What every family and community should know about Child Growth (part 4)

What every family and community should know about Child Growth (part 4)

The following is lifted from Facts for Life, Philippine National Edition, published by the Philippine Information Agency in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Supporting Information on Child Growth

  1. Breastmilk alone is the best possible food for the first six months of a child’s life.

From the moment of birth up to the age of six months, breastmilk is all the food and drink a baby needs to grow well.  In these early months, when a baby is most at risk, breastmilk helps to protect against diarrhea and other common infections.

Breastmilk is the best food a child will ever have. If possible, breastfeeding should continue well into the second year of life and for longer if possible.

Bottlefeeding is a poor substitute for breastfeeding and can lead to diseases and death.

  1. By the age of six months, the child needs other foods in addition to breastmilk.

Breastmilk alone is the best food for a young baby.  At about the age of six months, other foods should be added.  But breastfeeding should continue.

The baby should be breastfed before being given other foods so that the mother will have more breastmilk for a longer period.

Adding a little flour made from a sprouted cereal can make a thick ‘lugao’ runnier and sweeter.  Thinning the ‘lugao’ in this way is better for the child than adding water.

Boiled, peeled and mashed vegetables should be added to a young child’s ‘lugao’ or other weaning food at least once each day.

The greater the variety of foods the child eats, the better. The following foods may be given:

– ‘lugao’ with egg, ‘dilis’ (powdered), mongo, tokwa

– Flaked fish, powdered shrimp

– Chopped leafy green vegetables

– Mashed squash

– Strained fruits like papaya, mashed banana

The mother must make the food attractive to the child.  This will help stimulate the child to try different kinds of food.