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Get to Know Complementary Foods for Breast Milk (MPASI) and WHO Guidelines
03 May 2024
Get to Know Complementary Foods for Breast Milk (MPASI) and WHO Guidelines
03 May 2024

Parents have many obligations to always help their children's development so that they can grow healthily. The crucial thing that must be understood and must not be ignored is learning about what MPASI is because this must be done with great care. To find out more about MPASI, let's pay attention to the following information and explanation.

What is MPASI?

Basically, MPASI is a term taken from Complementary Food Breast Milk, for this reason it can be interpreted that MPASI is food that is recommended for babies to consume after reaching a certain age. Giving MPASI is prohibited from being done haphazardly, because young children certainly have a digestive system that is still unable to process food sources that are too heavy.

Babies who are more than 6 months old will need more minerals, carbohydrates and other high nutritional requirements. Even though breast milk supports these nutritional needs, babies still need additional nutrition from other foods as well as to help your little one get used to consuming things other than breast milk.

Giving MPASI According to WHO

At the end of 2023, the World Health Organization has released the latest guidelines which will become a reference for people around the world when they want to give MPASI to babies aged 6 to 23 months. There are several changes written in the latest guidebook because it is a development from the previous book. There are several important points that must be remembered in the guidebook issued by WHO, such as:

  1. Age to Introduce MPASI
    The WHO Guidebook explains that the right age to start MPASI is when the baby is 6 months 18 days old. Breast milk does contain bioavailable iron, but there are cases where babies are at risk of iron deficiency, especially if their little one is born prematurely.

    Providing MPASI will provide great benefits for mothers who are worried about whether their baby's breast milk will be sufficient. Entering the age of 6 months, your little one begins to have the ability to eat certain food sources even though he is only able to process them if the texture is soft.

  2. Food Sources
    WHO also states that children aged 6 – 23 months should consume a variety of foods. The recommended menu is from animal sources, and if you find that you have limited animal sources, then try to add more vegetables, nuts or whole grains.

    Nuts are the perfect source of vegetable protein because they contain lots of fiber and important nutrients. Not only animal and vegetable sources, but parents can also provide vegetables and fruit to their little ones to fulfill their needs for minerals, vitamins and fiber.

  3. Foods to Avoid
    Apart from providing recommendations for food sources, WHO also lists several foods that babies must avoid. Parents are prohibited from giving food that is high in sugar, trans fat and salt because it will have a bad effect on their little one's health.

    Foods that contain artificial sweeteners or non-sugar sweeteners must also be avoided. Not only that, but children should not be accustomed to drinking fruit juice because they must be accustomed to eating fruit, not drinking it.

    Some parents may still give their children food that comes from ultra-processed products produced with certain chemicals. WHO has also prohibited this product from being given to young babies to avoid danger to your little one's health.

  4. Supplement Recommendations
    If it turns out that the baby still finds it difficult to fulfill his daily nutrition, then the baby is allowed to consume supplements or products that have been fortified. Cereals that have gone through a fortification process will help increase micronutrient intake so that babies are allowed to consume whole grain MPASI.

    However, these supplements are not really recommended for healthy babies. Giving supplements is only permitted for babies who are experiencing significant nutritional deficiencies and it is recommended that supplements be given in small amounts.

  5. Milk Recommendations
    Even though babies should be introduced to MPASI when they are 180 days old, babies still need to be given breast milk. However, if it turns out that the baby is having difficulty consuming breast milk from the mother, WHO recommends what type of milk children can drink.

    Babies aged 6 – 11 months can drink animal milk when not consuming breast milk. It is better if the animal milk you want to give your little one is milk that is full of fat.

    Meanwhile, babies aged 12 to 23 months are advised to drink animal milk. Milk from pure animals has high quality nutritional content, therefore parents can give them animal milk and milk that does not have artificial sweeteners.


It can be concluded that MPASI is food given by your little one to help fulfill his nutrition. There are several recommendations from WHO regarding the provision of the latest MPASI, such as:

  1. The food consumed must be varied and the source must be healthy
  2. Children are strongly advised to drink animal milk
  3. Small children are prohibited from taking supplements except to help fulfill nutritional requirements

That is information regarding appropriate MPASI as per WHO guidelines. By applying the explanations and guidelines above, your little one's growth and nutritional needs will be even more fulfilled.