You can’t hold back your joy when your baby just completed six months of exclusive nursing. At this stage, they may have itchy gums. They show immense interest in eating and will try to grasp food out of your palms. As you start introducing soft foods and porridge in their diets, continue to breastfeed them to two years and beyond.
Since you will have to prepare mixtures of at least three food groups per recipe, add breast milk or animal milk to prepare the soft foods but do not add water. Milk being a dominant key ingredient you may consider alternatives.
Soy milk is one such equally nutritious alternative ingredient. It is affordable when homemade. Soya is the only plant protein whose biological value is equal to animal protein. It simply means, all the essential amino acids cow’s milk or eggs have are also contained in soya. It is healthy for all family members. Soya may be used for various other home made products aside from milk. For example, you may make tofu and yoghurts. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started on making your home made soy milk.
How to make home made soy milk
- ½ cup of soya beans
- 1litre of water to puree
- Flavouring of choice (Vanilla, Chocolate, Lemon, and Ginger etc.)
Equipment: Blender and strainer
Preparation time: 3hours-2hours to soak beans and 45 minutes to make soy milk
Steps to follow:
- Sort your soya beans.
- Soak the beans in water in an open container for two hours.
- Add the beans to a pan and fill up with water slightly to cover.
- Heat up the pan on a fire stove until almost to simmer. Do not bring to a rolling boil.
- Leave to cool.
- Drain and blend the beans to a pulp/puree, slowly adding water.
- To the pulp/puree add water stirring well.
- Strain out the milk from the pulp.
- Boil the milk and flavour to your taste.
- Store in cool place.
Storage and uses:
Under cool temperature in a tightly sealed container, the soy milk may take up to 5 days a week. The milk may be used as an ingredient in other recipes for your baby and the family.
As you prepare your baby’s feeds, always wash your hands with soap under flowing water. Consider using cleaned hands before feeding your baby. Also, use a clean open cup when giving the baby drinking water or any liquid foods. Since bottles, teats or spouted cups can be difficult to clean and may cause illness, do not use these for feeding. Always offer safe feeds that are not left over.
Too thin too thick is not ideal. See to it that all feeds can stay on the spoon. At 6 complete months, feed your baby at least 3 times a day. From 9 months onwards, feed your baby three to four meals a day. One to two snacks may be offered depending on your baby’s appetite. Snacks should not replace meals and only offer nutritious snacks like an egg, ripe fruits like banana, mango.
At 6 months, your baby’s stomach capacity is small, so start with three heaped teaspoons per feed. As the baby grows, you may increase the amount of foods to at least a third of a cup. If your child does not eat with an appetite, consider other foods not tried before. Also, actively and patiently encourage your baby to eat. Track your baby’s feed amounts by using a separate plate while feeding your baby. If your baby is sick, frequently offer additional smaller meals along the day and continue to breastfeed her or him for a faster recovery.
I have also attached a Ugandan recipe originally created in the oldest nutrition units for infants recovering from acute malnutrition. Please consider using it for the magic of feeding a six month old baby beef! Yes, toothless infants can eat meats with the ‘kitobero’ recipe. https://benarokiria.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/kitoobero-a-six-months-old-infants-recipe/