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CHILD FEEDING FROM 0 TO 12 MONTHS  

 

I am going to be discussing infant and young child feeding and my focus will be on children aged 0 to 12 months.

Child nutrition is important for a proper growth. Undernutrition leads to stunted growth, mortality and eventually morbidity.

There are two phases of breastfeeding involved:

  1. Exclusive breastfeeding which should be carried out at the first 6 months of the infant’s life.
  2. Complementary feeding. This is also known as weaning period. It is when a child is introduced to solid foods. The child is introduced to complementary feeding at the 6th month of life.

 

EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

An infant should breastfeed within the first 30 minutes to 1 hour of birth to prevent infections and child morbidity. Exclusive breastfeeding should be carried out for the first six months without introducing complementary food. This will minimize cases of food allergy. It will also minimize cases such as asthma and eczema.

HIV infected mothers are also recommended to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months as long as they are on antiretroviral medication. The medication reduces the risk of transmission from mother to child. Mixed feeding before six months can lead to diarrhoea or the child being infected with HIV.

Exclusive breastfeeding benefits both mother and child in such ways:

  1. The breast milk does not have any microorganisms.
  2. There is a strong bonding between the mother and the infant through breastfeeding.
  3. It leads to quick healing of the mother’s birth related wounds.
  4. All the nutrients the infant requires are found in the breast milk.
  5. The milk is of the right temperature.
  6. It is a method of family planning.
  7. It increases the child’s intelligence in later ages.
  8. It reduces the risks of breast cancer for the mother.

 

COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING / WEANING

Complementary food is introduced as a mother continues breastfeeding. It is started at the six months of a child’s age.

At six months, the energy and nutrient needs have already increased hence the need to introduce complementary foods that carter for the extra needed energy and nutrients.

A couple of factors must be considered at this stage:

  • The child’s nutrient needs.
  • Hygiene when handling the food.
  • The food should contain the right texture.
  • Add flavour and colour to the food so that the baby might be interested in feeding (do not add artificial flavour and colouring).
  • The level of the child’s tolerance to the food.

At this stage, poor feeding can lead to malnutrition so the mother should make sure the child gets the required nutrients and the right quantity of food daily.

  • At 6 months the mother should start with pureed food, pureed carrots, potato, pumpkin, fruits such as pawpaw and bananas and as the baby learns how to chew introduce pureed peas, cabbage, spinach or broccoli, mixed starch such as potatoes with vegetables, dairies such as yogurt and bread deepen in soup or milk. Introduce soft porridge.

A mother can also introduce fruits such as oranges and observe the child’s reaction to them.

Kenya Ministry of Health recommends the babies to be fed 2 times at this stage. Feed 2 to 3 spoons at each meal.

  • At 7 to 9 months, introduce mashed and or minced food. Include some lambs so that the child’s GIT system can be used to solid foods. All nutrients should be given.Starch such as rice, potatoes, porridge, Weetabix and oats are given. Boiled water is introduced. Fruit juices made from fruits only with no additives or sugar and it should be diluted (1 part juice to 10 boiled water which is cooled) and fruits such as oranges, bananas and apples are given. A mother can also give meat, dairy products such as yogurt and vegetables such as carrot, spinach and cabbage.      Feed the baby 3 times and give a half of a 250 ml cup per meal.
  • At 10 to 12 months. Introduce minced or chopped food. All the nutrients should be considered when feeding the child.

Feed 3 times a day and introduce a snack. Give ¾ of a 250 ml cup in each meal.

 WHAT NOT TO GIVE

  1. Egg white

It causes allergic reactions to the child.

  1. Large amounts of salt

The baby needs only a pinch of salt since the baby’s kidney is not mature enough to deal with large amounts of sodium.

  1. Nuts and some seeds

They cause choking since the child’s gut is not well developed to handle such rough foods.

  1. Milk

Milk from animals and soy milk contain proteins the child cannot digest. Minerals in these milk can damage the kidney.

