As your baby advances to solids and begins exploring different types of food, this is the best time to introduce him or her to the wonderful world of tastes and textures. Not only is this one way to expand your baby’s palate, but variety also provides him or her with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to grow.
Here are some of the best nutritious food for your baby:
Although fruits are easier to introduce thanks to their natural sweetness, try starting your baby on vegetables first. By getting them used to the taste and texture of vegetables, you might be investing in the chance of them actually enjoying vegetables later on. Great choices include spinach and just about any local vegetables really. Steamed broccoli and carrots also make great finger food when your baby is older. Not only are vegetables packed with great nutrients and fibre, but they also add a pop of colour, making weaning more interesting and fun!
Fish is extremely nutritious and a great source of protein for your growing baby. Oily fish like salmon and mackerel contains omega-3 fatty acids that support brain development. Make sure to remove all bones and to cook it thoroughly when feeding your baby fish. Most white fish are safe and great for your baby. However, do be mindful about certain fish that could contain low traces of mercury and limit those to one or two servings a week.
While Asians tend to make porridge as a common first weaning food, did you know that white rice has the lowest nutrition among other grains? White rice is often polished and stripped off of all its goodness before they are sold. There are actually other grains that are less processed which are better and more nutritious for your baby. Read our article on the top 5 Grains you can feed your Baby instead of Rice to learn more.
Pulses like lentils, beans and legumes are another good source of protein and iron. While your baby can get most of it from eating meat, pulses are a great option for vegetarians. In fact, studies on a variety of legumes have revealed that the DARKER the beans, the MORE antioxidants they contain! Although it might seem like a lot of trouble to presoak some of them prior to cooking, it is worth it because you’ll be giving your baby a meal that is packed with nutrients. See your options and read in detail the breakdown of nutrients in our article on 6 Nutritious Beans, Legumes and Lentils for your Baby.
Bone broth or stock is essentially broth that is simmered at low heat for a very long time until the nutrients and minerals leach out from the bones. They can be made from just about any animal bones, but popular choices include chicken, turkey, pork, beef and fish. There are even vegan options made from seaweed, mushrooms and vegetables. Whatever your choice, this slow simmering process results in a delicious, nourishing and flavourful soup. To find out more on the benefits and why you should be feeding your baby bone broth, click here.
It comes as no surprise that fruits are the easiest to introduce because of their juicy sweetness. There is no reason to limit choices to imported fruits because our local fruits are just as nutritious if not better! Take for instance the underrated coconut water that is a great electrolyte for bringing down fever. Local fruits have a shorter travel time from the farm to your table. This means feeding your baby fruits that are picked when they are at their best. Not only do the natural sugars in fruits give your baby an extra boost of energy, but they also provide them with much-needed fibre to keep constipation at bay. Why not support local and check out these 6 Local Fruits you should be Feeding your Baby.