FEEDING CHILDREN

Basic weaning of toddlers from six months

It is important to feed your child 5-6 times a day.

In Summary

•Ruth Mwale a nurse at Aga Khan hospital, said that it is important to feed your child 5-6 times a day. 

•The baby might refuse because no salt will be added to taste but with time they get used to this new diet.

A mother narrates her story of travelling with toddlers on the SGR.
A mother narrates her story of travelling with toddlers on the SGR.
Image: STAR ILLUSTRATED

Feeding of infants with new food begins after strict 6 months of breastfeeding of the mother’s milk only from the time a baby is born.

During this 6th month, the baby is introduced to solid foods. These foods are either to be smashed or blended and the diet should be balanced.

These foods include broccoli, potatoes, carrots, apples and any other food that can be blended especially the traditional foods that tend to be healthier.

The baby might refuse to eat because no salt will be added to taste but with time they get used to this new diet. During this stage it’s not advised to give your little one sweet foods or drinks.

As the mother introduces food, she’s also expected to continue breastfeeding her baby because breast milk also boosts the child’s immunity.

The next months as the child continues to grow, more texture and taste should be added in the child’s food. Here, one can now add a pinch of salt to taste because salt is also a requirement in the body.

At this stage, you slowly limit the blending of food because the child needs to learn how to chew food so the texture should be different from the one that you first introduced the child to.

This is the stage where most mothers fail because they continue blending food and the child gets used to taking blended food.

Ruth Mwale a nurse at Aga Khan hospital, said that it is important to feed your child 5-6 times a day.

"When weaning you are expected to change the child's diet so that she doesn’t get bored with the same food over and over."

"Use carrots and tomatoes to make the food colorful so that the baby will eat and use colorful plates when serving the baby food," she said.

The nurse also said its good to create a peaceful environment during meal time, by avoiding shouting or punishing the child by beating them, incase they refuse to eat.

"The child will know that during meals there’s always bad tension between them and the mother."

Sometimes children might react to certain food and its good for the guardian to note the food that reacts badly with the child’s body in order to seek medical attention to control the allergies.

With time, the child can now eat the normal family diet and once in a while prepare the food that they like.