The period of weaning of a child is very important, as an infant is transfer from the mother’s breast milk that is nutritious and uncontaminated to the regular diets that the family members eat with chance of vulnerable to malnutrition and disease. During this period of infancy, which is between 6 and 24 months, the transition is usually from semi-solid to a more solid diet. The rate of mortality and morbidity among infants during this stage is on the increase as a result of malnutrition. Available research statistics have shown that infant formula rich in protein, minerals and vitamins are in short supply in most part of the world including Nigeria particularly in the rural areas. Although there are potential raw materials that could supply enough protein, mineral and vitamins for the growing infants. Beside this, the availability and consumption of commercial infant formula are very cost expensive and less available throughout the country. In order to reduce these problems, producing infant formula from locally available low priced food items, nutritious, acceptable is recommendable.
Efforts are being made to improve the nutritional status of infants by producing highly nutritious, cheaper and available complementary foods from locally available ingredients hence the blending of Pennisetum glaucum flour, Vigna subterranean flour and Telfaria occidentalis leaf powder or Solanum melongena leaf powder in different ratio was carried out to produce various weaning diets using newly weaned 36 albino rats in the animal studies trial. The proximate analysis of these ingredients were carried out using acceptable standard methods. Crude protein content ranged from 12.44±0.01% to 32.50±0.03%,Crude fibre ranged from 1.85±0.02% to 4.35±0.04%,Ash content from1.81±0.02% to 8.11±0.02%,Oil content ranged from 1.88±0.01% to 8.06±0.01%,moisture content from 7.42±0.03% to 86.12±0.03% and carbohydrate from 54.56±4.10% to 78.36±0.08%.The ingredients were blended and fortified in the ratio of 50:30:20 to produce complementary weaning foods (MIBFP and MIBGE diets) respectively. While the unfortified weaning food(FCW diet)served as control) The proximate composition of the formulated diets MIBFP, MIBGE diets and FCW control diet, indicated the crude protein content had 20.90±0.32%, 17.17±0.03% and 24.95±0.21%respectively,crude fibre content had 20.25±0.22%,16.88±0.07% and 5.067±0.10% respectively. Ash content 4.56±0.02%, 4.86±0.02% and 5.00±0.02%, while Moisture content had 6.067±0.28%, 6.66±0.04% and 29.86±0.02%. The carbohydrate content being 45.22±0.09%, 50.74±0.07% and 34.70±0.49% respectively. Animals studies using newly weaned rats were carried out for a period of 28 days and results recorded properly and analyzed after sacrificing the animals.The result of this research indicates that Pennisetum glaucum flour, Vigna subterranean flour and Telfaria occidentalis leaf powder or Solanum melongena leaf powder, if properly harnessed, processed and blended could give infant formulae that are nutritionally rich, locally available as well as cheaper for low income weaning mothers especially in the developing nations.