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Health centre advocates locally made food

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PREGNANT and nursing mothers have been advised to always cook locally sourced foods for their household for healthy living.

Mrs Claire Nwankwu, Officer-in-Charge of Maternal Child Health Centre (MCH), Amawbia, gave the advice during food demonstration organised by the facility.

Mrs Nwankwu expressed displeasure at some mothers who have derailed from locally sourced foods to fast food, which was being focused as cause of some health problems in the society.

“Feeding on noodles and other junk foods can expose one to early diabetes. Poor nutrition during pregnancy or during a child’s first three years can slow a child’s mental and physical development for life.

“At six months, a child needs complementary foods and drinks in addition to breast milk for energy, protein, vitamins and other nutrients needed to support growth and development,” she said.

The officer urged mothers to start with soft, mushy foods and move gradually to more solid ones when introducing solid foods to the child.

Mrs Phoebe Iwobi, a nutritionist, urged mothers to wash their hands properly before preparing each meal.

“Mothers should ensure that food utensils and preparation surfaces are kept clean and away from animals. Foods can also be stored food in covered containers,” she said.

Mrs Iwobi said the essence of the training was to teach mothers within the child bearing stages, the ideal complementary food to be giving to their children after exclusive breastfeeding.

She advocated for coarse pap, saying that it was more nutritious.

According to her, coarse pap is one with little chaff and  soya bean powder, groundnut paste, ground crayfish/fish and sugar can also be added.

Iwobi noted that one of these ingredients could be tried one after another, to know which one the child would react to.

She said that while preparing soya bean, it should cook for 45 minutes starting from the boiling point, remove the back and dry them.

“Do not add any other thing to the soya bean except sugar and do not store ground crayfish so as not to grow mucus.”

The nutritionist gave a recipe for cooking plantain porridge and urged pregnant mothers to eat good food for better child development.

She emphasised that early introduction of carbohydrate to a child was likely to cause early diabetes.

She enjoined mothers to give ideal complementary food to their children, especially during the first three years of active brain development.

Iwobi noted that school feeding system introduced by the federal government was to intervene enhance the development of children.

She suggested that salt be kept in a tight container as exposing it could lead to loss of its iodine content.

 

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