How to ensure enough quality when feeding children self-directed weaning – VnExpress

Choosing food with purpose, processing appropriately… can help children self-directed weaning to ensure adequate absorption.

Taking her children to a nutrition clinic at Nutrihome Truong Chinh – Hanoi, Phuong Anh (Cau Giay) said that, after much consideration and comparison, she decided to choose self-directed weaning (BLW – Baby Led Weaning). ) for children. She shared, although many people warn that giving children this type of weaning is at risk of being underweight and thin, but in return, it will help children become independent from a young age. Mother will be less hard-working, suitable for the business that she is doing.

According to Associate Professor, Doctor, Doctor Le Bach Mai – Medical Director of Nutrihome in the North, there are many different methods of weaning that parents are interested in, such as: self-directed weaning, Japanese-style, traditional, eating. miles easy… Each way has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best method is the method that is most suitable for each child, helping him achieve optimal physiological growth. In particular, self-directed weaning is chosen by many mothers.

Associate Professor Mai recommends that the first note for self-directed weaning is that parents need to rely on the baby’s age. For 6-month-old babies, about 70% of babies can control their hands to pick up food and put it in their mouth. This rate in children 7-8 months old is 90%. Thus, self-directed weaning can be started from the age of 9 months to ensure the ability to self-feed.

There are many mothers who feed their children solid foods according to the self-directed method. Photo: Shutterstock

The advantage of the self-directed weaning method is that it can train the baby to be independent and active in eating. When eating, children will choose what they like, parents must respect their children’s decisions so that children feel comfortable and happy. The method of weaning will also help babies increase their grasping ability and improve motor skills. In addition, self-directed weaning helps babies discover the taste, texture, and color of each food. This helps moms not have to spend time cooking fussy.

However, Associate Professor Mai recommends that the method has many disadvantages. Firstly, the baby is too small to know what the body needs to choose the right one. Babies often choose subjectively, favorite colors or easy to hold, easy to put in their mouth, easy to chew. Children will rarely choose meat because meat is difficult to chew and swallow. This is a limitation in the supply of nutrients to the baby.

Babies can’t distinguish between protein, starch, fiber, fat… to choose a balance and harmony for the body’s needs. Therefore, if the mother only chooses and arranges food according to her preferences to let the baby choose freely, the child is likely to be deficient in nutrients.

Babies need to eat a variety of foods and forms of processing so that they can absorb enough nutrients.  Photo: Shutterstock

Babies need to eat a variety of foods and forms of processing so that they can absorb enough nutrients. Photo: Shutterstock

Parents should actively choose food with purpose, ie choose a full range of substances, let the baby choose among them to eat. Adults should change the food variety so that the baby gets used to it, not just depending on preferences. In particular, families need to process it soft enough, including meat, to cut it small enough for children to eat easily, digest and absorb.

In many cases, parents should not be rigid, need to be flexible, puree food for children to eat. For example, for hard foods that are difficult for children to eat by themselves, such as meat, they should be pureed with porridge and vegetables. Children can alternate weaning, self-command, combined with traditional eating. Parents should consult a doctor to find a way to give their children a scientific and nutritious diet, Associate Professor Mai said.

In addition, parents also need to ensure food safety when feeding their children self-directed weaning. Adults pay attention to hygiene from tables and chairs, bowls, chopsticks, food trays, baby’s hands. If the container or baby’s hands are not hygienic, they will easily be infected with bacteria and parasites that are detrimental to health. Digestive disorders are also a cause of poor absorption in children, leading to malnutrition.

Lai Giang


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