We all want to give our children the best possible start in life, especially when it comes to good nutrition. Most babies are open to trying new tastes, so the months following weaning are an ideal time to get your child used to the taste of some important foods. Remember that the vast majority of toddlers go through a fussy eating stage, so the more foods you can get them to like in the early years, the easier you’ll be able to navigate the fussy stage.
Here are six superfoods that babies love and are easy to incorporate into their diet.
These little berries are packed full of antioxidants and flavonoids, which will help develop babies’ immune system as well as support their brain function, eye sight and cardiovascular system. Simply mash or purée (remove any hard skins for very young babies) and mix in with baby porridge or rice.
It might go against your instincts, but remember that babies need fat in their diets too – an there’s no better time to introduce good fats into their diet. Avocados are a rich source of unsaturated fats, which are essential for good brain development. Simply mash avocado flesh and spoon-feed it or mix with other fruit purées like apple or banana, or yoghurt. Older babies will love avocado on toast fingers.
Not only are lentils one of the cheapest healthy foods you can buy, but they are loaded with protein and fibre and offer a really palatable alternative to meat for small babies. Lentils also contain iron, so try and combine with a vegetable like carrots or sweet potato, as the Vitamin C in the vegetables will help your baby absorb the iron. Lentils are also a great base to allow your baby try more flavours such as herbs or spices.
Fish can be given to your baby from the age of six months, and is an ideal form of protein as it can be easily mashed or well flaked. Make sure that the fish is well cooked and no bones remain. Try giving your baby recipes with fresh salmon; this is an oily fish and packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain development. Stay away from shark, swordfish and marlin, as these can contain traces of mercury.
Yoghurt can be introduced when your baby reaches six months old after first tastes have been completed. A good source of calcium and vitamin D, yoghurt boosts the immune system and contributes to brain and heart health. Go for plain, unsweetened yoghurt and mix with fruit purées like apple or mashed banana. Yoghurt and avocado are a good combination too.
Full of folate, calcium, fibre and antioxidants, broccoli is a great vegetable for expanding your baby’s tastes and is usually easily tolerated as a purée by itself or when mixed with other vegetables like carrots. Try mixing with formula/breastmilk or a cheese sauce; or give soft florets to older babies (from about 10 months) as finger food. Chilled florets are often preferred by babies.
maternity & infant
Originally posted 2016-03-23 14:19:48.