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When the child reaches six months and begins with complementary feeding, parents have doubts about whether to introduce bread, what type and in what quantities. Bread plays an important role in the baby's complementary feeding and then we will tell you everything it can bring to your little one.
Bread is a food that should not be lacking in the basic diet of children since complementary feeding begins because it is necessary for proper development for several reasons:
- It is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which contribute to the maintenance of muscular activity and the improvement of the nervous system, providing your child with energy to carry out daily activities.
- Also, it's high in fiber, which favors your gastrointestinal system, and in folic acid, which offers protection to your cardiovascular system, as well as other B vitamins such as vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin) and vitamin B6 ( Pyridoxine).
- Also iodine, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, which strengthen your immune system. Especially the latter are found to a greater extent in whole grain breads, because they are concentrated in the germ and wheat bran, which are separated when producing white flour.
- In addition to these nutritional benefits, the consumption of bread helps the child to develop the muscles of the face and to strengthen his teeth and jaws, by exercising these muscles during chewing.
To maintain a balanced diet, it is recommended to give children a serving of between 40 and 60 grams of bread at each meal, being a good alternative when preparing sandwiches for snacks and lunch boxes when they are older, since they will offer a very good source of energy, necessary for school performance.
Given the variety of breads that we find in the market, we must be careful to make a good choice since, according to their ingredients, some may be more beneficial than others. For example, loaf bread is healthier than sliced bread (which is already sliced for sandwiches), since It has a higher content of fats and sugars, sometimes also dairy derivatives, eggs and preservatives.
It is not that it should not be consumed, but rather it should be done wisely. Whole wheat bread, due to its richness in fiber, is very beneficial in cases of constipation. In any case, you have to adjust to the preferences and needs of the child.
Even without teeth, you can offer a piece of bread to the baby to suck on; when it comes into contact with saliva, it will gradually dissolve, and is an excellent way to learn and practice biting and chewing. Crumb or scab preferable? Only the crumb can make a ball difficult to chew and only the crust can be very hard so it is best to give it a piece that contains both parts of the bread.
There is a myth that bread is fattening and, given the fearsome childhood obesity, many moms prefer to restrict the consumption of bread to children. However, it is good to clarify that the bread is not the culprit that the child gets fat. It is about having a balanced diet and adequate physical activity, so there is no need to deprive it of the nutritional benefits that it brings.
A basic bread contains flour, water, yeast or sourdough, and salt. Preserving the health of your body in formation, it is preferable to give your baby foods without added salt or sugar, especially at the beginning of their complementary feeding. Let us remember the recommendation of various pediatric organizations, such as the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, is to restrict the additional contribution of these products to children under 2 years of age because their kidneys are too immature to handle salt overloads.
You will hardly find bread without salt in the bakery, the alternative would be to make it yourself at home. Here is a simple recipe:
- Ingredients: 350 g of water, 25 g of yeast, 600 g of flour
- Process: Knead the ingredients and leave to rest, covered, for 45 minutes, on a tray (to which you can spread olive oil). After this time, it will have risen and it is time to knead again for a few minutes. In the tray that you will take to the oven, place baking paper and assemble the buns of the desired size, which you will place on this paper. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes at 200ºC (depending on the size of your loaves).
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