When introducing your child to solid food, it is important that you consider the nutritional value of the foods that you intend to introduce into his diet. The good news is that babies have an open palate which means that you can try and give them different types of foods, especially those that are usually rejected by older kids. It’s best to wait a couple of days before reintroducing a certain food to identify possible allergies. You also might want to ensure that the food is easy to eat and digest by making purees or grinding the food. Check out our list of best foods for your baby as well as their nutrition.
12 Best Foods for Babies
Lentils are highly nutritious as they are packed with protein and fiber. They are also quite affordable thus making them easily accessible. There are various ways to prepare lentils for your baby and you can cook them with rice, vegetables and season them with oregano, basil or a bay leaf. Always ensure that the bay leaf is removed from the meal before serving.
Squash is naturally sweet and its creamy texture makes it a good meal for children. It is also a good source of the vitamins A and C. You can cook squash with some cilantro, garbanzo beans and mild chilies. Alternatively, simply sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the squash and roast it.
3. Leafy Greens
Green leafy vegetables such as kales, collard greens and chard are all good sources of folate and iron. You can play around with recipes by mixing the vegetables with cereal and other foods. Steam and puree the vegetables before mixing them with the cereal.
Avocado is one of the best foods for babies. According to author of What Do I Feed My Baby: A Step-by-Step Guide to Solids, Leanne Cooper; avocados are a good source of unsaturated fats. Their fat composition is in fact similar to what you get in breast milk. Unsaturated fat is good fat and is essential for the development of the brain. You can mash avocado and serve it with foods such as apples and cream cheese. You can also serve them with toast. Note: Only serve the baby ripe avocados. Learn the healthy recipes for avocado!
Broccoli is filled nutrients such as calcium, fiber and folate. Its unique flavor is in fact good for the baby as it helps expand his taste in food. Broccoli can be served on its own and for babies it needs to be steamed until completely soft then chilled. Babies are more likely to accept broccoli than older kids.
Most babies may experience some constipation when you begin introducing solid foods and prunes can help improve bowel movement. This is because they are a good source of fiber. Prunes can be pureed to be served on their own or with other foods such as applesauce. If your young one has constipation, you can mix a tablespoon or two of the prune puree with expressed milk or baby formula.
Fish is loaded with calcium, protein, iron and omega 3 fatty acids and is also referred to as brain food. There are various ways to cook fish and you can serve it broiled, baked or poached, Fish is easy to digest and has a low risk of allergies. However, you might want to steer clear of mercury laden fish such as shark, tilefish, swordfish and others.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are definitely a super food for babies as they contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are a winner with babies and this is because they are sweet and easy to digest. You can puree or mash them and serve them on their own. Here you can find healthy and appetizing sweet potato recipes.
Children and adults alike have a natural preference to sweet foods making carrots a good food option for children. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A. The nutrient is integral in developing healthy vision. Carrots can be cooked differently and you can dice them or puree them for your young one. If you wish to serve diced carrots, ensure that they are cooked until soft.
10. Fortified Cereal
Iron fortified cereal is a healthy meal for babies. This is because iron plays an integral role in the development of your babies. Breast milk has a limited amount of iron, which means that you need to introduce your young one to iron fortified foods. Rice cereal is a great meal for babies and you can mix it with pureed fruits. In fact, it makes a great thickener for purees made from peach, pear or plum which tend to be quite runny.
11. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is essential in the absorption of iron and also helps in the production of collagen which is found in the bones, muscles and other body tissues. However, these fruits can be quite acidic, especially for young babies and its best to introduce them into the baby’s diet after they are a year old.
12. Red Meat
Red meat is not just a source of protein, but irons as well. Iron is an important nutrient in the development of the brain and also helps the red blood cells transport oxygen. Iron deficiency is a common nutrient deficiency in kids and it can bring about behavior and learning problems. There are various ways to serve red meat to babies and you can puree it with other foods such as carrots. In older children who are able to chew, you can simply cook the meat and serve it in small diced portions.
10 Best Foods for Babies: why they are great choices and how you should choose them:
The following video provides more instructions if you want to make foods for your baby by yourself: