Children are very amazing. Anyone who has children or has encountered them can testify that they are very unique. Our duties as parents, guardians and older siblings are to ensure they develop physically and mentally.
At each stage of growth certain foods are required more than others. Encourage healthy growth and development by following this nutrition guide for children.
Nutrition for infants at six to twelve (6-12) months
At 6 months of age, breast milk continues to be a vital source of nutrition, but it is not enough by itself. Babies need to be introduced to solid foods in addition to breast milk, to keep up with their growth needs.
At this stage, babies are learning to chew. Their first food needs to be soft to make swallowing easier. Foods such as porridge or well mashed fruits and vegetables can be introduced.
Babies should be fed by giving two to three (2-3) spoonfuls of soft food twice daily. The reason being that, their stomach is small. They can only eat small amounts at each meal. Babies may need time to get use to these new foods. Be patient and do not force them to eat.
Nutrition for children between ages one to two (1 – 2)
At 1 year old, a child learns to eat on his or her own. He or she is able to chew food as that of an adult. Breast milk still provides important nutrition and protection against disease, but other foods become their main source of nutrition and energy.
What to feed my child ?
A child at this stage, can eat anything. He or she can be fed with some of all the food the family eats. The meal should be highly nutritious. For instance;
• a portion of animal foods ( milk, dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry) each day
• Green vegetables
• A little oil or fat for energy
How much food and how often should my child eat ?
He or she can take between three quarters to one cup of food three to four times a day, plus one to two snacks between meals.
Nutrition for children two (2) years over
Children at this stage should be eating three healthy meals a day, plus one or two snacks.
Ensure the child eats from each of the basic four food groups each day :
• meat, fish poultry, eggs
• Milk, cheese and other dairy products
• Fruits and vegetables
• Cereals, potatoes, rice, flour products
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