First foods for Infants

Ewedu, cooked with tomatoes, dried shrimps and locust beans

Today I am sharing my thoughts about First foods for infants.

My Son, Opemipo, is 6 months and I have been excited about introducing him to Nigerian food. I know that a lot of people start by introducing babies to cereals and Paps but I tend to go more for veggies and tubers. This is because I worry about aflatoxin in our cereals (Nigeria) and I am conversant with the effect it has on child growth and development.

I also worry about packaged cereals and how sweet they are and I wonder how much sugar is hidden in these packages.  However, please note that cereals and Paps are good choices when processed properly and when sourced from a good place.

Ewedu, cooked with tomatoes, dried shrimps and locust beans and blended till smooth
Ewedu, Puree

Another reason why I stay away from Pap a lot is because of the horror stories of force-feeding when children are at crèche (in Nigeria). Most force-feeding stories tend to be about Pap being forced down a child’s throat. While my baby goes to a very good crèche when I am at work, I still decide not to make pap a thing at school.

I also prefer to introduce my baby to foods that he would eventually eat along with his siblings so that he can get used to our local flavors.  Albeit pay attention to texture, variety, and frequency when preparing his meals for the day.

Also, because breast milk was his food for the first 6 months, I am paying attention to minerals such as Iron.

My list of First foods:

  • Ewedu and Thick Pap (made from maize, sorghum mostly)
  • Pureed Irish Potato and Chicken with Green peas
  • Pureed Sweet Potato and Chicken with tomatoes and carrots
  • Banana
  • Mangoes

So, these are the foods that I am giving to my Son during these first few weeks of the 6 months. When he is more comfortable with the spoon in his mouth and taking semi-solids, then I will introduce a variety of other foods to ensure that he has access to all the types of nutrients God has created.

I have not introduced fish yet because I know that it would not help me meet his iron demand. While red meat, organ meat, spinach, groundnuts will help meet the iron demand, I am using what I have at home at the moment: chicken and dried shrimps. Also, I do not want to try too many things at once so that he does not revolt.

I assure you that it has been a battle feeding him these new things except the fruits; he loves bananas and Mangoes. I, however, intend to keep at it because it’s a process that we must go through. I particularly like the Ewedu because of its high viscosity and it helps him to swallow even when he is fighting it.

So, wish me luck.

I will be sharing some of the recipes that I am making for him.

Eat better, live better.

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