Instructions to the mother:
1. The mother should be explained about the type of formula, its preparation, and sterilization of the feeding bottle and teats.
2. She should also be told about the selection of the proper bottle, technique of feeding, position of the baby during and after the feeding, and how to burp the baby.
3. The mother should be explained about the need for additional fluids during periods of hot weather and when the baby has a fever, diarrhoea, or vomiting.
4. Mother should be told about the common potential problems related to feeding such as overfeeding, under-feeding, difficulty in digestion, improper feeding techniques, and colic, m such a case she should seek the doctor's help.
Development of healthy food habits:
1. The healthy food habits should be started from the birth. The breast-feeding should be given regularly at least for 4-6 months.
2. Children should feel secured, satisfied, and loved during the feeding.
3. Weaning should be started gradually. It is recommended that breast/bottle feeding should be discontinued by the age of one year.
4. Feeding from me cup can be started by the age of 8 - 10 months.
5. By the age of one year, children may eat with the family.
Health instructions on nutrition:
In general, people may have very little knowledge about the nutritive value. It is the responsibility of health workers to provide appropriate information to the people, in the community, hospitals, and clinics, at various levels of child development. Parents should be made aware of their role in practicing healthy food habits.
Demonstrations on the preparations of simple multipurpose food can create interest in the mothers. Discussion on variety of preparations with balanced diet with the reasonable cost can help people in daily feeding of children.
Prevention of malnutrition:
1. The breast-feeding may be continued for six - nine months, if possible.
2. Feeding diluted milk should be avoided.
3. Weaning can be introduced from three to four months of age.
4. Adequate calories, proteins, vitamins, calcium, and iron should be provided to the children.
5. In the early stage of diarrhoea, fever, and other diseases, the doctors or nurses advice may be helpful.
6. Spacing between children, in the family, allows better nutrition of young children.
7. Knowing about the cheap but nutritious sources of local food helps to select proper food.
Weaning / Introduction to solid foods:
Weaning describes the process by which the infant gradually becomes used to the full adult diet.
Problems during weaning:
1. If breast-feeding is stopped, suddenly, it can have psychological and nutritional effect on the young children.
2. Solid foods can cause diarrhoea, if prepared unhygienically or not digested properly.
3. If weaning foods are too poor to provide adequate nutrients, the children can develop malnutrition.
For some babies the breast-feeding may be sufficient for four months while others may feel hungry even after the breast feeding and may not gain weight.
Introduction to solid foods:
To start weaning foods, the consistency of food should be gradually increased from liquid to semi-solid and then, from semi-solid to solid foods. It is advisable to start one or two spoons of the new food at first.
It should be given when a child is hungry, just before the regular feeding during the daytime. It may be continued for a few days until the child gets used to the same. Then the new food item may be started, one at a time. Always, the fresh food should be given. The amount should be increased gradually. The child should never be forced to eat.
Children may spit out initially. As children like to participate in feeding, their hands should be washed. Those who feed the child must wash their hands. Clean utensils must be used to prepare the food.
The food should be, always, covered. The solids should he fed gradually, regularly, according to children's likes. Children should be observed for an indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, or rash, because some children may be allergic to certain food. Such problems related to feeding, should be reported to the doctor.
Choosing of weaning foods:
A food chosen for the weaning should be suitable to the family. It should be easily available, low in cost, and used frequently in most households. The local methods of food preparation may be advised. Cooking methods that use minimum fuel and less time should be recommended.
Rules of food hygiene should be followed to prevent infection. By the age of one year, the infant can eat solid foods. The toddler can eat with the family. For the infants and toddlers, the volume of the, meal should not be large. The toddler can eat 200 ml. of foods at a time. If children are eating only three small meals a day, one of those must have high concentrated calories and proteins to meet their needs for 24 hours.
Following are the examples of weaning foods that may be started according to child's ability to feed.
Soup of vegetables, tomato, pulses (dhals) and fruit juices.
Potato, pulses, and root vegetables can be well cooked and mashed before feeding. A banana can be mashed and fed Soft cooked rice and soft cooked fish can be mashed before feeding.
To increase the nutritive value, preparations can be used, such as, ragi + jaggary. bengal gram( Chana) powder + jaggary + ghee + sugar will supply proteins, calories, and iron.
Cooked rice, chapati, idali, bread, biscuits, groundnuts, roasted chana, banana. Solid food should can be started when the children learn to chew properly.