According to recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), breastmilk is the only food that healthy, full term babies need for the first six months of life. Breastmilk provides immunity factors assas long as the baby nurses and many of the health benefits of breastfeeding continue well into childhood and beyond.
Here is how to know your baby is ready for complementary food.
As your baby will show that he/she is ready to nurse or he is feeling full, he will also signal his readiness for taking complementary foods. Indications includes:
1. Baby is about six months old.
2. Baby is about to sit, unsupported
3. Baby has lost his tongue thrust reflex, meaning that he does not push foods out of his mouth with his tongue when they are offered.
4. Baby can pick objects/things up between his finger and thumb.
Learning to eat solid foods is a new skill for babies. It will take awhile before your baby needs significant calories or nutrients from foods other than your milk, so take these “food” as sensory experiments.
1. Your milk is still the most nutritious food your baby will need, its advised to breastfeed him first and then offer solid food. He will have received gain of breastmilk and will be ready to learn a skill. Hungry babies may not be eager to cooperate.
2. Offer small amount of food.
3. Offer food when your baby is in the mood to learn. This could probably be during a quiet time, it could be at a social time when the rest family is also eating.
4. Introduce new foods a week apart, this way, a reaction to a particular food can be traced. Some signs a possible allergic reactions include a rash, runny nose, sore bottom. If you see any of these signs, wait a week and try the food again.
Nigeria food to introduce to your baby
1. The first complementary food you introduce to your baby is Pap also known as Akamu or Ogi. Akamu is made from maize. I often add powdered crayfish and powdered fish to make it nutritious. I got my own powdered crayfish and powdered fish from Baby Grubz.
2. Boiled smashed yam served with mashed boiled egg yolk.
3. You can also introduce Eba and okro. To make this meal nutritious, add powdered crayfish. You can gradually introduce other swallowables like pounded yam, semolina as your baby grows older but make sure that the swallow is soft enough for the baby to consumed.