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The Way to your Baby's heart through his Tummy : Healthy Eating

As parents, we are a part of innumerable milestones when a baby comes into our lives. First smile, first hearty laugh, first utterance, first tooth, first roll-over, crawl, walk....phew! And capturing these special moments is mandatory and hence the innumerable pictures and videos.

Once your baby is one year old, it is time to focus on stepping up on the nutrition front. Mothers who would have introduced the baby to solid foods when the baby became six months old, now have to keep up with the tempo to go with the growing nutritional needs of the child. Now the kiddo is familiar with various tastes like salty, sweet, sour and mildly spicy and is capable of going in for an increased intake of food. To add further, the child will have more teeth now so new, more textural food is to be introduced to little one.

Generally majority of kiddos this age seem to be a bit fussy when it comes to eating and it can be a tricky task to feed them. These one year olds will be petty and restless and tend to get easily bored if the food gets repetitive. By my personal experience, I felt comfortable about having a daily meal plan in place and it worked fantastically for me. So I would suggest preparing a chart accordingly. Now we have an opportunity to go for three square meals format and introduce multiple foods in any given day. Most importantly during this time, restrict breast-feeding to only early mornings or late nights if you are still doing it.

For breakfast, don’t forget the humble glass of milk. Couple it with cheerios or chocolate flavoured corn flakes and throw in a few fruits for good measure like bananas which are a rich source of iron or strawberries which are rich in antioxidants.

Now that was for one day, what about the rest? Am sure that question lingers in your mind now. So, let’s talk about a few other kinds of food, which have been tried and tested across generations. We Indians are blessed with a huge variety of food to choose from! Poha or beaten rice is one such food. Use the thick variety, soak it in water, and cook it with some oil, groundnuts, potatoes etc as per your liking and give that to your kiddo.

Next come the dosas or pancakes which south India has made popular all over the world. Chances are if you are a south Indian then mostly you would have introduced your baby to ragi pretty early on. Now go ahead and make a batter out of it adding salt, spread it on a cast iron pan and voila your dosa is ready. Also if you are short of time then there are many instant mixes available in the markets these days, just go for them.

Idlis and upma made from semolina work well too. Off late, idlis can be made colourful by mixing various millets and making a batter out of them. Undoubtedly idli is one of the healthiest steamed foods your child can have. Prepare your upma similar to poha and don’t forget to add green peas, potatoes, beans etc to make it more colourfully appealing.

For lunch or dinner a combination of rice, steamed vegetables, pulses and Indian breads like nan, roti, chapatti, paratha work extremely well. Babies generally like soft and chewy stuff. Indulge your baby with steamed carrot, sweet potato while also going in for a tiny bowl of rice and curry. Just keep your vegetable curries or the sambars which are heavy on pulses, mildly spicy for the baby’s sake. Parathas made of potatoes, cauliflower, paneer, etc will help in enticing the baby. If you feel the need, just smear a little bit of a fruit jam or chocolate spread on it, when you feed the baby.

Steamed chickpeas can be big hit and so the Punjabi chole is a life saver as I noticed that my little girl loved to nibble away on the chick peas. I relied heavily on the internet for the recipes apart from clinging to my mom for what I can give to my child. No wonder, technology is a boon! However, ensure that dinner is much lighter than lunch.

Lay more stress on giving naturally available fruits and vegetables which can also be consumed raw during any time of the day. They are real good finger foods. Go for organically grown ones. And remember that you as a parent should not get too hassled up on how much the child will consume and when, just work on it and go with the flow. You will reach your goal. Being a mother is like running a marathon! Smile and run!

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