  1. Honey

It causes infant botulism. This is because of immature growth of the baby’s intestines.

  1. Vegetables that may be hard to swallow for example traditional vegetables.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FRUITS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY

Fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals.

A pregnant woman needs high amounts of vitamins and minerals because of the extra nutrients need.

Not all fruits, however, are recommended for pregnant women.

These fruits are:

GREEN PAWPAW

The green pawpaw is semi ripe and it contains latex.

This latex causes uterine contraction hence there is miscarriage or early labour for those who are not due to give birth.

Ripe pawpaw has less latex compared to unripe pawpaw, hence, it has no effect on pregnancy. It is actually a good source of vitamin A and C.

PINEAPPLE

Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapples causes spasm of the uterus and softening of the cervix when taken in large amounts. The affected group is the first and second trimester pregnant women.

It leads to early labour and miscarriage .

Taking pineapple is not totally discouraged. Take about 2 to 3 servings of pineapple in a week.

Point to note:

  • There should be total hygiene when taking fruits to avoid toxoplasmosis infections.
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MALNUTRITION IN KENYA

Malnutrition is known as both under nutrition and over nutrition. We are going to discuss under nutrition today.

Malnutrition is a leading primary health care problem which leads to the persistence of health problems such as malaria, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis.

Groups more vulnerable to malnutrition

 Most of the groups affected by malnutrition are infants and children under the age of 59 months because of their rapid growth and development, pregnant and lactating women, malnourished pregnant women give birth to low birth weight babies risking the baby to malnutrition which may lead to stunted growth, mortality and morbidity and also mental disabilities. also affected are the elderly especially when they receive little or no care at all, those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, the immuno-suppressed patients and the adolescents, especially women because they depend on nutrition to sustain the changes that occur in their bodies.

Causes of malnutrition

  • Poverty and the prices of food.
  • The economic status of the area.
  • Lack of breast feeding. This may cause malnutrition to the infant.
  • Poor mobility. This comes in hand when there is poor transportation of food to the affected areas.
  • Political instability.
  • Poor agricultural production in the area or the country at large.
  • Increased infectious diseases such as diarrhea lead to poor absorption of nutrients.

Prevention of malnutrition

  • Provide the people in the affected areas with fortified foods, especially those with lots of nutrients.
  • Introduce irrigation in the areas to prevent food shortage at all times.
  • Provide a much comfortable life to the people by providing food and shelter to them.
  • Educate the people so that they can get their own incomes to purchase food.
  • Treat primary health diseases that lead to malnutrition.

Parts in Kenya mostly affected by malnutrition

  • Arid and semi arid areas such as North Eastern, northern part of Eastern, some parts of southern Eastern such as Kitui.
  • Emergency areas such as Dadaab.
  • Places affected by floods such as Budalangi.

Malnutrition leads to the persistence of infections such as malaria, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis. It also increases the risk of HIV/AIDs transmission from mother to child.

In children, it leads to mental disability and there are cases of low blood sugar sugar due to malnutrition which can be detected by convulsion.

Protein – energy malnutrition

Most commonly known type of under nutrition is the protein energy malnutrition. This includes kwashiorkor and marasmus.

Kwashiorkor is caused by protein deficiency and the signs are edema, dry and peeling skin, de-pigmented skin and hair and belly swelling.

Marasmus is caused by protein and energy deficiency. Signs and symptoms include stunted growth and wasting of the muscles and tissues.

 

 

 

 

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FAKE FRIENDS

We all have friends, real and fake ones.

Today we discuss fake ones.

They say a friend in need is a friend indeed and so I get to meet a lady who is in need. She is not a friend yet but because I am in a position to help, we become friends. We get to stay friends for a few weeks then she goes mum, becomes closer to “friends” who did not offer help. Time goes by and after months the “friend” is in need again. Being a child of God I lend a helping hand. This time the “friendship” lasts but all along I know she is a FAKE.

Well, that is just one incident.

