Life they say is worth living for and staying healthy is the key accompanied with proper hygiene and good nutrition.
My mother ”Abigail” as we fondly call her, beckoned on me after my bridal shower.
Abigail said ‘my daughter there is this secret I would like to share with you about children and their recommended nutritional diet for especially their first 1000 days on earth’.
From the first day of conception, the nutrition of the child kick starts and must be monitored judiciously. Consuming the following foods in right proportion is the best way to start the life of every single baby. All mothers owe them this…
1. Lean protein- Good protein sources like meat, poultry, fish, beans, milk, cheese, nuts etc support proper growth of fetal tissue, including the brain; Increases blood supply, the high quantity of which is needed by an infant
2. Eat 3 servings of protein per day – Fruits and vegetables, These colorful foods are low in calories and rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals. Eat at least 3-5 ”tennis ball” size per day.
Whole grains, such as rice millet ,maize etc are important sources of energy in the diet, and they also provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins. All of which does the baby lots of good.
3. Dairy- such as milk, soya, cheese, which provide good dietary sources of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Calcium help build your baby’s bones and regulate your body’s use of fluid. Eat 3-4 serving of dairy per day.
4. Folate- can be gotten from foods such as liver, nuts, dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs etc. Folate helps in reducing the risk of neural tube defects which affect baby’s brain and spinal cords.
After the delivery of your baby, Breast milk must be initiated within an hour of birth to ensure your baby receives the colostrum or ”first milk’‘ which is rich in protective factors. During the next six months, practice exclusive breastfeeding.
Exclusive Breastfeeding is giving your baby no other food or drinks not even water but ONLY breast milk for six month.
Breast milk protects your child from infectious diseases; It is always available, safe at right concentration and temperature; and easily digested by infants.
From six months, Family foods should be introduced while continuing breast milk for as long as you wish.
Your child would need semi-solid calorie and nutrient-dense foods to provide extra energy, protein, iron, vitamin C and other nutrients for growth. The family food introduced should include staples (tuber ,grains ,cereals etc); legumes (groundnut, soya beans etc); green leafy vegetables and fruits; Animal protein (fish, meat, egg etc ).
The food should be prepared and served in a clean, safe and hygienic manner; Your child should obtain all the immunization for preventable infectious diseases.
And finally she concluded saying to me ‘ the first 1000 days of life is essential for adulthood and Children are reflection of what they are fed with.