Babies are required to take breastmilk for, at least, the first six months of their lives, and after that, most mothers are ready to introduce them to other foods. But babies cannot just eat anything. They require food with a lot of nutrients that would help them grow strong. They also need food that would be easy for them to eat, because they do not have teeth. So, babies need something soft and easy to digest. That is why you should not just give a baby anything. The fact that its soft and easy to digest does not make it good for the baby.
In today’s post, we would be looking at some healthy Nigerian foods you can introduce to your baby.
Custard is one of the popular foods for babies and there are a few reasons why. The first is that custard is very affordable. Unlike other baby foods that are very pricey and are only available in big sizes, custard is quite cheap and you are bound to find a range that would fit your budget. Another thing that makes custard so great is how easy it is to make. Just mix some quantity with a little cold water and pour boiling water into it for it have a gel-like consistency. But what really makes custard great for babies is that it is very nutritious. Some of the nutrients include fibre, carbohydrate, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamins A, B, and C, and amino acids. These are all nutrients that your body requires while growing. For example, fibre would help prevent constipation and promote a healthy but while calcium and phosphorous would give your child strong bones and teeth.
Remember to let it sit for some time before serving it to your child. You can add milk and sugar for taste.
Pap is an alternative to custard and is even more affordable and easier to get. Pap is made from corn and millet and prepared exactly like custard. Pap contains a lot of fibre, carbohydrate, calcium, and other nutrients as well. So serving it to your baby would do their body a lot of good. Akamu or ogi is also very affordable and readily available. It is one of the most healthy Nigerian breakfast dishes.
Oats is also great for your baby, since they do not have to chew anything and also because it has a great taste. When it comes to nutritious value, oats is also up there as it is considered very healthy for your child. Oats is also quite easy to make, though the preparation is slightly different from that of pap or custard. Incorporating oats to your baby’s diet is something you should definitely do. Oat is also one of the most healthy Nigerian cereals out there.
4. Bread and Tea
Your baby of six months is ready for bread and tea. But rather than serve it how you normally would, you should take your time out to cut the bread into tiny bits which you dip into the tea to make it easy to eat. The tea could be warm or cold. The most important thing is for the bread to be well-dipped so it can be soft enough for your child to eat.
Noodles is also something you can serve to your child. One thing you should note, however, is to avoid adding spices in it for your child yet. You are also allowed to overboil the noodles just so it can be soft enough for the child to swallow since they cannot chew yet.
6. Mashed Potatoes and Yam
Another thing you can give your growing child is potatoes or yam that has been mashed. This would make it easier to swallow and enjoy. You can also use this to introduce your child to more solid foods with time.
Legumes should be definitely be part of the healthy Nigerian foods for babies. Beans are incredibly nutritious and an packed with many nutrients, including fiber, folate, magnesium, and plant-based protein. Beans are good food for babies because they are soft, can be easily pureed and nutrient-dense. You can also give brown beans to your infant or other Nigerian foods made up of mostly legumes like moin moin and okpa.
Chicken is rich in protein and vitamin B6, and is an excellent animal protein source. It’s vital that babies begin to eat foods containing adequate amounts of protein to support their rapid growth. You can puree chicken, or mix it with vegetables and give your baby.