When it comes to your growing baby nutrition is one of the key factors in ensuring healthy development. Whether you’re breast or bottle-feeding, every mother wants to know that they are feeding their baby a healthy diet.
If you are breastfeeding, it’s important to know when you should start to bring in other foods. If you’re bottle feeding, it’s important to research different formulas to ensure you find one to meet your child’s needs. For more information about this, check out this guide about Enfamil vs Similac to discover the benefits of the most popular formula brands.
During their first year of life, babies can be introduced to most adult foods. However, this change happens gradually over time as your baby is weaned away from formula or breastmilk. Luckily, most healthcare professionals agree on a basic timeline for developing your baby nutrition needs as they grow. Here’s some tips on baby nutrition and what to feed your baby as they progress through their first year.
New-born babies, and babies up to 6 months old, primarily get their nutrition from milk. This can be either breastmilk or formula and they will feed multiple times throughout the day. As your baby passes the 4-month mark, you can start to introduce some soft foods to their diet, such as porridge. Porridge for babies should be made with water but be thick enough to stick to a spoon. This will ensure your baby gets the benefits of the nutrients in oats, such as iron and zinc.
As your baby gets older, you should start to introduce different foods into their diet while they continue to breastfeed or take formula. A baby between 6 and 8 months can eat a small portion of pureed food 2-3 times per day. Fruits and vegetables are a great option because they contain lots of healthy nutrients and vitamins.
It is also advisable to feed your baby fruits and vegetables because it gets them used to the taste. This has been associated with healthier diet choices later in life and with better all-round health in adulthood. Vegetables and fruit should be mashed and pureed to allow babies to eat them. Alternatively, you could also buy pre-pureed food or baby food vegetable mixes. Always check the baby food nutrition profile before opting for a brand or go for fresh fruits and veg if you’re not sure. Here are some popular options and the nutrient profiles they contain:
- Foods for Baby: Spinach Nutrition
Spinach is a great source of iron, which promotes healthy blood cells, and vitamin K, which aids healthy bone development. Spinach is also a great source of fibre that contributes to digestive health. Spinach should be cooked before it is fed to babies to kill harmful bacteria and to increase your baby’s ability to absorb the many nutrients that spinach contains.
- Foods for Baby: Broccoli Nutrition
Broccoli, like most green vegetables, is another great source of iron and vitamin K. Broccoli is also high in vitamin C, which helps your baby to develop a healthy immune system, and potassium, which is good for your baby’s heart. Offer your baby a cup of warm, mashed broccoli after their usual feeds to squeeze in some added minerals and nutrients.
- Foods for Baby: Banana Nutrition
Bananas a popular favourite with babies. They are easy to mash and eat and fun for tactile babies to squeeze and play with. Bananas are also sweet and enjoyable for babies to eat, so they are a great way to introduce babies to fruit. Bananas are high in potassium as well as B vitamins and vitamin C.
- Foods for Baby: Potatoes Nutrition
Potatoes are a great way to help your baby eat more volume and get them used to solid food. The bland flavour won’t overwhelm your baby and is a good choice for fussier eaters. Potatoes are also carbs and will give your baby lots of energy to help them explore the world and their environment. Potatoes can be mashed in with other vegetables that are great sources of nutrition baby carrots, peas, turnips, among others.
By around 8 months you should start to introduce your baby to most solid foods. You can now introduce your baby to foods like, meat cut up into small pieces, boneless fish, and grains and legumes. However, even at this stage, it is recommended that you bring in new foods gradually so you can identify allergic reactions. This will also help you track what your baby likes and doesn’t like to eat.
When it comes to feeding your sweet baby nutrition facts are absolutely essential. Learning about the best foods for your baby, and when to introduce them, can aid baby’s development throughout the first year and beyond. This way you know you’re setting your baby up with good nutrition habits for life!
Do you know everything there is to know about your baby nutrition needs? What does your baby like and dislike? Are there any feeding struggles you’ve come up against? Let me know in the comments!