Here is another one:

I earn more than this lady, I save as much as I can and she squanders her money such that by mid-month she has little or no money left. She comes to me when she is broke and I support her to my ability. Earlier this month I ask her to take me shopping “it is a thing frienSds do” and she seems hesitant but eventually she agrees to it. My shopping runs smoothly until I go to purchase chicken. She give me a bad eye and insists that she is in a hurry and has to leave immediately.

Here are self-explanatory signs of fake friends that I have observed while making friends:

 1. THEY ARE ALWAYS JEALOUS.

2. THEY AVOID YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.

3. THEY NEVER WANT YOU TO SUCCEED.

4. THEY ARE NOT SUPPORTIVE.

5. THEY ALWAYS GOSSIP ABOUT YOU WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

6. THEY CONTACT YOU WHEN THEY NEED YOUR HELP OR WHEN IT SOOTS THEM.

7. THEY TALK DOWN ON YOU.

8. THEY COUNT LOSS WHEN THEY SPEND ON YOU.

9. THEY DELIGHT IN YOUR PAIN.

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VITAMINS AND MINERALS MAIN FUNCTIONS AND DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES (Simplified)

VITAMIN A
As an  important role in vision and reproduction.

RDA:

• Infants and children – 2000 iµ/day to 3300 iµ/day.

• Females –  4000 iµ/day

• Males – 5000 iµ/day

VITAMIN D

Helps in calcium and phosphorous absorption in the bones, teeth and intestines.

RDA:

• Infants, children and adolescents – 10 mcg/day

• Men and women – 5mcg/day

VITAMIN E

It is an antioxidants and also protects the cells from damage which may cause some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

RDA:

• Children –  6 mg/day

• Males – 15 mg/day

• Female – 15 mg/day

• Pregnancy – 15 mg/day

• Lactating – 19 mg/day

VITAMIN K

It has a role in the formation and regulation of blood clotting proteins.

RDA:

• Children – 30-55 µg/day

• Males – 120 µg/day

• Females – 90 µg/day

VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN)

A coenzyme involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.

RDA:

• Children 0.5 – 0.6mgday

• Males – 1.3 mg/day

• Females – 1.1 mg/day

• Pregnancy and lactation –  1.4 mg/day

VITAMINS B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)

It is a coenzyme in oxidation and reduction reactions.

RDA:

• Children – 0.5 – 0.6 mg/day

• Males –  1.3 mg/day

• Females –  1.1 mg/day

• Pregnancy – 1.4mg/day

• Lactating – 1.6mg/day

VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN)

It is a coenzyme in energy metabolism and hydrogen transfer with numerous dehydrogenases.

RDA:

• Children –  6 to 8 mg/day

• Males –  16mg/day

• Females – 14 mg/day

• Pregnancy – 18 mg/day

• Lactating –  17mg/day

VITAMIN B12

Essential for the development and maintenance of the red blood cells.

RDA:

• Children 0.9- 1.2 µg/day

• Males – 2.4 µg/day

• Females 2.4 µg/day

• Pregnancy 2.6 µg/day

• Lactating – 2.8 µg/day

FOLIC ACID (FOLATE)

It has an important role in red blood cells, DNA and RNA synthesis.

RDA:

• Children – 150 to 200 µg/day

• Males – 400 µg/day

• Females – 400 µg/day

• Pregnancy – 600 µg/day

• Lactating – 500 µ g/day

CALCIUM

It is a structure component of teeth and bones.

RDA:

• Children – 800 mg/day

• Males – 1000 mg/day

• Females – 1000mg/day

• Pregnancy and lactating – 1200 mg/day

IRON

It is a component of haemoglobin which transports oxygen to the body tissues.

RDA:

• Children – 5.8 to 8.9 mg/day

• Males – 13.7 mg/day

• Females – 11.3 mg/day

• Pregnancy

• Lactating – 15 mg/day

MAGNESIUM 

A structural component of bones and teeth.

RDA:

• Children – 80 to 130mg/day

• Males – 410 mg/day

• Females – 310 mg/day

• Pregnancy – 350 mg/day

• Lactating – 310 mg/day

PHOSPHORUS 

It is a structural component of bones and teeth.

