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Now I want complementary food! Time window instead of deadline for the start
Complementary foods should be introduced at the earliest at the beginning of the 5th month and at the latest at the beginning of the 7th month of life, the network Healthy into Life recommends. The individual development of the baby is crucial. With the message “time window instead of deadline” you can bring serenity to the topic.
Breast milk generally covers the nutritional needs in the first 6 months of life. Some babies are ready for complementary foods earlier. The recommended time window for the introduction of complementary foods - between the beginning of the 5th month and the beginning of the 7th month - takes into account the child's nutritional needs, individual differences in motor development, aspects of sensory acceptance and allergy prevention. Starting with complementary food during this period is safe and has no health disadvantages. This is the conclusion reached by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in a scientific opinion. But it shouldn't start before the 5th month of life. Because only from the age of 4 months are the kidneys and digestive tract in mature infants sufficiently developed to be able to digest complementary foods at all. Breastfeeding should continue even after the introduction of complementary foods.
The baby shows when it is ready for the porridge. Accordingly, there is no "one" start date that is optimal for everyone. The maturity of the child is crucial. Parents should make the timing of the introduction of complementary foods dependent on the child's signals, i.e. H. of its eatability, its prosperity and its interest in complementary foods. These maturity marks indicate a good time to start the complementary food:
The baby can sit upright with the help and hold the head independently.
It is interested in what parents, siblings and other people eat.
It demands what others eat.
It opens your mouth when the spoon comes.
It no longer presses the pulp out of your mouth with your tongue.
»Parents do not have to constantly test whether their child already wants porridge. The time window of around 60 days gives them the opportunity to calmly wait until their child shows that they are ready for solid food on their own, «explains Maria Flothkötter, head of the Healthy into Life network. Andrea Fenner, www.aid.de