Variety is the spice of life, so why not introduce your baby to all the healthy food out there instead of sticking to just one food group. Funny thing is, research actually proves that the more fruits, vegetables and other food groups you introduce your baby to before the age of one, the more likely it is that your baby will get accustomed to a variety of food and not be a fussy eater. Also, another interesting thing is that when it comes to allergens like peanuts, eggs, saltwater fish, and soya, it is best to introduce babies to these foods before the first year unless you are already sure they are allergic to them. This helps create a small resistance towards allergies.
Given below are some important foods your baby should try before he/she turns one.
Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats, choline for healthy eyes, iron, and folate also vitamins like A, D and E. They are also easily digestible and can be cooked in simple ways. Mix them into your child’s diet to add that extra protein goodness and prevent your child from being allergic to them in later stages of life.
Fish and fish oils are very good for your baby's skin and mental development, especially fish like tuna, sardines and salmon. They contain all the vital Omega 3 fatty acids and DHA needed for you baby’s retinal and cognitive development. Puree, steam or mash some fish and feed it to your baby, but be careful and watch out for bones to prevent choking.
3. Spinach & other green leafy veggies
Green leafy vegetables are very good for your baby’s blood as they are high in their iron content, especially spinach. So, puree these healthy veggies and add it to your baby’s meal plan even though may refuse. Add other flavours with onions and garlic so it adds to the taste.
Berries are colorful and will always catch your baby’s eye, which is a great thing for you as they are loaded with fiber and vitamins like A & C, and are great antioxidants, support bone growth and keep the heart healthy. They taste yummy whether chopped up and used like finger food or pureed. Give your baby some of those scrumptious berries, strawberries and blueberries being the best.
5. Lentils and Beans
Being a source of protein, iron, folate, zinc and manganese. Lentils and beans are great for a sharp mind. They are easy to cook and eat and can be made into yummy dishes. Don’t leave them out of your baby’s meal plan.
6. Herbs and Spices
Adding herbs and spices to your baby’s food is an amazing way to expand their palate and make them adventurous eaters. They are also great antioxidants, but be careful with the quantity, as your baby’s palate is sensitive, so please don’t overdo it, especially with hot spices like chili powder. Remember, your baby cannot take the same amount of spice as you, so you have to tone it down for your baby. Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, and parsley can be easily added to your baby’s food plan when mixed with other food.
7. Yogurt, Cheese & Butter
Unless you are already aware that your baby is lactose intolerant, it is best to introduce your baby to yogurt, cheese, butter and other dairy products by the age of 8-10 months. They are a great source of calcium, good fats and protein and keep your baby’s bones strong and healthy,giving them the required fats and calories. However, remember to use only processed or pasteurized cheeses like cottage cheese (Paneer), cream cheese or cheddar. Use plain yogurt, as flavoured yogurt contains too much added sugar. Also, keep in mind not to overdo the quantity of butter or cheese you give your baby.
Many children, who aren’t introduced to nuts, tend to grow up to be allergic to them, the most common being peanut allergies. Nuts and nut butters like peanut, cashew, and almond are nutrition powerhouses containing vitamin E, protein, beneficial fatty acids, and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. So try out some peanut butter or pureed nuts with fruit and add it to your child’s diet. Remember to not leave your child alone with a lump of nuts or peanut butter, as it could be a choking hazard if they try eating them. Smaller portions are the safest.
Once your baby has crossed the seven months mark, it is a great idea to introduce your baby to some yummy oats. Oats are rich in fiber, iron, zinc and magnesium and its very healthy for proper functioning of your baby’s digestive system, bowel movement and also your baby’s growth. So, do add it to your child’s diet as either a savoury or sweet.