RDA:

• Children – 460 to 500 mg/day

• Males – 700 mg/day

• Females 700 mg/day

POTASSIUM 

It is important in acid base balance.

RDA:

• Children – 3000 to 3800 mg/day

• Males – 4700 mg/day

• Females – 4700 mg/day

• Lactating – 5100 mg/day

ZINC

It is important in DNA and protein synthesis.

RDA:

• Children – 3 to 5mg/day

• Males – 11mg/day

• Females – 8mg/day

• Pregnancy – 11mg/day

• Lactating – 12mg/day

REFERENCE

World Health Organization (2016). Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements. Food and Nutrition Division FAO Rome. Pg 29-290.

Alberta Health Services (2013). Nutrition Guidelines Vitamins and Minerals. Pg 3-9.

Corinne H Robinson (2000). Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Fourth Edition. Pg 91-111.

 

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PREGNANT DIET

It is hard to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy because of hormonal imbalance but, hey, you have to do it for you and your baby.
The following may not be your ideal meal right now but they are very crucial to you and the fetal growth.

1.Greens.

Greens include spinach, broccoli , kale, cabbage, lettuce, mustard greens, iceberg, collard greens and traditional vegetables. They have nutrients such as iron, potassium, vitamin A,C,K and fiber.

Iron is essential for pregnant women as it forms hemoglobin which is required for transportation of adequate oxygen across the body. It is also essential for fetal growth. Its deficiency leads to low hemoglobin in the body hence iron deficiency anemia, dizziness,  weakness, extreme fatigue, poor appetite and poor fetal growth.

Fiber is essential to minimize constipation during pregnancy.

2. Dairy products

They include milk, yogurt, cheese among others and they contain calcium which is required for healthy bone formation for the fetus.  The mother also requires calcium for healthy  and strong bones.

3. Eggs

Eggs are high biological proteins which are essential for fetal growth and brain health due its choline and omega 3 fatty acids contents.

4. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy required for fetal growth and therefore the intake should be increased.

5. Fats

Unsaturated fats such as olive oil contribute in the development of foetus.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for fetal nervous system development.

6. Water

A minimum of 8 glasses of water a day is essential for elimination of waste material from the body and for nourishment of the fetus and the mother.

Feel free to add other points and correct me where I am wrong.
Thank you for reading.

 

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Weight Loss Diet

In order to lose weight, dieting and exercising are key.

Most people exercise frequently and some will be complaining:

“I exercise daily but I am adding weight!”

What you should know is if you exercise but your diet plan is poor, that is, your diet contains high amount of fats, proteins, starch and empty calories, then you might be wasting your time and energy. Such foods, when taken in high amounts, are stored in the body as fats since the body cannot utilize all of them at once.

In my article today, I will outline foods that will help you feel full quickly hence, you will be able to diet.

1. Oat meals

Oat meals in the morning keeps you full for long.

They have fibre, both insoluble and soluble.

A cup of oatmeal present 4 grams of fibre.
2. Eggs

They make one fuller because they have proteins and fats.

Proteins take longer to be digested than other food groups thus leaving one feeling fuller till digestion is over.
3. Fruit pudding and juices

Fruits have fibre.

Taking puddings and unseized juices especially at night will leave you feeling fuller for a long time.
4. Water

Taking a lot of water makes one eat less than they should because water curbs cravings and hunger.
5. Natural yogurt

Natural yogurt has proteins, fats and calcium and many other components.
Proteins and fats take relatively a longer period to get digested.

One feels full during this period.

6. Vegetables such as broccoli and cabbages

They have fibre which will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
They are also low in fats and high in roughage.

They contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help one to keeping shape.

 

Additional tip:

Take the lightest meal of the day as supper and it should be taken more than 2 hours before sleeping. This is because at night one is less active thus if not keen the energy taken will be stored in the body as fat.

Thank you for reading this article.