Introduction of Solid Food (Sthanya apanayana)
Introduction of Solid Food
Breast milk is the most nutritious and perfect food for babies. Ayurveda as well as modern medicine suggest exclusive breast feed up to initial six months of age. Beyond that or between 4-6 months, additional food can be introduced to babies depending on their developmental status. Ayurveda conveys extensive information regarding introduction of solid food to babies under the term Sthanya apanayana (withdrawal of breast milk). Dr.Gupta’s IAFA is serving you the best amenity for all your concerns regarding child care and nutrition. IAFAis pioneering various awareness programs to enrich your health through the power of Ayurveda.
Time to introduce solid food for infants
Time to familiarize solid food to babies depends on various factors. This may differ in different babies. In general, solid food can be initiated if following development stages are fulfilled by the baby.
- Steady and upright head
- Sitting with support
- Bringing hands or toys to mouth
- Showing desire for food
- Opening mouth for feeding
These features may be seen from 4-6 months depending on rate of development of each child.
Ayurveda emphasizes breast milk should be given up to 6 months and all nutrients required for growth and development are enriched in breast milk. Beyond 6 months or as teeth starts to developnew food can be introduced by gradually withdrawing breast milk.
Ayurvedic Reference of Introduction of Solid Food-Sthanya apanayana
Following things should be considered while administering solid food.
- While introducing new food, always start with single ingredient foodstuff.
- Wait for 3-5 days for any allergic response
- Another food should be introduced only after this period
- Feed in upright sitting posture
- Start with small quantity and gradually increase the amount
- Liquidity can be reduced slowly as the baby become able to swallow steadily
- Do not feed forcefully
- If child refuses the food, leave it and try again after a few days.
Ayurveda suggests that the food newly introduced should be light in property and nutritious. Also, Ayurveda advises to give food only in small quantity to the child. Food can be administered by mixing with goat’s milk.
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Master’s in Health Administration
Type of Food
- Single ingredient food like rice, oats etc. can be given without adding salt or sugar
- Considering nutrition, Iron and Zinc are the most essentially required nutrients in 6-12 months of age. So, food like
- Single vegetable and fruits can be introduced in pureed form.
- Beyond 8 months, small portions of soft fruits can be given.
In Ayurveda, according to Acharya Kashyapa (an ancient Ayurvedic scholar), weaning can be started at the age of 6 months. It can be initiated by giving expressed fruit juice. Following that various sweet preparations with fruits like Priyalamajja (Buchanania lanzan), Yashti madhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Bala vilwa (unripe fruit of Aegle marmelos) etc. can be gradually included. After 1 year of age, different food stuffs as favored by the child can be provided.
Following things should be taken care while feeding child.
- Avoid food like grapes, raw vegetables, nuts etc. that cause choking
- Avoid non vegetarian diet up to 1 year
- Avoid outside food and encourage home- made foods
- Don’t compel the child to have the food
- Use proper and safe utensils like spoon, bottle, cup etc. according to the age of child
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist