Many Nigerian parents often wonder what to feed their young children during the school term. This food timetable summarizes some of the meals you can make for your child during the preschool years. Ideally at this stage your child should be eating the same foods as the rest of the family, with an emphasis on those with nutritional value. This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese), lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, beef), egg and whole grain cereals and bread. At the same time, limit or eliminate the junk food in your child’s diet, and get rid of sugared beverages. How Much Food Do Children Need? You should remember that each child’s energy needs are different. This can vary according to age, growth periods and how active or inactive your child is. For instance, your child may need more energy during growth spurts or active participation in sports. This is why it is important for you to ensure a healthy intake of calories along with essential nutrients. Read more >> Food Timetable For Nigerian Children Ages 5-10.
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Your Baby Should Eat Nuts
Introducing complementary foods to your baby can be easy if you try out different food options. One of which is nuts- peanuts ( groundnut), cashew nuts, walnut and others.
Nuts are highly nutritious and known to be a rich source of beneficial fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein which very good for babies that require lots of good nutrition for proper growth and development.
If there is no history of allergies, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends you can introduce your baby to nuts as early as six months. Waiting until your baby is older to introduce nuts is not necessary.
Some parents delay giving their babies nuts and other highly allergenic foods like soy, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, and wheat. This does not help to prevent allergies in the future rather when these foods are introduced early since it reduces the chances of children from becoming allergic to them later in life.
In spite of loads of benefits found in giving your baby different types of nuts, parents need to take caution on the following.
- Do not give a child less than five a whole nut to eat and giving peanut butter in a spoon to a baby. This could cause a choking hazard.
- If you are introducing nuts to your child’s meals ensure that it is ground or crushed into smaller piece.
- If you have a family history of allergies such as Eczema and other food allergies, you need to see the doctor before giving nuts to your baby as a weaning food.
Here are simple ways to infuse your child’s meal with peanut
- Mix a teaspoon or two of ground peanut into a plate with your baby’s cereal, yoghurt. Ensure that it is not too thick; stir it well before giving it to your baby.
- You can also use spread peanut, cashew nut butter on bread to serve as a finger food. Toddlers would enjoy this better. Though your baby may not be able to bite off, she can suck on it and lick up the nutritious butter too.
Peanut butter is great for vegetarians and vegan babies. You can either make your peanut butter or get a store bought one. In getting a store-bought peanut butter, look out for the ones that do not contain added salt or sugar.