A professor of food science and technology, Mojisola Oyarekua has stated that adequate and effective nutrition of infants are crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
The professor, who revealed this while delivering the fourth inaugural lecture of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) titled ‘Economic Potentials of Under-Utilized Staples for Sustainable Infant Nutritional Requirements in Nigeria’ added that malnutrition could lead to infants losing out in attaining their full potentials in the future.
Oyarekua who said infants could die due to ailments occasioned by malnutrition advised parents that after breastfeeding for six months, complementary food which she said must contain calories and proteins should be introduced for the infants.
According to her, “Adequate nutrition of infants is very crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria. Malnutrition in infants can lead to future physically and cognitively challenged infants that set them behind throughout their lifetime. Undernourished infants shave lower resistance to infections a less resilient immune system and are more likely to die from common childhood ailments.”
She lamented that due to the influence of culture and tradition, many Nigerian staple foods are under-utilized for infant consumption, because it does not encourage their use as infants complementary food.
The professor of food science and technology warned that parents and guardians must not discard the act of breastfeeding for infants and concentrate on overloading them with so much of nutrients, saying this act could cause infant obesity. Nigerian Tribune