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Weaning your baby - the first year Print

Islām strongly encourages breastfeeding for the first two years of a child’s life. There are numerous health benefits in this and moreover a strong bond is created between mother and child.  Breast milk need not be the infant’s sole source of nutrition. Other foods may steadily be introduced, leading to the day of complete weaning. The South African Department of Health advises against solid food before four months.
 
4-6 Months old - minimum of 600mℓ breast milk daily
  • Milk & Dairy – Cow’s milk products (yoghurt, custard, cheese sauce) can be used after 4 months.
  • Starch – Smooth cereal mixed with milk. Use low fibre cereals. Mash or purée starchy vegetables.
  • Fruit & Vegetables – soft cooked fruit and vegetables sieved into a smooth purée.
  • Meat & Meat alternatives – are not recommended at this age as the baby lacks the teeth required to assist digestion.
  • Occasional foods – choose low sugar desserts and avoid high salt foods, artificial colours and sweeteners.

6-9 Months old - minimum of 500-600mℓ breast milk daily
  • Milk & Dairy – Use any milk to mix with solids. Hard cheese can be used as finger food.
  • Starch – 2-3 servings daily. Introduce wholemeal cereals and bread. Foods can now have more lumpier texture.  
  • Fruit & Vegetables – 2 servings daily. Raw soft fruit and vegetables can be used as finger foods, e.g. banana and butternut.   
  • Meat & Meat alternatives – 1 serving daily soft cooked minced or puréed chicken, fish, meat or pulses. Hard boiled egg can be used as finger food. Soft yolk however is healthier.
  • Occasional foods – Encourage savoury instead of sweet foods. Fruit Juice can be diluted with 4 parts boiled water.

9-12 Months old - minimum of 500-600mℓ breast milk daily
  • Milk & Dairy – Use any milk to mix with solids. However, cow’s milk on its own does not provide sufficient iron for children under 12 months.
  • Starch – 3-4 servings daily. Encourage wholemeal products. Starchy foods such as pasta can be of normal adult texture.   
  • Fruit & Vegetables – 3-4 servings daily. Encourage raw or lightly cooked foods. Unsweetened diluted orange juice during meals aids iron absorption.
  • Meat & Meat alternatives – 1 serving daily from animal source or 2 from vegetable source.  
  • Occasional foods – Use judicious quantities of unsalted butter on bread with a little jam.
 
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