Sunday, December 31, 2023

Meats in the complementary feeding of babies.. important source of proteins of high biological value, amino acids and essential fatty acids, iron, zinc (essential to combat anemia) and vitamins

Meats in the complementary feeding of babies

complementary feeding:

It is considered a complement to breast milk or infant formula and not a substitute for them.
To start complementary feeding successfully, the following characteristics of the baby must be taken into account:
  • Age (from 6 months of age).
  • Ability to digest and absorb nutrients present in the diet
  • Acquired motor skills (swallowing food, grasping hands, staying seated, among others).
  • The need to increase the supply of nutrients in the child due to its growth.

Why are meats important?

From a nutritional point of view, meat is the first food of animal origin that the baby consumes and is an important source of proteins of high biological value, amino acids and essential fatty acids, iron, zinc (essential to combat anemia) and vitamins. , mainly B12, which is used for the formation of red blood cells and the nervous system.

When to include meats?

From 6 months and once the baby has accepted vegetables, fruits and some cereals in porridge or puree without any problem, meat will be introduced into the diet.

How to include the meats?

The meats known in our environment correspond to beef, chicken, pork and fish.

It is recommended to introduce them in small and progressive amounts, daily and observing how it is tolerated until reaching 40-60 g of meat per serving per day according to the feeding scheme in months that is presented later.

In general, all meats must be removed from skin, nerves and visible fat before cooking. No salt or any other seasoning should be added.

Feeding scheme in months of the inclusion of meats:

- 6 -7 months:

You can begin to include chicken meat in porridge or vegetable purees , since coming from a small animal has little fat.

The most suitable prey to offer the baby are the thighs and the breast (always without skin), being the most tender parts.

Once it has been verified that chicken does not produce allergic reactions, beef can begin to be offered , as long as it is soft and fat-free.

- 8 and 12 months:

Chicken and beef should be continued.
At this age, it is recommended that the textures of the meats gradually change from porridge and purées to mashed and finely shredded , paying attention that they are soft parts and without fat.

The crumbles help your baby begin to handle food on his own and gradually achieve independence.

- Older than 12 months (1 year):

At this age, it is recommended that the textures of meats be gradually modified from fine pounded and shredded to small pieces of meat.

You can add from this age the consumption of pork, making sure that it is soft and without fat, it must also be cooked very well before being consumed.

The white meat of small or medium-sized fish can also begin to be consumed progressively at this age in a cooked (not fried) way.

ALERT: be very careful with fish bones, check it well before giving it to the child to consume.

What care should be taken with the baby when consuming meat?

  • First of all, keep in mind the recommendations given above for each of the meats or proteins.
  • The baby should always consume food in the company and supervision of parents or family.
  • Prepare food in crumbles or small pieces, in order to avoid possible choking of the baby.


In case of choking on small bones, bones or pieces of meat, act immediately , as follows:
  • Do not give the baby water (this could choke him more).
  • Call an emergency number.
  • Sit down and place the baby on his stomach on one of your legs, holding him firmly with one of your hands. The child's head should be at a lower level than the rest of his body.
  • Make strong back blows (for children under 1 year old), with the heel of your hand, until the object comes out or is visible in the baby's mouth.

Important note:

The egg is also of animal origin and a source of essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Although there is a reported risk of allergy according to the level of risk in the infant between 1.4 and 12.6% according to whether the child is at low or high risk of allergy, reports in the literature suggest that the early introduction of the egg can protect against allergies to this food.

It is recommended that the egg be consumed from 6 months of age, starting with the yolk and then the white (Koplin, 2010).Do it progressively and pay attention to possible allergies that the baby may develop.

To start eating the egg, it must be prepared cooked (not raw) and progressively, the baby will be able to consume it in other ways, just like the rest of the family.