Happy Sallah everyone hope you are all enjoying your weekend! Well these past few weeks we have talked alot about breast feeding and baby food and for many new mothers, after months of feeding baby breast milk or formula, they look forward to introducing baby to other foods. Apart from the pre-packed baby food there is often a dilemma as to what exactly we can give babies once they are ready to be introduced to the world of solids and semi-solids. Every Mummy wants to make sure that while your meeting your career goals your little ones are getting amazing nutrition. they are Here are some tips on preparing baby foods that are healthy and so yummy you may want to eat them yourself!
Squash – Also known as Anyu (Igbo ) or Kabewa ( Hausa) its rich in Vitamin A, Folate and Calcium. Squash is a delicious and nutritious first food for your baby. You can prepare by boiling for a few minutes and pureeing with babies food processor (be sure you have a separate processor for babies meals like the Munchkin mini blender or Tommee Tippee Explora Baby Food Blender) theres no need to add salt or sugar, instead you can add a little infant formula or breastmilk and your good to go.
Avocado – This is a great first food as not only is it rich in Vitamins: A, C, Niacin, Folate but also contains Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium. It doesnt need to be cooked just mash till smooth or purée it .
Okra soup -. Every baby loves draw soups (and every mum hates the mess they make). Okras are rich in vitamins A and C, calcium and potassium. Make the okra with no seasoning and use oily fish like Titus to give it a natural flavour. Serve with Garri or Semovita.
Fruits -Mangos and other tropical fruits such as pawpaw and banana are packed with vitamins. Depending on the particular fruit they can be introduced to your little one and their age from 6 months and older with 8-10 me. A good way to serve this to your baby is puréed, you can mix in other fruits such banana or pawpaw.
Sweet potatoes – these are great and very tasty too! Rich in Vitamins A and C Sweet potatoes are also a great source of Calcium and Iron. As baby gets older you can increase the amount of ingredients in his meals and can try a purée of potato, peas and chicken.
Applesauce – this was a favourite for all my children when they were babies. Apples are rich in viitamins A, C, Folate, as well as Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. Simply boil or bake some sliced apples for a few minutes and then purée. Adding banana creates a tasty combo. If you want to add fruits to baby’s regular cereal you could purée some cooked apples and then store in an ice cube tray in the freezer. Simply add a cube of frozen fruits in baby’s cereal and let it thaw.
Oatmeal Cereal -Oatmeal is full of fibre and nutrients such as Potassium, Calcium and Iron. You can buy baby oatmeal or grind regular oatmeal so that its not to lumpy for baby. Once cooked mix in formula or breast milk and puréed fruits if desired. Ps. if using instant cereal make sure it’s not a variety with high levels of sugar and salt.
Corn Pap – Also known as Pap, Akamu ( Igbo) Ogi ( Yoruba ) This is one of the favourite first foods for babies and is often used to wean baby and introduce them into the world of semi- solids and solid foods. For proper hygiene it’s advisable to prepare from scratch and store in the freezer. Try mixing millet which is rich in Potassium and Iron with yellow or white corn for variety and added nutritional value . Once prepared mix with breast milk or formula ( don’t add sugar)
Introducing your baby to these new food and more can be exciting but don’t forget the following:
1. ALWAYS use clean hands, clean pots and utensils etc when making and preparing food for your little one.
2. Don’t be in a hurry to start introducing babies to solids, 6 months is usually the norm as by then his tongue thrust reflex should have disappeared and he should be sitting up with good head control.
3. Never introduce more than one new food at a time. This will help you notice whether your little one has allergies to any particular food.
4. Start with simple foods like pap or rice cereal before introducing different mixtures.
5. Never give babies under one honey as it could cause botulism.
6. Avoid giving your young one peanuts until the age of four, instead you can give smooth peanut butter.
7. Don’t give semi solids in a bottle rather feed with a spoon as this will reduce the chance of choking.
8. Remember to make baby’s food separately as the food eaten by other household members will be too spicy.
Here’s hoping your little one’s taste buds have an exciting adventure!