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Baby food on the cheap side

By Ozo Mordi
19 November 2016   |   2:42 am
As babies grow, they need heavier foods, which not only give more energy but also provide more filling which makes them demand less feeding time.


As babies grow, they need heavier foods, which not only give more energy but also provide more filling which makes them demand less feeding time.

However, what food to give a young one who has been on infant formula is sometimes a difficult choice to make because you want to give healthy and nourishing meals to the baby.

These are some simple and health-giving foods you can make at home for your baby. They need not cost so much because they are available at home most of the time. They may be foods that the whole family eats all the time.

We agree that they are good for baby because they are fresh, not the already cooked and packaged ones. Apart from the fact that potatoes are simple to prepare, they taste nice and contain Vitamin A, beta carotene, potassium, Vitamin E, calcium and folate.

In a study to know which vegetables out of 58 of them were loaded with enough percentages of Vitamin A and C, folate, iron, copper, calcium and fibre, sweet potatoes were chosen as the number one. The next to it was raw carrot.

Broken down, these are the nutritional values of one medium baked potato: Vitamins; Vitamin A; 21,909 IUS, Vitamin C 39.2mg, Pantothenic acid1.76mg and folate12mcg.

The mineral content of the same baked potato could provide up to 950mg, phosphorous 108mg, magnesium13.5mg, calcium 76 mg and iron1.38mg. There were some amount of copper, selenium, manganese and zinc.

Potatoes can be introduced as baby’s first solid food as the fibre in them helps digestion and promotes bowel health.

Chicken can form a child’s food as early as seven months or earlier. Chicken is a good source of protein. It is known to contain niacin and phosphorus, which help to release energy from protein, fats and carbohydrates as food is digested. Chicken has Vitamin B6 and selenium, a powerful anti-oxidant. Chicken is recommended as baby’s first meal because it contains less fat; when chicken does have fat, the oil is less saturated.

Nutritionists emphasize that knowing how to prepare it makes all the difference and making the most of the nutritional values. For example, if you cook with the skin on, the benefits are lost although it may taste nice; cooked with the skin, chicken has more fat than the skinless one. It may not cause to the baby to eat with the skin, but you may choose to introduce him to skinless one as the beginning. Prepare it nicely and to his taste. Some parents prefer the breast because it is lean and seen as the healthiest part although the drumstick and thigh taste better. Food experts favour organic chickens because they roam outside and are raised without hormones or antibiotics. Their feeds are grown organically, too. Apart from giving your baby chicken that has no antibiotic, our native chickens taste better.

Fish is recommended for a young one as early as four months of age, once the child can eat solid food. But make it a meal once it is established that the child has no food allergy.

It would be wise to ask the doctor’s advice before giving it to your child because many doctors would not recommend that a child eat fish so early. Fish is known to be one of the worst allergenic foods. Before it is part of a child’s diet, it is recommended that babies who have mild eczema or come from a family with a history of food allergies or asthma, could eat foods like fish after they have become acquainted with less allergenic foods like cereals, vegetables and fruits without reacting adversely to them.

How To Know If Fish Agrees With Baby
Talk to your doctor if your baby develops moderate to severe eczema after going through a course of treatment prescribed by a doctor for skin problems

Baby has had an immediate allergic reaction to a particular food in the past or the child has been diagnosed with food allergy.

When you want to start a child on a food you think would not go down well with him, do your experiment at home instead of giving it to him at the daycare or when you are eating out. As with any new thing, serve it daily for three to five days before you feed the baby something else. This way you will know if the new food is agreeable to his system and you would also be able to identify the causes of the allergy.

Signs of an Allergy
Signs of allergy are swelling of the face; including the tongue and the lips. There are skin rash, wheezing, abdominal cramp, vomiting and diarrhorea. There also may be breathing difficulties immediately after eating a new food.

If the baby shows any of these symptoms; whether mild or severe, see the doctor.

Fish is valued highly because of the nutritional values which makes it rich in protein, Vitamin D, Omega -3 fatty acids and other benefits, but some are particularly dangerous because they contain high levels of mercury, a metal which is believed to be harmful when taken in high doses in a child’s developing brain and nervous system.

Do not therefore, feed a child a shark or swordfish; they are predatory and contain the highest amounts of mercury according to the United State’s Food Administration and Control.

Salmon is highly recommended.

Fruits for Baby
Give avocado pear. It contains healthy fats and the taste is mild. The unsaturated fats provide energy for baby. The Vitamin E in avocado is a natural moisturizer for baby’s skin.

Apple is a source of fibre that keeps the digestive system healthy and helps to prevent constipation. But a baby cannot eat this fruit until she is about one year old. Some mothers do suggest cooking it gently and blending into juice.

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