What Should Babies Eat? Definitely Not Instant Noodles.

Last month, an elderly Nigerian woman who lives in the United States was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a baby.

She didn’t pre meditate killing the baby so technically she was found guilty of second degree murder.

At the time, she worked as a nanny for the family of the baby and force- fed the baby milk. You know that thing older Nigerian women do? Where they hold a baby who has refused to eat down and literally pour pap or whatever liquid or semi-liquid down their throat. Yeah, that’s what she did and essentially drowned the infant.

I’ve witnessed this in real life and I’d always watched with a sort of morbid fascination, you know the kind: like when you see an accident and don’t want to look but your eyes keep getting drawn to the mangled limbs. Yeah that.

That is definitely NOT a way to feed your baby, and while we’re here, we’re also going to talk about things NOT to feed your baby.

I watched with concern and a little horror at an argument that happened on Twitter. It was centered around babies and what they should and should not eat. I saw arguments that babies can eat instant noodles, processed fruit juice, and other stuff that I am certain babies should not be consuming. Nigeria is unfortunately among the top ten countries with the highest infant mortality rate in the world and it’s no surprise, with what babies are being fed.

We all know babies are fragile beings, we handle them with care and tenderness. This also applies to what they are fed. A child’s nutrition is one of the major influences in how his or her brain develops and weirdly enough, that child’s eating habits.

In case you missed the Twitter argument, there are a few of the horrific things I saw that you are advised not to feed to babies


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Noodles

I don’t think I should have to explain this one but I will because sometimes warnings need to be repeated. Noodles might seem like a good, quick option for meals but it is a full size, capital, and bold NO. They are unhealthy, even adults and should be out of the question for adults so certainly not for babies. Most instant noodles contain chemicals like sodium and MSG known as Monosodium Glutamate which has been found to lead to brain damage.  Noodles are also usually coated with wax to make it look appealing but wax is dangerous for children and can lead to liver damage. Please, do not feed your children instant noodles. Pasta is a good substitute for instant noodles and babies can start to eat this after the eight month mark.

 

Fruit Juice

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I know this might look like a good idea, but believe me, it’s not; especially when it comes to highly acidic fruit juices like orange juice because Babies have fairly new digestive systems that is pretty sensitive to such a substance. Fresh juice is not an option and processed juice is most certainly not.

 

Pap

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Yes, you might say that pap is healthy and has been Nigerian mothers’ go to staple for babies but it’s really not that great if it’s given too early in the child’s life e.g at 2 - 3 months and if not fortified with formula. It’s not a terrible option, but you really shouldn’t be given babies fresh out of the womb pap. Secondly, if it’s not mixed with formula or something else, it’s not very nutritious.


Seriously, dear Nigerians, I cannot over emphasise the importance of being very precise and careful with what we feed our children especially babies. Their lives depend on it, literally.