Caring for your infant starts with the right food
Not sure what to feed your baby? Here’s what you need to know

Illustrations by Nico Villarete

MANILA, Philippines — Parenthood — it’s an overwhelming emotional rollercoaster of love, excitement, and anxiety.

All parents feel apprehensive, whether it’s their first child or the fourth. What’s the right way to raise a kid? How do you take care of them while teaching them to be independent and resilient?

At the core of these worries is properly equipping them to face life — raising them to be healthy. This starts with feeding them the right nutrients early on.

Feeding your baby is a crucial moment. It’s when you start creating that special mother-child bond. You show your love by making sure the infant is happy and healthy.

But what nutrients do they need? When do you start feeding them solid food? What are the kinds of food should you feed them?

A survey was conducted by Cerelac among moms from different socioeconomic sectors, with children 0-5 years old. Learn more about how Filipina moms feed their kids today, and how you can feed your own baby properly.

Early start

0-6 months-old infants need to be exclusively fed with breast milk or prescribed infant formula. At six months, you can start incorporating solids into their diet.

However, in the survey, it was found that moms seem to be at a loss as to what kinds of solids they can feed their babies.

At least 50% of moms start feeding their babies wet instant noodles at 6-11 months. 32% give them canned goods, and 13% even feed them junk food or chichirya. Alarmingly, 13% serve their infants soft drinks.

A child’s first two years are particularly crucial. This is when the child starts developing physical and cognitive functions. This is why it’s important to serve them nutritious food at an early age.

Important nutrients 

When you introduce your baby to solid food, make sure it’s easy to eat and digest, and more importantly, healthy.

In the survey, it was found that 65% of moms serve their babies vegetables. However, they seem unfamiliar with the specific kinds of nutrients that infants need.

Babies need nutrients such as iron and Vitamin B1 for energy, and calcium to support growing teeth and bones.

While introducing them to nutritious food such as veggies, you can supplement their meals with healthy snacks fortified with nutrients. Or you can also mash the snacks and mix them into the meals.

Snacks such as cookies, popular among moms, don’t contain the necessary nutrients. Always make sure to check the ingredients label.

Quick but healthy

You’re a busy mom, and difficult as it is to admit, you don’t always have the time to prepare your baby’s food. It’s not always possible for you to provide them with freshly cooked food.

But that doesn’t mean you have to resort to giving them junk food and soft drinks.

Cerelac Nutripuffs are rich in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B1. This baked snack’s texture is safe and easy to eat. You can choose from different flavors to introduce your baby to some variety.

Providing your child ready-to-eat food doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. Always look for ways to feed your child the proper nutrients especially during their formative years. —