Feeding your child – Hunger Games

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Just returned home from visiting my Twins in Nashville. It is always fun to visit family and this trip was no exception. It is always tiring to travel and due to the time change always requires adjustments.

The weather was hotter there than Phoenix this weekend. In fact Phoenix was 20 degrees cooler on the day that we traveled. We returned today and it was only 105 here.

Whenever we travel we read. This trip was no exception and I read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I am probably the last person in the world to read it and I have not seen the movie. That is on our list to do. PS. The book was better than the movie!

Feeding our children is not easy. It is definitely not a game. However our children will play us. They usually win. I have discussed the first two weeks of feeding there is little to add. By 2 months of age your child is usually feeding better and more regular. Breast fed children are feeding still every 2 to 4 hours and waking 2 to 3 times a night. The children who are formula fed typically eat every 3 to 4 hours and will sleep through the night, however some will still wake twice. Such is the variety in temperament. Most parents do not start cereal until 4 months and rice cereal is usually the first cereal started. Keep in mind that some kids get constipated with cereal and it is of limited value at this age with the lions share of the nutrition coming from breast or formula. Usually the babies have gained 1 oz a day or 2 pounds a month from their birth. Most children have doubled their birth weight by 4 months of age. I usually begin vegetables at 5 months and usually the yellow are tolerated better. They are less gassy. Usually solid feedings at 4 and 5 months are twice a day. In the morning about 1 to 2 hours after the first morning bottle and again around 5 in the afternoon. Keep in mind that many parent prefer to introduce solid foods at 6 months.

At 6 months the rate of weight gain slows down. Each mother produces milk differently and many do not have enough to allow adequate weight gain. Watch the weight review standard growth charts .

By 6 to 7 months your child is on second stage or foods with more texture. At this point I encourage soft table foods that can be mashed with a fork. Sweet potato, ripe banana, squash. Kids like peas. Usually they do not eat them but they like to smash them with their fingers. They usually will eat more from your plate and not so much from their dish or tray. Mesh feeders are still popular. They allow the baby to taste different foods without you being concerned about them choking on foods they cannot yet chew. No nut and no Cheerios yet. Meats and dinners I put off as long as I can. First of all the processed baby dinners taste terrible and meats are not important at that age. The primary source of protein remains either breast milk or formula. Do not allow your child to sleep with a bottle. Milk bottle teeth is still a big problem. See the pictures! Tomato sauce is not well tolerated and a lot of kids get rashes with tomato as well as citrus. No juice until after 12 months. Juices represent empty calories and are used only if constipation is a concern

No honey or syrup until after 12 mo due to concerns about infantile botulism. As your infant takes in most solid feeding the amount of breast milk and formula will decrease. during the first 6 mo your child will take 24 to 32 oz of formula a day. If he wants more give him water. After 6 months he may decrease to 18 to 24 oz of formula per day. After 9 months, most infants are sleeping through the night. At 6 months as your child develops he will start to pull to standing, make sure you have lowered the crib mattress.

Some small finger foods such as rice are often started at about 9 months. I am not real sure about the puffs. A lot of my infants will only eat puffs and gold-fish. Best to stay away from both. Some milk proteins such as yogurt and cheese at 10-12 months.

Do not give raw or unpasteurized milk or goats milk due to salmonella and e. coli infections. There are other infections such as TB that can be acquired. Read the linked article on Jalisco cheese.

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