Weaning comes with a lot of excitement, fears and joys. Every mom is always looking forward to introducing solid foods to their baby. The main concern is always whether the baby will love the food you prepare, is she going to be allergic? How will I ensure that she take a balanced diet…and the list is endless!
My main worry was introducing proteins. We all agree that breastmilk is the most nutritious meal for a baby. But after 6 months, it is not sufficient hence needs to be supplemented with solids foods. At first, the animal proteins like meat was a NO! Then the nutritionist advised that I should not give any cow milk until the baby is one year. I thought the baby’s digestive system was not fully developed. I thought plant proteins and the first thing that came to mind was beans. If they make me gassy, what about the baby? These protein fever can be so much so, that you restrain giving them to the baby.
With all these noises, are the proteins really necessary? The answer is YES!!!!! From my biology, proteins are composed of amino acids that aid in growth and development. In a layman’s language, I would call them Body Building Foods. Meaning, it’s what the baby needs to grow….am I clear? The question is, how much protein does your baby need? How do you know that she is having enough? Am still researching on this and will tell you soon. Keep following. For now am using my head….LOL!
My baby is average weight…meaning she is in between…not overweight and not underweight. Her monthly weight gain ranges between 300g-400g. After one month of introducing proteins, she gained 600g in a month. I was sooo excited! I will share with you some of the protein rich foods that I have introduced and also how to prepare them.
- Milk- I use both breastmilk and cow milk. I know the voice of your pediatrician is condemning me at the back of your head right now. Well, am not a medical practitioner but I do not understand why someone should tell me to give my baby yoghurt and not milk! If anything, milk is lighter…. (in my view….quite literally.) Anyway, I use milk to prepare cereals for breakfast, I also add it in the porridge. If the mashed food is a bit dry and need to be “moisturized”, why not use milk instead of water. The most important thing to remember is to dilute it especially when introducing in the ratio of 1:1. By this I mean, for every ml of milk, add the same ml of water. Go reducing the water as the baby grows. Remember, milk is not only a good source of protein but calcium that your baby needs for strong bones and teeth development.
- Yoghurt- Yoghurt is good source of proteins, vitamins and calcium too. Mostly, it processed from cow’s milk. I would recommend natural/Plain yoghurt (usually indicated on the pack). I used to give yoghurt between meals. Unfortunately, my baby doesn’t like it and she vomits all the time. This is my experience, but I would highly recommend it if you baby loves it. The natural yoghurt is not tasty. I served it with fruits ranging from mangos, bananas, strawberries etc. Serve with whatever works for your baby.
- Beans- Yes! Beans are very rich in proteins and readily available too. I use kidney bean or yellow beans because they are less gassy. I soak the beans overnight, then cook the following day. Soaking help in removing excess gas from the beans. While boiling the beans, add a full pealed carrot in the boiling water. Carrots help in absorbing the gas too. Once cooked, rinse the beans with cold water. And you are ready to cook or mixed with other baby’s food. My baby’s favorite…that we have adopted in the family’s meal is mashing pumpkins and beans. Just fry the pumpkins, add pre-cooked beans, add water, cook till ready. Then mash. It’s very yummy and healthy! You should try it out and don’t forget to give feedback. Beans help relieve constipations too.
- Peas- We all love They are rich in proteins and fiber too. Prepare them just like the beans. You can mash them with potatoes, pumpkins or bananas. No harm in adding a leaf or two of spinach. It’s delicious!
- Lentils/ Ndengu- I know you are surprised! Yes…Ndengus are healthy for the baby. They are rich in proteins and fibre too. You don’t have to worry about the gas unlike the beans. Boil the lentils for 30 minutes. You can mash or puree them with carrots, potatoes, bananas or even sweet potatoes. It soo YUMMY!
- Eggs-Most moms are scared of giving eggs to their babies…but actually, it’s very healthy and nutritious. It’s also very easy to prepare. Just blend the scrambled or boiled egg with potatoes and spinach. And you are ready for a scrumptious meal!
- Fish- LOL! I know you are thinking of the sharp bones. I use fish fillet coz at least it’s boneless or rather, the bones have been removed. Fish is rich source of protein. I normally fry the fish till well cook. I add pre-boiled potatoes and spinach. Then mash or blend. It’s amazing!
- Chicken– Who doesn’t love chicken! I boil the chicken. Fry with pumpkins or potatoes and spinach then blend. It’s delicious!
I have not introduced beef yet. I should try it soon. We are 8 months today. It’s important to observe your baby’s reaction to certain foods. Proteins can be allergic. Ensure you at least serve a protein dish daily. Do not overfeed! Am still trying to figure out more recipes to make this weaning journey interesting? I would be happy to know how you prepare you protein dishes for your munchy! Keep breastfeeding to get more protein intake. What
What other proteins are you giving your baby? Comment below. Don’t forget to like and follow me on facebook for more.
Before you leave, have you heard about BLW? Baby-Led Weaning? Is your baby tired of mushies, pureed and spoons? Time to try out something exciting like BLW. Here is how to go about it. MUST READ!http://wowmom.co.ke/your-baby-wont-take-spoons-try-baby-led-weaning-blw/