Best Baby Friendly Foods
Balanced and wholesome nutrition during the initial years of one’s childhood forms the foundation for a healthy adulthood. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. After six months, breast milk alone is not enough to meet the increasing demands of the baby.
Therefore, the gradual introduction of liquid, soft and finally solid food along with breastfeeding becomes important. This is known as complementary feeding. The growth and development of your baby depend on the type of food, composition as well as quantity of food given to your baby. Thus, here are some of the best foods for your baby.
Nutritious Baby Foods Banana
Research has found that banana is an excellent food ingredient for your baby. This fruit is a dense source of energy that promotes good growth and development and eating energy-rich foods are very important for proper growth during this phase.
Bananas are filled with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B2 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin E. Studies have observed that bananas are easy to digest and they do not put any additional load on your baby’s gut. Also, eating banana is a great solution for gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or loose motions. Initially, you can feed your baby bananas in mashed form, however, it should be smooth and not lumpy.
Cereals are very important for growing babies. They are a great source of energy, dietary fibre, B-complex vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. Cereal-based porridges are a perfect combination of healthy carbohydrates from cereals and protein from milk.
Sugar and pure ghee should be added to further enhance caloric content and to make it energy dense. Some examples of porridges are:
- Broken wheat porridge
- Rice porridge
- Semolina porridge
- Oats porridge
Avocado is an amazing baby-friendly food. It is a fruit with high content of dietary fibre, antioxidants, healthy fat, and carotenoids. Research has found that these carotenoids help in the functioning and development of the brain. Its high fibre content also helps to keep the gut dean and keeps constipation at bay.
In addition to this, the high fat content of avocado helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Moreover, avocado is a good source of nutrients such as vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin C. All of these nutrients are essential for iron absorption and proper hemoglobin function.
A smooth avocado puree is perfect for babies up to 10 months old. Beyond 10 months of age, avocado can be given in a mashed form.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are supercharged with nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and calcium. It is also agreat source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. Such a composition makes green leafy vegetables extremely beneficial for your baby’s health because of the following:
- Carotenoids help in the development of brain, eyes and improves skin too
- Iron, vitamin C and folic acid (vitamin B9) help in the synthesis and adequate function of hemoglobin
- Antioxidants present in green leafy vegetables boost immunity and protects against infections
Green leafy vegetables can be introduced in your baby’s diet after 8-10 months of age In a pureed form. Add a little oil to this puree to further enhance the absorption of tat soluble vitamins.
The growth and development of your baby depends on the type of food, composition as well as quantity of food given to your baby
Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium and magnesium that keeps your baby’s muscles and bones strong. They are also a dense source of energy as loo grams of sweet potatoes contain 90 calories. Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fibre that provides satiety and thus will make your baby feel full.
The natural sweet taste of sweet potato makes it a tasty treat for your baby. Furthermore, this sweet potato is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as carotenoids (vitamin A), B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Small pieces of boiled sweet potato can be given to babies who are older than one year of age.
Broken Wheat Porridge Recipe
- Broken wheat 20 grams
- Roast the broken wheat in a pan till it turns light brown in colour
- In another pan, add ghee, milk, sugar and roasted broken wheat. Boil for a few minutes or till it is cooked