3 Rules you must follow when giving first food to your children

There are so many ways to introduce and giving the first food to your children. Proper nutrition should be given to improve the nutrition of your child. Said gastro hepatology consultant pediatrician, Dr. Frieda Handayani any method applied must prioritize nutritional needs to support each stage of different growth and development. Errors in feeding can have fatal consequences on children's nutritional conditions, such as eating difficulties and malnutrition.

"The first time feeding a child, there must be many challenges so we must be patient. But it is a child's learning process that must be passed," Dr. Frieda said it.

Read more: Baby's first solid food


Well, here are 3 rules that you must understand when giving your child the first meal.

1. Schedule

Mother can provide healthy food and snacks to children regularly. We recommend do not offer other snacks at meals except drinking.

The meal schedule can adjust by age of the child. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ages 6 to 8 months, the frequency of eating is around 2 to 3 times a day. Meanwhile, at the age of 9 to 23 months, children can eat 3 to 4 times a day.

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2. Environment

Create a pleasant atmosphere when children eat. Also never force children if they refuse to eat, but communicate with them.

The use of gadgets must also be considered. The tendency of children to eat while watching videos from gadgets is now done by many parents in order to let children want to eat. But this is so wrong, parents!!

"Not only not good in terms of psychology, children who are given gadgets are just bothering them to learn about the taste and texture of food," said Dr. Frieda.

Also avoid to give rewards or gifts to children whenever they finish their meal. For example, parents promised them to give sweets after they finish their meal. If children is rewarded with a gift, they not eating because of necessity but because they want a gift. This kind of thing is not good for their development, parents.

Read more: The importance to let your children self-feeding, it's worth the mess


3. Procedure

Prioritize children to eat first and drink after finish meal. If they don’t want to eat and start to turning their head away, crying, and closing their mouth, try to keep offering food again.

But remember, don't forced. Offer food neutral as usual.

"Keep trying for 10 to 15 minutes, and if they till do not want to eat, stop the eating process," said Dr. Frieda.

The process of feeding children, Dr. Frieda said, does require extra patience. Besides being patient, feeding them is also a bonding time with children, a period of learning and loving. Don’t forget to invite them to communicate, for example you can tell a story while introducing food.