this period in later ages. Therefore, children’s eating habits should be gained during this period. These eating habits should be correct eating habits so that the child does not have health problems due to wrong eating habits in his later years and adulthood. It is very important for mothers to be aware of this issue.
FIRST 6 MONTHS MOTHER’S MILK: The most suitable food for a newborn baby is definitely his own mother’s milk. Every mother’s milk is unique to her baby. This is a miracle of our body, mothers. According to the deficiencies in the baby, the content of the mother’s milk changes.
Let’s explain why we call it breast milk. First of all, in addition to developing the emotional bond between mother and baby, it is inexpensive, sterile, does not require a process for its preparation, its content is suitable for the needs of the baby, contains hormones and growth factors, is preventive of infection, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, provides jaw and tooth development, and ensures the development of the baby’s mental and physical health. It helps in physical and mental development. These are just some of them.
Let’s look at the content of breast milk. So what’s in it?
The protein in breast milk is less than cow’s milk, but the protein in it is completely absorbed by the baby. This increases the bioavailability of breast milk.
The difference between the protein in breast milk is that it contains more whey proteins. While the casein/whey ratio of cow’s milk is 80/20, this ratio is 40/60 in breast milk. This composition is suitable for the development of the child. Whey proteins in cow’s milk contain high amounts of β-lactoglobulin, which has an allergenic effect in children. Whey proteins in breast milk do not contain β-lactoglobulin.
Breast milk contains growth factors.
Casein in breast milk is more easily metabolized than casein in cow’s milk.
Breast milk contains anti-infective elements, which helps to protect the child from all infections, especially the gastrointestinal tract.
The fat content of breast milk is palmitic and oleic acids in the triglyceride structure that ensures normal brain development of the baby. The absorption and digestion of breast milk fat is facilitated by the fatty acid enzymes found in breast milk.
During breastfeeding, two types of milk are secreted: firstly, the first milk (fore milk) is a watery milk that is low in fat and rich in lactose. It prevents dehydration and hypoglycemia in the baby. Therefore, you do not need to give water to babies for the first 6 months. The baby gets its water needs from breast milk. Second milk ( hind milk ) is fat milk. Towards the end of breastfeeding, the baby reaches this milk. This milk has high fat content and protein content. In order for the baby to reach this milk, the sucking time must be long. Since fat milk will give saturation as well as energy, relaxation and deep sleep can be seen in the child. For this reason, mothers should empty one breast at each feeding.
Obesity is prevented as the child takes the sucking time under his control.
The fat and protein content of breast milk is affected by the mother’s diet. Therefore, the mother should have an adequate and balanced diet during breastfeeding. The carbohydrate value of milk is not affected by the mother’s diet. Therefore, the mother should pay attention to the consumption of sweet, pastry and sugary foods during breastfeeding. Let’s not forget that there are many mothers who gain more weight than they gained during pregnancy by overfeeding during breastfeeding because the baby will have milk. It will be sufficient for the mother to have an adequate and balanced diet, to consume plenty of fluids, to be away from worries, to establish skin-to-skin contact with her baby and not to listen to the negative words coming from the environment for healthy milk secretion.
Apart from vitamins K and D, the density of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins in breast milk is ideal for the baby. The bioavailability of vitamins is high, as there are no losses with processing.
Although the amount of calcium in breast milk is 25% of cow’s milk, 55% of the calcium in breast milk is absorbed due to the fact that the pH of the intestine is acid, the absorption of fat is better and the absorption of phosphorus is low, and this rate is 38% in cow’s milk.
Breast milk has low iron density but high bioavailability. While 5-10% of the iron in cow’s milk can be absorbed, 50% of the iron in breast milk can be absorbed.
There is a proven case that this and many more breastmilk is the most beneficial food for the baby. Therefore, for the first 6 months, if the mother’s milk is sufficient for the growth of the child, only breast milk is sufficient.
You fed your baby with breast milk for the first 6 months, paying attention to your nutrition. Everything is going normally in your baby’s mental, mental and physical development. Now that your baby is growing, different needs have started to occur. Some factors emerge at the point of starting complementary foods:
ON TIME: While being fully or partially fed with breast milk, it should be started when their needs for energy and nutrients increase. ( 6 months )
SUFFICIENT :The energy, protein and other nutrients needed by the growing child should be at a rate that will meet the needs of the growing child.
TRUSTWORTHY:It should be prepared hygienically and stored under appropriate conditions, served in clean containers and in accordance with cleaning rules.
APPROPRIATE :It should be planned considering the child’s hunger and satiety status, appetite, feeding style (on its own, mashed with a spoon or puree) and meal intervals (number of feedings per day).
Additional nutrients to be given to babies by month:
0 – 6 Months
ONLY breast milk
(The baby’s growth by months should be monitored)
Continuing breast milk / follow up milk if breast milk is finished
Fruit juice, vegetable juice and puree
Egg yolk (1/4 ratio)
Fruit juice, vegetable juice
Rice flour, rice
Egg yolk (whole)
Meat (fish, chicken and red meat)
Vegetable puree or vegetable soup
Fruit juice, vegetable juice
Meat (fish, chicken and red meat), lamb or chicken liver
Well mashed home food (with minced meat and vegetables)
Whole eggs or pasteurized cheese
Cereals – red lentils, beans, chickpea pastes
Fruit or freshly squeezed juice, vegetable juice
Egg (whole) or pasteurized cheese
Sitting at the family table and choosing according to their own experience
(home cooking, stuffed meat, vegetable dishes with minced meat, tarhana,
lentils, flour and yogurt soups, pasta, rice, etc.)
In the following months, your baby can sit at the table with you and eat the food cooked in the family’s kitchen.