Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México
versão impressa ISSN 1665-1146
FLORES-HUERTA, Samuel et al. Complementary feeding in infants over six months of age: technical basis. Bol. Med. Hosp. Infant. Mex. [online]. 2006, vol.63, n.2, pp. 129-144. ISSN 1665-1146.
This review addresses infant nutrition during the first year of life considering breastfeeding and complementary feeding as its 2 main components. We discuss the benefits that exclusive breastfeeding gives to children, considering the 6th month as the recommended cut off point to initiate complementary feeding. Complementary foods for infants older than 6 months are necessary to maintain infant growth, prevent stunting, and iron deficiency anemia. It is important to consider that these foods should be given according with the culture in which the infant belongs. We discuss several aspects to consider before and throughout the process of complementary feeding. Before the onset of complementary feeding, it is important to know the motives; the allergic or intolerance food background; the state of the infant's nutritional status and the mother's knowledge of hygiene in food preparation. In the complementary food process, which lasts about 6 months, it is important to consider several practical, nutritious and non nutritious aspects. Among the practical aspects it is important to consider factors such as food consistency, size of the portion, food energetic density and the frequency of exchange and combination of different meals. The nutritious topic that must be highlighted is the correct selection of staple foods with the best source of proteins and iron, such as eggs, fish, red meats or legumes. Finally, the important non nutritional aspects to consider are the respect of the infant hunger/satiety cycle, the support of the baby's feeding and the encouragement of and appropriate affectionate environment.
Palavras-chave : Feeding; complementary; milk; human.