As it is every mother’s wish is for her baby to grow healthy and well-nourished, proper weaning helps meet this objective.
Weaning is the process of introducing a baby who was fully dependent on breast milk to solid foods, specifically at six months – a time when the infant is in dire need of extra nutrients such as zinc and iron, which may not be found in breast milk.
This crucial stage involves introducing the baby to several solid foods, starting with smooth purees, then mashed foods, and finally small bites.
Juliet Achieng, an expert in nutrition and dietetics, recommends that when introducing new food to a baby, ensure it is followed by breast milk in order to increase the rate at which the baby accepts the food. Start with a few spoonfuls once a day for about a week and a sip of warm glucose water until your baby adapts to it.
Make sure to offer different textures. Babies are different in the sense that they may eat more or less, depending on their needs.
Foods essential for weaning include soft boiled vegetables, mashed or pureed potatoes, butternut and pumpkins, and soft fruits such as mashed or pureed bananas, mangoes, avocados, and plums.
Cereals such as oatmeal, rice, and millet mashed or pureed and mixed with a little milk are also essential foods for weaning.
Foods to avoid giving your infant during weaning include honey because it causes food poisoning, unpasteurized dairy products, sugary, salty, highly processed foods, and whole nuts, which can cause choking.
Putting this into practice will ensure we raise a healthy generation of smart kids.
FK Zack is a talented sports journalist and analyst who writes excellently in Kiswahili.