Parents are always on the lookout for their baby’s developmental milestones. Another thing they need to keep an eye on are the nutritional milestones. As the baby grows, his/her needs keep changing. They need a variety of nutrients in order to keep growing and after 6 months of age, they may not get everything from just breast milk. So, it becomes important that you start complementary feeding for your little one.
Once your baby gets used to eating solid foods - and this can take several weeks - you can start mixing up the foods and ensuring that they get a bit of all the food groups. Here is a list of all the nutrients your baby needs and how to get them.
Carbs are the most important source of energy. They will help your child to use the fats and proteins to build/repair tissues. Your child can obtain healthy carbs from whole grains, crackers, cereals, and potatoes.
A great source of energy for kids, fats will help your baby’s body to utilise the other nutrients better. You can get them from dairy products (if you get the okay from your doctor) and avocado. Later on, you can even introduce your baby to eggs.
This helps your baby’s growing body to develop new cells and muscles, fight infections, carry oxygen and to break down food into energy. Proteins can be obtained from beans, eggs, and dairy. You can even try having chicken broth as this is a good source of protein.
It is a widely known fact that Vitamin A is good for the eyes. It also helps to keep your baby’s skin healthy and to keep your baby safe and protected against infections. It can be obtained from carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, egg yolk, cabbage and fish oils.
This Vitamin does a lot of good for your baby. It helps fight off a cold, strengthens blood vessels, helps heal wounds and helps build strong bones and teeth. You can find it in all citrus fruits, papayas, mangoes, tomatoes, spinach and strawberries.
As we all know, calcium is essential for your baby to build strong, healthy bones. It also helps in blood clotting and improves heart and muscle functioning. The best source of calcium for your baby is milk. You can also find it in spinach.
This helps promote healthy bowel movement in babies. It will also help reduce the risk of heart disease later in life. So if your family has a history of heart problems, ensure your baby gets enough fibre. You can find dietary fibre in whole grains, bananas, apples, berries, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds.
Haemoglobin, present in the RBCs, is responsible for transferring oxygen throughout the body. Your baby’s body needs iron to keep producing this complex molecule in sufficient quantities. It also plays a major role in your baby’s brain development. Iron can be found in spinach, red meat, nuts, whole grains and fortified baby cereals.
So, by now you have understood that your little one needs multiple nutrients to grow healthily. Though breast milk is the best and wholesome nutrition supply for your baby up to 6-7 months of age, after that, other food sources will be needed. As per the appropriate age, you can start giving complementary foods to your little one.
Note- This blog has been reviewed by Tinystep Medical Advisory Board
Disclaimer- All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.