Chidren Weaning: Scientific Reasons Why Pap Alone is insufficient For A Child’s Growth
An adequate and balanced diet is an integral part of a child growth and development. Pap is being used to complement breastmilk at a certain point in time. What are the scientific reasons why Pap alone is insufficient for the growth of children?. Find out more as you explore other alternatives. 8mg Africa is a telemedicine company that provides accessible healthcare to people. You can order your drugs, and schedule a specialist consultation with our doctors.
Scientific reasons why Pap alone is insufficient for the growth of children.
According to the Healthline blog; Weaning is the process by which babies who were fully dependent on breast milk are introduced to solid foods. Six months is often recommended because, at this age, babies begin to need extra nutrients not found in milk, such as iron and zinc.
Weaning can be categorized into two primarily;
In this method, babies are encouraged to self-feed from the start. You can introduce solid foods as finger foods and allow your child to explore solids at their own pace.
In this approach, babies have to be gradually introduced to more solid foods. You can start with smooth purees before moving to mashed foods, then move gradually to finger foods, and finally small bites.
Why Pap alone is not enough.
Pap is not a completely balanced or adequate diet, and feeding a baby only with this might increase the chance of malnutrition. This is why adding other things like palm oil is also very good. Also, palm oil is a source of vitamins. Palm oil is important because it is a primary source of fat and oil, a major nutrient that is quite important for the child’s development.
It is important to note that breast milk is the most important food for an infant, however as a baby gets to 6 months of age, that alone is not enough, and this calls for complementary feeding, that is other soft/foods that are balanced inadequate nutrients. However, this should not replace breast milk in totality, as a baby needs at least a year of adequate breast sucking.
Most parents, especially Africans, find this challenging and resort to giving Pap the sole energy giver. Pap is a good source of fiber and potassium and promotes breast milk production in mothers due to its high water content. Its easy ability to get digested also makes it a good choice for babies. However, Pap is a carbohydrate and does not contain any other nutrients, so Pap alone is not nutritionally balanced and enough for babies. They need an adequate balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Pap itself isn’t bad, but giving it alone is not enough. You can add other classes of goods ranging from blended crayfish to complement baby food. The egg is a protein-rich in choline- a folic acid that helps in brain development. It can be fried, cooked, or added to complement foods and even Pap. You can also make egg custard with Pap using Pap with egg York. This is a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrate. You can even add fruit like a banana if you can.
That being said, let us explore the benefits of giving appropriately balanced and adequate diets for our babies:
It prevents malnutrition, which is one of the primary causes of children’s increased mortality and morbidity rate.
It enhances brain development: The brain undergoes significant growth during the early years of life, allowing parents to leverage that to provide a good diet for their children. Proper nutrition ensures age-appropriate weight, height, growth, and development; Though some growth might be influenced by other factors such as genetic influences, nutrition also plays a significant role. For example, minerals such as calcium can develop strong bones and teeth.
It also boosts their immune systems and protects them from infections. Vitamins such as vitamin C, and fruits are good sources. Proteins; mashed beans, blended dried fish, or crayfish.
Vegetables: Provide a variety of vegetables, like dark green, peas, starchy, and others; when selecting the frozen or canned type, choose one’s that is low in sodium.
Dairy. Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.
Other things to be cautious of
Refrain from offering sweets or sweetened beverages. This can cause tooth decay. Instead, you can get fruits to replace these as snacks as that is a good source of vitamins and enhances growth.
Do not give salt, including caffeine like soft drinks, chocolate, etc.
Limit saturated fats or trans fats from foods like full-fat dairy products, red meats, and poultry. It should be replaced with vegetable and nut oils, which are great sources of essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Examples of healthy fats are also available in olives, nuts, avocados, and seafood.
Limit giving them snacks like; biscuits, chocolate, ice cream, sweets, cakes, etc.
Alternatively, if they take these, it should be in small amounts. Other additional precautions you can take;
Check the label and choose lower in fat, saturated fat, sugars, and salt. Also, encourage and help your child to brush their teeth at least twice daily.