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Baby Malnourished?

Poor complementary feeding practices can deprive baby of essential nutrients his body needs to grow.
By Assoc Prof Dr Poh Bee Koon, Nutritionist

All your baby needs for the first six months is breast milk but as he grows and becomes more active, breast milk alone is no longer sufficient. He needs complementary foods to fill the everwidening gap between his nutritional needs and the amounts provided by breast milk. Failure to fill this gap can lead to malnutrition.

Did you start giving your baby complementary foods at six months?
Failure to start at six months deprives your baby of the extra food hhe needs to fill his energy and nutrient gaps. Your baby may grow less rapidly or even stop growing. His risk of becoming undernourished and developing micronutrient deficiencies also increases.
- yessszaaa...i started taking solid food when i'm 6 months...

Are you still breastfeeding after introducing new foods to your baby?
Breast milk is still a crucial part of your baby’s diet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that you breastfeed while giving other foods for up to two years.
- wow!! i loveee breastfeed...

Are you slowly increasing the amount of complementary foods given to your baby?
Give complementary foods 3 times a day at 6 to 12 months, 5 times a day at 12 to 24 months. This includes nutritious snacks once or twice a day on top of breastfeeding. As you increase the number of times you feed baby in a day, you should also increase the amount of complementary foods given as he grows.
-for the time being ummi only give me 1 time a day...

Do you offer your baby nutrient-rich foods every day?
While your active baby needs energy from ‘staple’ carbohydrate foods like rice, cereals and mashed potatoes, he should also eat nutrient-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish and eggs; beans, peas, lentils and milk products; as well as fruits and vegetables every day.
- i've tried rice, mashed potatoes, fruits & vegetables...

Do you give your baby a wide variety of foods?
At six months, introduce new foods in stages (one at a time, with at least four days in between) to give time for baby to get used to them and to help identify allergic responses. The types of foods you give baby should increase in variety as he approaches his first birthday. The more variety he gets, the more he can meet his nutrient needs. If he dislikes certain foods, try cooking them differently. That way, he will not be deprived of the nutrients from that particular food.
-errrmmm ummi gave me variety of food with 2 days in between...

Is baby’s weight stagnant or declining? Does he fall sick easily? Is baby looking pale and becoming less active and less responsive to his surroundings? If you recognise any of these signs, do consult your doctor. He can help you determine the cause and ensure that baby gets foods that are nutritious and offered in the right amounts and in the right way.


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