As a new parent or an experienced one, it is normal to be concerned about your child’s weight, especially if they’re not as weighty as you expect them to be; which is why you need to know the foods that make babies fat in Nigeria. Usually, the common clamor will be about losing weight but that is not the case for babies.
It is a good sign for babies (ranging from 0 to 3 years old) to have good weight. In fact, healthy babies are expected to be at least 175 g more than their birth weight at three months old. By the fifth month, they should be double their birth weight, triple their birth weight by 12 months, and 5 times their birth weight by the time they’re 3 years old.
As you read on, you will find a list of foods, highlighted with their nutrients and benefits. They are foods that make babies fat and are easily accessible in Nigeria, for Nigerian babies. Although our food is characteristically high in calories, you can expect a little portion of them to help your baby gain weight easily.
Types of Food Babies Should Eat to Gain Weight
There are different types of food in Nigeria – some healthy, other not so healthy. These foods are sources of concern for adults and are mostly criticized for being high in calories and unsuitable for adult consumption. However, does its unsuitability for adults make them detrimental to babies as well?
Top Foods to Help Babies Gain Weight
|Breast milk is the perfect food for babies and provides all the nutrients they need in the first 6 months of life. It is also a rich source of calories and fat, which are essential for healthy weight gain
|Sorghum is a grain that is naturally high in calories and iron. It is also a good source of protein and fiber. Sorghum can be cooked into porridge or added to baby food
|Crayfish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain development. It is also a good source of iron and vitamin B12. Crayfish can be steamed, or boiled, and then served to babies
|Beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron. They are also a good source of folate, which is important for healthy cell growth. Beans can be mashed and added to baby food
|Fruits and Vegetables
|Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet and provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also a good source of water, which is important for babies
|Chicken is a good source of protein, fats and iron. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, which is important for brain development
|Eggs are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and iron. They are also a good source of vitamins A, B12, and D. Eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as scrambled, fried or boiled, and then served to babies
|Nuts are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Nuts can be ground into a paste and added to baby food
|Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C. They are also a good source of fiber and potassium. Sweet potatoes can be mashed, baked, or steamed and then served to babies
|Yoghurt is a good source of protein and calcium. It is also a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health
|Rice meal is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. It is also a good source of iron and vitamin B12
Since babies have new organs and need nutrients for the rapid growth they will experience in the next couple of years, they need all the healthy nutrients they can get, beginning from the one they get from their mothers. Foods that babies should be given should correspond to their nutritional needs and supplied in the right quantity.
Therefore, foods that make babies fat and gain weight should have the following:
Easy to Digest
Foods that are hard and require prolonged chewing are not suitable for babies. They do not have a well-developed canine system like adults and need to be given foods that can be easily acted on and processed by their young digestive system.
This means the food should have a considerable amount of fiber and should cause no digestive issues in their stomachs. In essence, food such as unripe plantain, may cause chewing issues for babies, especially below one year old.
Foods that are soft and easy to make into mashes are preferable for babies. Their surface area is high, making it easy to get them into the digestive tract and prevent possible constipation. Also, they are easily moved around the mouth of babies without teeth, making feeding them easier.
Good nutritional balance
As much as it is encouraged for babies to gain weight as much as they can, it is best to help them gain healthy weight, so as not to make it difficult for them to shed the weight in later years. A balance of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals should be ensured, since they all play an important role in helping their developing organs grow healthily.
Also, ensure that your baby is not overfed, as this may cause upset in their digestive system.
Kids love fun. Make their food colorful and fun. Mix bright colored foods with food options that may seem dull and uninteresting. This helps them eat better and consequently affects how well they eat the good food options you have selected for that purpose.
Top Foods That Make Babies Fat
In Nigeria, there are foods that will easily help your baby get fat and gain weight. All of the foods on this list have been fed to babies of different ages and have been certified by experienced mothers and pediatricians to give good results.
