Blogger’s Meet And Talk On Feeding Your Baby!
INFANCY : GROWTH AND NUTRITION
Everyone knows sleep is one of the main things Moms crave and the weekends are the only time we can catch up on some. However we sacrificed on our Sunday morning sleep and travelled a long way to hear Dr Zubeda Tumbi, nutritionist with over 28 years of experience, talk about Nutrition and its importance during the first 1000 days of a baby’s life. She highlighted some interesting factors that I’d like to break down for you guys into simpler terms.
PROBLEMS WE FACE: MAL NUTRITION
Malnutrition actually means an “unbalanced diet” in which some nutrients are in excess, lacking or wrong proportion. Simply put, we can categorize it to be under-nutrition and over-nutrition. More than one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Among these, half of them under 3 are underweight and a third of wealthiest children are over-nutriented.
WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW
Nutrition can be broken down into Macro and Micro Nutrients. Your basic Macro nutrients are Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. These provide energy and aid in physical growth and development. This is what we can see and measure.
What about what we can’t see? Mental growth and Immuno Competence. That’s where your Micro Nutrients come in. These are your Minerals and Vitamins (Iron, Zinc, Iodine etc)
Deficiencies of these can cause a number of diseases for example Goiter, Cretinism, Growth Failure, Low Immunity etc etc. The hard truth is that with some careful adjustments in the food we give our kids these can be avoided.
SOLUTIONS: WHAT CAN WE DO?
As per the World Health Organization infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Thereafter they should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary food, while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years.
Initially we all know that when we introduce a child to food you take it very slow. Like you start with ¼ of a mashed banana or just a spoon of rice. However as their requirements grow we Mums need to smarten up our game.
– By simply adding some mint or coriander to our rice cereal we are increasing the vitamins and minerals quotient in that particular meal (not to mention enhancing the taste)
– Add some lime to the baby’s food to give Vit C.
– Other great sources of Vitamin C are Papaya, Peach, Mango, Aamla etc. inculcate these in the baby’s food.
– Try to insert Raagi into the diet. This grain in addition to being high in fiber is also a great source of protein, calcium and iron.
– For Non Vegetarians it’s important to introduce the child to your basic fish and chicken once they are 10 months or so. These are great sources of proteins. According to what your Pediatrician suggests add Eggs to the child’s diet, which is also an extremely good source of proteins.
– When preparing khichdi add the occasional spinach or peas. This will increase micronutrient nature of the meal.
– Bottle gourd or doodhi is also extremely healthy and will transfer a lot of vitamin C to your children.
These are just few of the examples that Dr Tumbi talked about.
Basically what we’re trying to say is study which foods will benefit your children and add the much-needed micronutrient content that is required for your children’s optimum growth and development. Instead what us mums tend to do is blindly listen to what our grandmothers and mothers say and just give bottles of cow or buffalo milk or even packaged food like Parle G mashed with milk. We need to ask ourselves. Is this really benefitting the baby?
For an easier approach to this you can always buy fortified foods easily available in the markets. Fortified foods are those products which have been enriched with micronutrients to give your children those vitamins and minerals that they might not receive from other sources.
To read up on more of Dr Zubeda Tumbi’s studies and views log onto www.drzubedatumbi.com or checkout her FB page @healthwatchindia .