Are You Giving Your Baby The Right Food?
Newborn babies need good food for their proper growth and development. While mother’s milk is a constant thing to be fed to infants for the initial period, it is vital to keep introducing other foods on a timely basis to develop the baby’s diet.
If you are confused whether you are giving the right foods to your baby or not, go through the simple checklist below to clear your doubts and understand where you are going wrong.
- Are you feeding breast milk?
When the baby is born, breastfeeding is one of the most important things for a mother to maintain, at least up till 1 year of age. For many people here in Nigeria, it is a mandate till even 2 years of age. However, you must keep checking with your doctor on a regular basis and understand when and how you can stop the breastfeeding process.
- Have you introduced solid foods?
One must remember that babies must not be given solid foods unless they are ready for it. Most infants are ready for it around the age of 6 months, where pea-sized pieces of soft vegetables can be fed to them, along with other foods. The natural iron reserve (with which babies are born) starts to fade around 6 months of age, so it is important to start introducing iron-rich foods around this time. Good meal options here include pap or custard with plenty of milk, very soft eba or amala, and others.
- Is the food natural or processed?
Your baby’s body will develop health and immunity on the basis of what you feed him/ her in the initial few years. So it is vital for you to feed natural and fresh foods to the baby rather than packaged or processed ones that contain preservatives and other chemicals. Buy more of fresh foods from the market, rather than canned foods.
- Is the food hygienic?
It is crucial that the food that you are feeding to your baby is clean and hygienic. Not only should it be prepared and cooked in a clean environment, but must also be fed with clean utensils and clean hands, in order to avoid germs. Never share cutlery with anyone, not even your closest friends baby.
- Are you giving a ‘balanced’ diet to the baby?
When introducing new foods to your baby, always ensure that you keep in mind the nutritional needs of the child. Introduce mashed potatoes, rice, bread etc. for carbs, eggs and pulses for protein, fruits for vitamins and minerals, yogurt for calcium etc. The idea is to start getting the baby adjusted to various kinds of foods, so that he/she gets into the habit of consuming a balanced and healthy diet.
These pointers will help you to understand if you are giving the right food to your baby or not. Needless to say, each baby’s nutritional needs and development is different, so you must consult your doctor regularly to understand the specific requirements for your baby.