When it comes to feeding our little ones, it’s only natural to want the best for them and for a lot of parents (especially first time mummies and daddies), this sometimes means err-ing on the side of caution over what goes into their meals.
That being said, there are plenty of unexpected foods that you can start introducing into your baby’s diet from a relatively young age. Not only are they easily digestible and packed with nutrients, they’re also yummy and can be easily worked into a variety of meals that your baby will love.
See our list of five foods for the little ones below and for those of you who already have your hands full but want to save a little extra on any of the food items listed, remember to check out websites like Saleduck to find incredible bargains and deals on groceries, travel, lifestyle and more.
Herbs and Spices
Whoever said baby food has to be bland? While we’re by no means recommending feeding your tot cili padi, adding the lightest dash of herbs and spices is a great way to boost your baby’s antioxidant intake as well as broaden their palate to aid the eventual transition into solids. A good way to start is with all-time classic combinations such as steamed carrots with a sprinkle of cumin, a pinch of cinnamon in cereal or apple puree, garlic with steamed fish or a little turmeric with mashed cauliflower. While most are fair game, perhaps hold up on hot spices until your miniature Gordon Ramsay’s palate is less sensitive.
Leave the clean eating to the new-age millennials and don’t shy away from incorporating some fat into your baby’s diet. Good, unsaturated fats aid in the development of the brain and nervous system and also contribute towards helping the body better absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Plus they make food taste better and we’re all about doing what we can to encourage healthy appetites. Avocados, whole milk cheeses, extra virgin olive oil and even butter are all great candidates and you can start including them into diets of babies as young as 6 months old.
Live cultures typically contained in yogurt help to break down lactose and protein making it easy for babies to digest but it also helps to support the immune system to build a natural defense against pesky airborne viruses. Aside from that, yogurt is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B12. Stick to full-fat, plain yogurt and avoid flavoured versions as they tend to come packed with sugar. To counter the tartness of plain yogurt, swirl it with equal amounts of fruit such as mashed bananas or a little applesauce.
Reports state that babies go through their natural store of iron between the ages of four to six months so in order to replenish it and ensure that their iron levels are at a healthy level, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend meat as the purest form of high-quality iron, zinc and protein. Poultry, red meat and fish all contain a form of iron that is easier absorbed compared to the kind found in plant sources and they can be easily blended or thinned out with broth and combined with veggie purees for something a little more flavourful ( and with a bigger vitamin hit).
Vitamin E, Iron, manganese; these are just some of the beneficial minerals that can be found in nuts such as almonds and peanuts, which makes smooth nut butters a fantastically nutritious treat for babies as young as six months of age. They’re also loaded with healthy fats making them great at promoting satiety. As with all allergenic foods, remember to talk to your pediatrician or allergist before introducing them into your baby’s diet. Once you’ve gotten the green light, there are plenty of ways to include them into meals. Try mixing a tiny amount with cereal or spreading a thin layer on sliced bananas or small bites of apple.
For more motherhood tips or for your baby needs, visit Motherhood.com.my.