Undoubtedly the most important food you can give a baby from the moment they have been born till they are about 6 months old. Breast milk provides all the nutrient children need to grow in the first six months of their lives. This is not because the breast milk is nutritious on its own but because the mother eats nutritious food.
Breast milk contains nutrient passed from mother to child. Therefore, a well-fed mother will make the child well-fed and help them gain weight. Nutrients a breastfeeding mother should have in their diet include abundance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. However, fats and oil should not be neglected as they also help in improving the development of lymphatic nerves and supply an ample amount of energy.
Sorghum pottage and Crayfish
Sorghum is a grain that is rich in carbohydrate and some fiber. It helps to supply energy to the child and is stored as glycogen when not used. It is also rich in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, essential for metabolic processes, and growth of tissues.
Crayfish is rich in minerals, and has a high value of protein. It is usually ground and mixed with sorghum pottage to produce a nutritious blend that is tasty and colorful. It is easy to digest and easy to prepare. Babies from the age of six months old can be given this combination.
Beans is a common food choice among Nigerians and one of the foods that make babies fat. It is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also high in calories, supplying ample energy to both mother and child. It is easy to mash beans and feed it to babies from about six months old. However, it is important to note that minimum salt and pepper should be used.
Beans is easy to digest and provides protein that is used in tissue synthesis.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, water, minerals, and fiber. They aid digestion and help to prevent constipation. The vitamins in the fruits and vegetables help to improve immunity which is needed to shield babies from infections.
Minerals present in fruits and vegetables help in muscle development and growth. Tropical fruits such as bananas are good energy sources and will help to supplement energy needs in toddlers.
Chicken is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. It provides all the nutrient an individual may need to improve their growth rate. For babies, they need a little amount of chicken, and it can be included in their feed, especially grains.
It is more suitable for breastfeeding mothers and toddlers from two years old. Babies from 0 to 6 months old can get the nutrients through breast milk from their mother, while from 1 year old can have their chicken shredded.
Eggs are protein-packed. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals and can be prepared in different ways. Their nutrients can be transferred from mother to babies via breastfeeding as long as the mother eats enough eggs.
Doctors encourage children to eat at least an egg a day but that is not applicable to babies under one year old. Eggs can be fried or boiled but kids prefer them fried since peppers help to add color to the dish and it provides an immense amount of calories, considering the oil used in frying them. therefore, it is one of the foods that make babies fat.
Nuts are rich in vitamins and proteins. Groundnuts are popular in Nigeria and although they are risky to give to kids, they can be made into paste to ground into powder, to be added into pottage meant for babies.
Other nuts such as almond nuts, walnuts are too big for babies to eat. It is, therefore, beneficial that mothers eat them so that their babies can access the nutrients from their breast milk. However, toddlers more than 2 years old can easily chew nuts and can be saved from chocking on the nuts.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, carbohydrates, and some level of protein. They are usually soft when cooked and can be easily mashed and fed to babies from 6 months and above. Mothers can eat sweet potatoes and pass on part of the nutrients to their babies.
The cream color of sweet potatoes makes them attractive on plates and help babies eager to try them. It can be combined with beans and can be made into porridge.
Yoghurt is rich in protein and contains minimal amount of fat. It is a healthy food choice that can be consumed by both adults and children, as long as they are older than 6 months. Younger babies can have the nutrient in yoghurt through their mother’s breast milk.
Yoghurt also contains fiber and probiotics which improves digestion and promotes gut health, which is needed by growing babies.
Rice is a common food choice in Nigeria, among adults and children. It is cooked and usually combined with other foods, such as beans, chicken, beef, and stew. Rice is high in calories but low in protein. Therefore, it needs other food sources to help supply protein.
This compilation of foods that make babies fat and gain weight in Nigeria is tested and trusted among mothers and pediatricians. These food choices provide vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and fiber for mothers and babies, helping them add weight fast.