For nearly ten years, I have abstained from feeding my kids with heavily processed foods and foods that have been stripped of its natural qualities like baby cereal. Though fancy the packaging, I have always been more interested in the quality of foods that I feed my kids especially at the weaning stage when my kids turned 6 months and needed to be introduced to cereal meals. I remember being advised by those around me to introduce my baby to pap, which is a cereal gruel for babies and adults alike but after haven raised by a mother who taught me the importance of fibers and eating whole grains, I found pap very distasteful.
And here is why: Pap is a cereal gruel made from maize, millet or guinea corn (sorghum) and while it is good that it passes through a stage of fermentation, which is important in baby foods to enhance the nutritive value of food, it is also distasteful that the natural fiber of these whole grains are sifted and discarded, leaving the baby to eat only the whitish remains of the grains. The best part of the grain, which is the natural fiber found in the brown outer shell is usually discarded in the desire to have a very smooth paste that would not irritate the child.
Sadly, giving a child pap to drink is like giving the child nothing at all because pap is “characterized by low protein, low energy density, and high bulk…” (Onofiok & Nnanyelugo), which both authors studied to be responsible for malnutrition in children during the weaning period.
knowing this, I created a recipe that has stood the test of time! – Ene Naturals organic baby food.
How is this different from other baby food?
My recipe is made from hundred percent organic whole grains sourced from local farmers within Nigeria; the organic baby food is made free of added sugars, free of preservatives and free of additives. The process of making this organic baby food includes retaining every fiber in the grain and making the food from 100 percent whole grains – we throw nothing away! It also passes through a process of fermentation which “enhances the nutritive value of food by increasing thiamine, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, and perhaps protein content as a result of microbial activity” (Onofiok & Nnanyelugo).
The organic baby food is also made with peanuts (groundnut) and sweet potatoes to further improve the nutritive value of the food. Because wet milling, as the case with pap, reduces the nutritional value of baby foods like pap, our organic baby food is milled dry and packed in powders. As such, the food is nutrient rich in energy, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, trace fat, Omega 3 & 6, protein, Vitamin A, B6, B1, B3, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
We have adopted simple packaging…
In our bid to stay organic, we have adopted simple packaging, which also helps to keep the price low and affordable as well.
At the moment, we have three variants of the Ene Naturals organic baby food:
- Millet, guinea corn (sorghum) and wheat
- Maize meal
- Brown rice and millet, which is gluten free
We officially launched the baby foods last week and we are already selling and shipping out!
To order for any of these products, please visit the online Shop on this site! If you have questions or comments, please leave one below.
P.S. Check out (Onofiok & Nnanyelugo)’s article here: http://archive.unu.edu/unupress/food/V191e/ch06.htm