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Introducing Infants to Semi-Solid Food Essay

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Updated: Feb 17th, 2022

Mother’s milk is the safest and healthiest food for the first months of children’s lives as it constitutes a constant and secure source of essential nutrients. Nevertheless, parents often try to introduce their infants to solid food earlier than the infants’ digestive system can handle it. Up to a certain age, babies do not need additional solid nourishment, as they receive everything they need with milk, but still, they may show a particular interest in it. Thus, educating parents in regards to infant nutrition is one of the tasks that medical professionals should endeavor.

Infants show psychological and developmental readiness to digest semi-solid food approximately at five months. Several signs that a child is developed enough for solid food exist and are examined both in this week’s textbook reading and the video “Feeding Babies: Starting Solid Foods” as well as the concept of psychological readiness overall. If an infant holds their head steadily and shows curiosity and a willingness to take food when it is brought to their mouth in this case, the infant is likely prepared (Marotz, p. 392). Psychological readiness is expressed in the child’s interest in solid food and the desire to try it, and physiological readiness may be manifested by the ability to consume and digest food properly.

However, not all individuals may have access to provide proper nourishment for themselves and their children: this shortage leads to developmental deficiencies and influences the physical and psychological state of a child. That is why it was essential to learn about The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the website of which was included in this week’s materials. Moreover, the WIC program provides grants for nutritional professionals, for instance, with the mission to ameliorate food technologies for infants in which public health or educational entities may participate (United States Department of Agriculture, p. 4). WIC was an indispensable discovery as it will serve as a future point of reference for similar projects.

Manifestations of food allergies most often occur in early childhood and persist throughout life. Marotz et al. state that “initially it is better to offer individual foods rather than mixtures. If an infant does experience an allergy or sensitive reaction, the offending food can be more easily identified” (p. 393). The child often inherits the tendency to develop allergies from their parent – children with a hereditary predisposition to allergies exhibit different immune responses than children without them. That why it is essential to identify an allergy as soon as possible, and introducing foods individually may help to achieve this goal.

Food allergies are an issue that may concern a significant number of parents and early childhood specialists. One of the characteristics of infancy is rapid growth leading to the need for a diverse and reach diet, which may, in its turn, entail certain risks, among which are allergies (“Feeding Babies”). That is why it seems appropriate to develop a question related to identifying allergy risks for children, and more precisely in regard to what are the methods of allergy prevention among infants and their correlation with their diet.

Proper nutrition is an indispensable component of the complete physical and psychological growth of an infant. Questions related to age when an infant should be given semi-solid foods for the first time, what food should be included, and excluded from the diet are common among parents. Proper parental education and the development of a plan concerning infants’ introduction to adult food are tasks of medical specialists.

Works Cited

  1. .” YouTube, uploaded by Kaiser Permanente, 2016. Web.
  2. Marotz, Lynn R., et al. Health, Safety, and Nutrition for Young Children. 9th ed., Cengage, 2015.
  3. The United States of America, Department of Agriculture. WIC Eligibility Requirements. Food Nutrition Service, 2019.
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