Complementary feeding (weaning) is simply when parents begin to introduce solids and semi-solids with breastmilk.
Ideally, it is advised that babies start taking solids like , fruits, tubers and grains, alongside breastfeeding from 6 months to 2 years.
Weaning time is usually a time when mothers worry about what to feed their babies to help them grow optimally.
Some mothers make common mistakes that cause the babies to reject the meals or fall ill due to improper feeding.
See the top 4 common mistakes moms make at this time, and their suggested solutions.
1. MOMS EXPECT BABIES TO EAT EVERY FOOD AT ONCE
Some moms simply expect their babies to eat the full plate of carrot puree or banana puree baby is tasting for the first or second time.
When the baby fusses at the food, they get worried or feel guilty.
Moms need to know that a baby who has been taking only breastmilk or formula for 6 months may have a little difficulty in transitioning to another entirely different.
Weaning babies call for a ton of patience, and with time, the baby will show interest in the foods.
Getting someone else to feed the baby also helps, because all most babies expect from their mothers is breastmilk.
Try one food at a time and follow the 3-day waiting rule. The rule states that parents should try a new meal within 3 days to check for allergies and register the baby’s interest in the food.
2. BLENDING TOO MANY FOODS IN ONE MEAL
In Nigeria it is common to mix all types of grains, nuts and spices that are not matching in taste and nutrients together in one meal.
This is common with Paps, where moms mix in groundnuts, Soya bean powder, and other foods in one meal.
This same meal is served to baby till he is 12 months old. This means that he eats the same food for 6 months or more!
The danger with this mixture of too many food items in one baby’s meal is that the baby may be allergic to a particular type of food (Nuts or Soya) and it will be difficult to know which of the foods you mixed is making the baby sick.
Another reason this is not encouraged, is that the food soon gets boring and tasteless in baby’s mouth over time. It is also not as nutritious as the Augustsecrets Recipes which are carefully made with the right additions.
Mothers also make the mistake of mixing up recipes that they wouldnt ordinarily taste. The rule is, “once the food is tasteless in your mouth, it is likely your baby will reject it”
That explains why Augustsecrets Kitchen stocks various foods suitable for babies, so that mothers and caregivers can choose and make them into different varieties for the baby.
A good example is this:
A. SAVOURY MEALS : Augustsecrets Veggie Beans with plantain cooked with crayfish or fish.
Foods like blended okra with Augustsecrets Nuttymeal Swallow is also great.
B. CREAMY/SWEET MEALS: Banana + Avocado + Yoghurt or Augustsecrets Nuttymeal or Mixagrain + Yoghurt or Milk + pawpaw or banana.
For fruits and vegetables, It is advisable to introduce 1 type of new food within 3 to 4 days to watch for allergies and retain baby’s interest in the food.
For instance, it is better to introduce sweet potatoes puree first, before serving baby SWEET POTATO + CARROT PUREE.
3. SERVING BABY FOOD IN THE WRONG TEXTURE
Baby food should evolve from smooth purees to mashes, to chunky, then to finger foods.
When food is served in the wrong texture, it may cause choking and indigestion, baby will likely reject the food, and this gets the mother or nanny frustrated.
Here is a sample food texture guide:
6-8 MONTHS: LIQUIDS AND PUREES. (Foods like carrots, potatoes, green peas, should be blended smooth with little water before serving)
9-12 MONTHS: SOFT MASHES: Foods may be cooked and mashed with a fork and thinned with milk or warm water)
This is neccessary to help them learn to chew, with or without teeth.
12 MONTHS: CHUNKY FOODS: Foods may not neccesarily be mashed too smooth anymore. Fruits like apples may be grated or sliced thinly in their Oatmeal)
4. ADDING SUGAR, HONEY,SALT OR SEASONING TO BABY’S FOOD
Some mothers truly are not aware that extra sugars, artificial sweetners, salt and seasonings are bad for babies below 12 months.
It is therefore unhealthy to try to sweeten babies’ foods with extra salt, sugar or honey, as it could weaken their tiny kidneys and other organs, and may lead to cardiovascular diseases in the future.
Although recent studies suggest that a pinch of salt may be added to babies’ meals once or twice a week.
Natural sweeteners like dates, herbs like ginger, garlic, oregano, onions, vanilla are great for adding flavour to babies’ meals from 8 months.
Fresh or dried fruits especially apples, papaya, banana are also natural sweeteners that babies hardly say no to.
Just mash them with their foods before serving.
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