Nutritional information for parents

Nutritional information for parents

Baby Steps

Monday, November 30, 2020

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HERE is a breakdown of the nutritional needs of your young child, as found in Jamaica's Child Health and Development Passport, developed by the Early Childhood Commission in conjunction with the ministries of health and education.

Zero to six months

Breast milk is the optimal feeding choice for infants. However, if you choose not to breastfeed, consult your care provider for advice on feeding your child.

Types of foods

•Start breastfeeding immediately after birth – within half an hour.

•Exclusively breastfeed for six months. This means do not give any other food or drinks (not even water).

How much and how often

•Breastfeed as many times as a child wants, day and night.

•Breastfeeding will also make your baby smarter.

Helpful tips

•Exclusive breastfeeding protects your baby against diarrhoea and other infectious diseases.

•Breastfed babies score higher on intelligence tests.

•Breastfeed when your baby shows signs of hunger, for example beginning to fuss, sucking fingers, or smacking his or her lips.

Six to 12 months

Types of foods

•Continue breastfeeding.

•At six complete months, start with thick cereals or porridge.

•Later, add a staple food, for example, yam, green banana, breadfruit, with foods from animals (meat, fish or chicken).

•Later, gradually add fruits; dark-green, leafy and yellow vegetables; peas and beans; and fats and oils.

How much and how often

•Start with two tablespoons, two times a day and then increase the quantity. •Gradually increase frequency and thickness of the foods up to 3/4 cups per day.

Helpful tips

•Add one new food at a time.

• Learn your child's signals for hunger and respond accordingly.

•Sit with and feed your child at mealtimes.

•Crush or mince all foods.

One to two years

Types of foods

•Continue breastfeeding.

•Continue to offer a wide variety of staple foods, for example, yam; green banana; breadfruit; food from animals; and green, leafy and yellow vegetables; peas and beans; and fats and oils.

How much and how often

•Breastfeed frequently.

•Gradually increase the amount of foods to a full cup three times a day.

•Add two snacks between meals.

Helpful tips

•Let the child try to feed him or herself, but give help.

•Monitor how much the child eats.

Two to six years

Types of foods

Give a healthy mixture of family foods at mealtimes and healthy snacks between meals.

How much and how often

•Give your child three meals and two snacks daily.

•Gradually increase the amount of and variety of foods at meals as your child gets older.

Helpful tips

•Help your child to feed him or herself.

•Supervise feeding.

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