5 Nigerian Foods To Help You Wean Your Baby


The weaning process is essential for your baby's overall health and development. It can sometimes be difficult for both the mother and baby. 


Weaning is transitioning a baby from breast milk or formula to solid foods or other sources of nourishment. Your baby should gradually ease into consuming solid foods during this time.


It is always important to start slowly by introducing new foods one at a time with patience. This will enable your baby to adjust to the new foods and avoid indigestion. For this, patience is needed as you must allow your baby to function at their own pace. 



         When should I wean my baby?


The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends starting the weaning process at 6 months of age. Before that time, it is essential to breastfeed your baby exclusively for 6 months. You can gradually introduce other foods while still breastfeeding. It can take several months before you can entirely wean your baby.


While trying to include indigenous foods in the weaning process, start with small amounts of mashed finger meals or complementary meals while still giving breast milk or formula. It continues until you completely replace breast milk with other solid foods.



    5 best Nigerian foods to wean your baby


Many Nigerian foods can be a healthy option when weaning your baby. They include;


  • Amala and ewedu/okro soup: Amala is a Nigerian swallow typical to the Yoruba tribe. It is made from yam flour and has a smooth, thick texture that is easy for babies to eat. It is rich in carbohydrates, which are essential for energy and growth. Ewedu or okro soup aids easy swallowing, making it ideal for your baby due to its sliminess. Amala can also be combined with other vegetable and protein-rich soups to serve as a complete meal and provide your baby with essential nutrients.


  • Pounded yam and efo riro: Pounded yam is another starchy swallow you can mash into a smooth consistency for your baby. It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients for your baby. Efo riro, on the other hand, is a stew made with spinach and other vegetables and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. This will be a great way to get your baby started on vegetables essential for their development. It can also be served with egusi soup, a good protein source and healthy fats. 


  • Ewa gonyin: Ewa gonyin is a Yoruba porridge made from beans. You can boil and blend into your desired consistency. This delicacy is a great source of protein and fiber, nutrients necessary for your baby's growth and development. A substitute for it can be porridge beans.


  • Plantains: You can introduce soft plantains as soon as your baby is ready to eat solids. Plantains contain vitamin B, including B6 and folate, which are essential for your baby’s development and equally easily digestible. Boil the plantain until tender, and serve finger foods with stew for your baby or prepare it as porridge with minimal seasoning and vegetables, then mash it afterward. 


  • Sweet potato: You can feed your baby potatoes as finger food, purée or mashed, which is great for weaning your baby. It also serves as a means to gain healthy weight in babies. You may choose to prepare it as a porridge or serve it boiled. 



These meals are all easy to prepare and can give your baby essential nutrients for growth. In general, you can mash any soft, nutritious food and feed your baby during weaning, as long as it is free of any spices or seasonings and is easy to digest. Mix some of these foods with breast milk or formula to thin them out and make them more palatable for your baby. Also, feed in small amounts, as much as your baby can comfortably eat.



     Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Can I wean my baby with eba?

Although a staple food, eba is not recommended as a baby's first food. This is because of its processing method and the likely digestion difficulty in babies. You can introduce it once your baby is older.


Can I give my baby amala?

Yes, amala is a nutritious and filling food for your baby. Ensure to prepare it well for easy digestion.  


Must I steam my baby’s vegetables?

You must steam all your baby vegetables, like carrots and cut them into tiny digestible chunks to prevent choking. 

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