Many children experience feeding challenges such as functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), which can be rather mild and benign or affecting the health of the infant more severly. Parents and caregivers are affected as well when the child is struggling with colic, regurgitation, constipation, diarrhoea or vomiting. Besides the common symptoms and diagnosis criteria we introduce some of the management options of FGID and other feeding challenges like allergies and nutrient deficiencies. The cornerstone for child health is layed down during pregnancy. Events in this critical period affect health with long-lasting consequences.
The position paper "Complementary Feeding: A Position Paper by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) Committee on Nutrition." (2017) proposes timing and composition of complementary feeding, feeding methods, and practices with focus on healthy term infants in Europe. Complementary feeds are liquids and solids other than human milk yet breastfeeding should continue. Complementary feeds should not be introduced later than 6 months of age (Fewtrell et al. 2017).Download the paper synopsis
The digestive system is exposed to a complex interplay of various external and internal influences and is therefore characterised by enormous sensitivity. Since its main function is the fragmentation of foods into absorbable nutrients, nutritional diet is a major factor affecting not only energy and growth levels, but also digestive well-being in general. Stress and anxiety, and lack of sleep are examples of only some factors that may cause imbalances. Babies’ immature alimentary systems require great care – also for future intestinal health and well-being.Feeding challenges