Risks of advancing complementary feeding in the baby

Risks of advancing complementary feeding in the baby

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Recommendations on the age at which to start complementary feeding have changed over the years. Originally, at the beginning of the last century, babies were breastfed up to 12 months.

The fact that certain deficiencies in iron and vitamin C appeared advanced the age of introduction of new foods, and since then, the recommendations have varied from the introduction as early as 3-4 weeks (cereals in a bottle) as the current one, at 6 months of age, going through a time when the recommendation was approximately 12-16 weeks (3-4 months).

At present, there appears to be sufficient evidence to affirm that the most appropriate window for the introduction of complementary feeding is around 6 months. What's more, there is no additional evidence to support the need to postpone the introduction of typically allergenic foods such as fish, nuts or eggs beyond 6-7 months, to prevent the development of this type of allergies, not even in the case of a family history of allergies.

The latest research suggests that the turning point is at 17 weeks (4 months). Exceeding this age seems crucial to avoid the appearance of food allergies, in addition, it seems that the introduction of potentially allergenic foods in the baby's diet, such as cow's milk, when he is still feeding with breastfeeding, could ensure extra protection.

On the other hand, these studies also show the fact that, by maintaining frequent consumption of potentially allergenic foods already introduced, helps preserve acquired tolerance, this being almost as important or more than the age of introduction of the food.

Early introduction can in fact cause a number of complications in the baby's health, apart from the appearance of food allergies. For example:

- The digestive system is still immature, which means that, if complementary feeding is introduced, the baby will not be able to digest food as it should, which may cause problems.

- In addition to the digestive system, the renal system, that is, its ability to excrete through the kidneys, it is also immature, and the introduction of certain foods, especially those that have a considerable amount of protein, can overload them. Also some minerals, such as sodium, can deteriorate kidney function, hence it is recommended to avoid salt for at least 12 months.

- The risk of choking is significantly higher before 6 months, although it obviously depends on the baby, its ability to stand upright and the loss of the extrusion reflex.

However, postponing the introduction of new foods is not advisable either, since, in addition to micronutrient deficiencies, especially in the case of iron, continuing with a diet based exclusively on milk can also increase the risk rejection of different foods and textures, which would make it more difficult for the baby to accept new foods.

You can read more articles similar to Risks of advancing complementary feeding in the baby, in the Babies category on site.

Video: High Risk Newborn Part I (July 2022).


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