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Complementary feeding from 12 up to 24 months

Complementary feeding from 12 up to 24 months

Key Messages

  • Continue breastfeeding your baby on demand both day and night. This will maintain his or her health and strength as breast milk continues to be the most important part of your baby’s diet.
  • Breast milk continues to make up about one third (1/3) of the energy needs of the young child from 12 up to 24 months.
  • To help your baby continue to grow strong and breastfeed, you should use a family planning method to prevent another pregnancy
  • When giving complementary foods to your baby, think: Frequency, Amount, Thickness, Variety, Responsive feeding, and Hygiene
  • Frequency: Feed your young child complementary foods 5 times a day
  • Amount: Increase amount to three-quarters (¾) to 1 cup (250 ml cup: how amount in cup brought by mother). Use a separate plate to make sure young child eats all the food given
  • Thickness: Give family foods cut into small pieces, finger foods, sliced food
  • Variety: Try to feed a variety of foods at each meal. For example: Animal-source foods (flesh meats, eggs and dairy products) 1 star*; Staples (grains, roots and tubers) 2 stars**; Legumes and seeds 3 stars***; Vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables and other fruits and vegetables 4 stars**** (CC 17).

Notes community worker:

  • Foods may be added in a different order to create a 4 star food/diet. • Animal source foods are very important. Start animal source foods as early and as often as possible. Cook well and chop fine.
  • Additional nutritious snacks (extra food between meals) such as pieces of ripe mango, papaya, banana, avocado, other fruits and vegetables, boiled potato, sweet potato and fresh and fried bread products can be offered once or twice per day.
  • Use iodised salt
  • Avoid giving sugary drinks
  • Avoid sweet biscuits
  • Responsive feeding
    • Be patient and actively encourage your baby to eat.
    • Don’t force your baby to eat.
    • Use a separate plate to feed the baby to make sure he or she eats all the food given.
  • Hygiene: Good hygiene (cleanliness) is important to avoid diarrhoea and other illnesses. (CC 12)
    • Use a clean spoon or cup to give foods or liquids to your baby.
    • Store the foods to be given to your baby in a safe hygienic place.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing foods and feeding baby.
    • Wash your hands and your baby’s hands before eating.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet and washing or cleaning baby’s bottom.

Note about the size of cups:

  • All cups shown and referred to in the Counselling Cards are mugs which have a volume of 250 ml. If other types or sizes of cups are used to feed a baby, they should be tested to see what volume they hold and the recommended quantities of food or liquid should be adjusted to the local cup or mug.

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