10 practical knowledge on weaning in Kenya.

Recommended age by most medical Institutions and in Kenya to start weaning is 6 months.

However, to live in the real world, many people start weaning as early as three months due to a myriad reasons like inadequate breast milk, cannot afford formula or child does not seem to get satisfied. These people should not be condemned at all but be encouraged to do it in a healthy step-by-step way.

This is an example of a practical way to wean a child. Please note that foods suggested are locally available and affordable foods. One can substitute with their locally available foods or culturally recommended food in the same food groups.

1) 1-3 months  

Try as much as possible to breastfeed exclusively.

If that is not possible, then buy infant formula up to 9 months to 1 year of age.food1

If cost is an issue, then discuss with your well baby clinic attendant or doctor on what to do.

 

6am                       –              milk

9am                       –              milk

12noon                 –              milk

3pm                       –              milk

6pm                       –              milk

9pm                       –              milk

12midnight         –              milk when child wakes

3a.m                      –              milk when child wakes

2) 4th month 

First 2 weeks, introduce infant porridge that is sold in most shops and supermarkets. Give it once a day for about 3-5 days then twice a day until food is well taken.food2

Alternatively, use well ground, easily digested flours bought in many shops or markets. Please be very careful with these flours as some tend to be mixed with things like omena (a type of fish) which are protein in nature and can set off allergies early in life.

6am                       –              milk

9am                       –              milk

12noon                 –              porridge

3pm                       –              milk

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              porridge

9/10pm                 –              milk

Night time           –              milk when child wakes

Next 2 weeks, introduce a blended fruit like pawpaw. Give about half a small pawpaw once a day on alternate days.

6am                       –              milk

9am                       –              porridge

12noon                 –              milk

3pm                       –              milk/pawpaw

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              porridge

9/10pm                –              milk

Night time           –              milk if child wakes

 

3) 5th month

1st 2 weeks introduce weetabix with formula milk food5

6am                       –              milk

9am                       –              porridge

12noon                 –              milk

3pm                       –              weetabix

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              porridge/pawpaw

9/10pm                –              milk

Night time           –              milk when child wakes

 

Next 2 weeks introduce a 2nd fruit like blended mango.

6am                       –              milk

9am                       –              porridge

12noon                 –              milk

3pm                       –              weetabix

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              pawpaw/mango

9/10pm                 –              milk

Night time           –              milk when child wakes

 

 4) 6th month

Introduce blended combination of boiled potatoes, pumpkin and spinach with a pinch of salt.food3

Give diluted fresh orange juice or pineapple juice three times a week. Alternate days give some water.

6/7am                   –              milk

9am                       –              porridge

12noon                 –              Blended food with diluted juice/water

3pm                       –              weetabix or fruit

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              Blended food

9/10pm                –              milk

Night time           –              milk if child wakes

 

5) 7th month

Mash the food instead of blendingfood4

6/7am                   –              milk

9am                       –              porridge

12noon                 –              mashed food with diluted                                                   juice/water

3pm                       –              weetabix or fruit

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              mashed food

9/10pm                –              milk

Night time           –              milk if child wakes

 

6) 8th month

Give rice or ugali – ensure that it is not huge chunks and child is chewing a little. Safe alternative is to mash it a little.

With mince meat or fish.food6

With spinach or other easy to eat vegetable including carrot.

Fry the food in a little oil and with a little salt to taste.

 

6/7am                   –              milk

9am                       –              porridge

12noon                 –              lightly mashed food with diluted juice/ water

3pm                       –              weetabix or fruit

5pm                       –              milk

7/8pm                   –              Rice (Ugali)/mince meat/spinach

9/10pm                 –              milk

Night time           –              milk if child wakes

 

7) 9th month

Child usually picks food off your plate and you can allow them to eat what the family is eating as long as the food is in small bits, moist enough and easy to eat.food7

Includes chapatti, spaghetti, fruits and many other things in family diet

8) Do’s and don’ts of Proteins

a. Don’t introduce eggs before one year of age.

b. Start with one egg per week maximum until about 2 years so that one can look out                    for allergies. Ideally give on alternate weeks and no more than three eggs per week                  should ever be consumed. By anyone!calcium6

d. Do not introduce proteins before 6 months of age to protect against allergies

e. Cow milk should ideally be introduced at 9 – 12 months. Anyone wishing to                                    introduce it earlier should discuss with their health care provider so as to ensure                      that all the nutrients found in breast milk are made available to the child.

f. Do not introduce two foods especially proteins in the same two weeks so that we                       can watch out for allergies and try and determine the culprit.

9.)Do’s and don’ts of fruits

a. Don’t give bananas before 8 months of age.

b. Give just a piece of a banana and not more than three times per week.

c. Children should not eat more than two bananas per week even when older due to                    constipation (See blog on causes of constipation in children)food8

d. Avoid sweet bananas (the small type of ripe bananas pictured above) in children less than two years.

10.) Important points to note

a. Avoid store bought juice concentrates for up two – three years to prevent recurrent                  throat infections. If they must be consumed, make them as dilute as possible.

          b. If an allergic reaction to a specific food occurs and it is not life threatening i.e rash                    on the body, withdraw the food, wait about 2-4 weeks before re-introducing it again                and start again slowly. (Check blog on allergies for the different ways in which                              allergy manifests.)

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11 thoughts on “10 practical knowledge on weaning in Kenya.

  1. Am really greatful for the knowledge.kindly do i give the same mashed butternut,spinach,raw banana n potato or are there alternatives for babies aged sixmonths?

    1. Thank you Judy.

      Alternatives are not usually many in our setup. The above are in plenty, easy and quick to prepare. In addition, these are the foods that the child will eat later so they can learn to like them. Also remember to introduce foods slowly and increase variety as they grow. You’ll be surprised how soon 2 to 3 months go by and the child is eating rice from your plate. Remember that ripe bananas cause constipation. Wait until the child is a little older and use sparingly. Check out the blog on constipation in children. Have fun!

  2. my son is 5months….I don’t have enough breast milk and he has completely refused milk and porridge….what would you advise?

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