It is strongly recommended by the WHO that a mother feeds her baby exclusively with breastmilk for at least six months. This is for a number of reasons – foremost of which is that breast milk contains a lot of nutrients that are vital to the growth and well being of a child.
However, after the first six months of birth, you can start to include other foods in your baby’s menu.
Now, many people know this but are unsure of the right foods to feed their baby after six months so as to keep them healthy and kicking. This post is about healthy Nigerian foods that will be of benefit to your 6 month-old-baby.
Best Nigerian Foods for Your 6-month-old Baby
This is a popular meal made from processed corn. The plus about this meal is the fact that it is very easy to make and to feed your child likewise. It can be taken by a child who is yet to grow teeth because it does not have to be chewed. You can also be involved in the making of this meal from scratch by choosing the type and colour of corn you want to use in its preparation.
To make pap even more nutritious for your baby, you should add other nutritious foods such as soya beans, bits of ginger, or even beverages. You can prepare the pap to be watery so it can be fed from a feeding bottle or relatively thick and fed from a spoon and plate. Pap is regarded as a suitable substitute for breast milk.
Custard is very similar to pap as it is also gotten from processed maize. However, it is industrially processed and is not easy to be domestically processed in the house like pap. Custard is also ideal because it can be taken by babies who have not yet grown teeth and is also very sweet and loved by many babies.
Custard also comes in a variety of colours and flavours for babies. Custard can also be spiced up with beverages, soya beans and ginger. It can be prepared thick or light just like pap.
Semo is a very popular meal in Nigeria among adults. Semo is very popular among Nigerian homes especially those who want to avoid the hardness of eba. Semo is a good way to introduce your baby to solid foods. Semo can be prepared to be solid or semi-liquid form.
When in its solid form, semo can be taken with soup. When made as a semi-liquid, it can be taken just like pap or custard. However, it should not be too watery but slightly thick like a gel. Consider adding ground crayfish, milk, beverages or milk to make it more nutritious.
Oats can be placed in the same category as pap and custard. It is also made from maize and can be fed using a plate and spoon or a feeding bottle. Oats is a very nutritious meal. It is industrially processed like custard. Oats contain small particles, and it is best you blend it before preparing so as to make it easy for your child.
You can also add beverages, bits of ginger or mashed bananas to add flavour to the meal.
This is one of the most popular meals used by mothers to introduce their babies to solid food. This is because it can be easily softened by hand.
Noodles are also relatively cheap, spicy and easy to prepare. Its nutrients cannot be compared to pap, oats or custard. However, its nutritional contents can be augmented by spices such as ginger, garlic or onions. These spices should be blended not sliced into the food on fire. Never forget that a six-month-old baby is not yet ready to chew.
This is also a delicate food item and should be treated just like noodles when preparing for your baby. Rice can be regarded as a solid food for babies and so should be properly mashed so the baby can easily swallow it in.
The most recommended way to cook rice is via boiling. This is because it is relatively softer than when it is fried or prepared as jollof rice. When boiling rice for your baby, you can also add olive oil or butter.
Fruits contain lots of vitamins and are essential to both adults and children for healthy living. You might be wondering how this would be easy for your baby who is toothless. Well, not to worry, there are fruits like bananas which can be easily mashed without even converting it to juice.
Other fruits can be blended to semi-liquid form or juice for your child. You can also blend more than a fruit to make the fruit experience more exciting for your baby.
Eggs are a great source of protein to the body. When feeding a six-month-old baby with eggs, you should boil it and mash up the yoke of the egg. This way, your baby can get to enjoy the nutrients found in eggs. It is also advisable to add eggs to other meals of your child such as potato, rice and noodles.
Start with half an egg every 2-3 days. You can gradually the frequency – not the quantity – after one or two months. Once your baby is one year old, you can increase the quantity to a whole egg.
Avocado is rich in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart. It is best to mash the avocado and feed the baby. Avocado can also be blended with other fruits, so you can always enjoy the nutrients it has to offer.
Beans contain high amounts of antioxidants and fibre. This is functional in preventing your baby from having constipation. Make sure it is well cooked before giving it to your child.
Vegetables are rich in iron and are abundant in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. It can also be easily fed upon by a toothless baby. You should try to include vegetables into your baby’s diets. It will be one of the best decisions you would make.
Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrate to the body. However, when feeding your baby with potato, you must ensure that it is well cooked. Potato that is not soft enough could be hard for a baby. Preferably, sweet potatoes should be mashed together with ground crayfish, Titus fish and olive oil. The presence of crayfish and Titus fish provide protein for the baby to enable the growth and development of the baby.
Some even substitute palm oil or boiled carrot for olive oil to add colour to the meal. Apart from all these ingredients mentioned above, no other should be added to mashed potatoes because it is naturally sweet.