There are several healthy and baby foods. From fibre-rich fruits to vitamin rich veggies, these foods are all essential for a baby. They have the necessary nutrients that a baby may require in the early years of a baby’s growth and development.
Before you introduce solids, talk to your pediatrician about your baby’s readiness for solids. Also, consult and find out which foods to introduce and when. Ideally, you should introduce one food at a time, and closely watch for any allergic reaction.
Below are the Top 12 best foods for babies.
A great source for potassium, bananas are also known for being a good source of Vitamin B6 & C, Iron and Calcium. Bananas provide energy and fibre, and are easy to carry around. Bananas served to little ones need to be adequately ripe and mashed well. Older ones can eat sliced bananas as finger food.
Cooked and pureed sweet potatoes have a soft, pudding-like texture that is easy for babies to consume. This Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Iron & Copper rich food is important for good vision, healthy skin, normal growth and protection from infections.
Sweet potatoes are perfect for babies who are six months or older.
Yogurt is an excellent choice for your baby as it is rich in protein, calcium and ‘live active’ cultures. Live cultures are also known as probiotics which help the growth of healthy bacteria. Researchers believe that this bacteria aids in digestion.
Yogurt is best for babies who are nine months or older. However, feed only plain, unsweetened yogurt as sugar may cause tooth decay.
Vitamin-K and Calcium rich peas work to help build healthy bones. What adding peas to your baby’s food platter does is, it boosts the fiber in the baby’s diet. Research shows that this is important because almost all babies don’t get enough fiber. You can puree the peas before giving it to your baby.
Babies four months and older can be given peas.
Introducing oats when your baby is 6 months and older is great. Oats is a good choice for babies transitioning into solid food as they are rich in fiber, calcium, protein and B Vitamins. They are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other grains. As your baby grows older, you can also mix her oats with diced fruits or purees.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable; and why that’s an important info for you is because in 1996, the American Dietetic Association found a key link between broccoli and lowered risks of cancer. Broccoli is also rich in fibre, calcium and folate – which means it’s essential for your baby’s growth.
Babies eight months and older can be given broccoli.
Mashed avocado is not only good for your but also for your baby. Rich in antioxidants, avocados have good fat (monounsaturated) in them. This helps with brain development in babies. You’ll also find the goodness of Vitamin B, K, C, E in them. The presence of selenium, manganese and zinc also mean that avocados are great for baby’s growth.
Babies as old as four months can be fed mashed avocado.
Rice with Dal
A good mix of carbohydrate-rich cereal and protein-rich pulses, the rice-dal porridge is a food that’s commonly given to babies in the Indian households. However, this needs to be mashed or pureed well, making it easy for the little one to eat in the absence of teeth.
Babies six months and older can be given rice and dal.
Eggs are rich in vitamins and proteins which are essential for the baby’s growth. Pediatricians typically advise against serving egg whites to babies who are less than a year old, but yolks are considered safer. However, eggs need to be cooked well and should be introduced into your little one’s diet after consulting with your pediatrician, especially if your baby is susceptible to an allergy.
Babies absorb iron more easily from meat. Chicken is also a good source of zinc, protein and vitamin B6, which help in your little one’s growth. Pureed meat with a smooth texture can be given to little ones of age seven to ten months or older.
Beetroot, being a sweet veggie, is an instant hit with babies. Plus, they’re a good source of folic acid, potassium, and beta-carotene. Steamed, soft, and mashed beets are suitable for babies who are eleven months or older.
Peeled Fruit Slices
Babies who are a year older can slowly begin to eat fruits like apples, watermelons, and mangoes as finger foods. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemon too can be introduced after this age. However, they need to be peeled, de-seeded and cut into small slices less than half an inch in size, in order to prevent choking.