Best foods for baby and what to avoid

There are different types of foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other savoury items that are suitable for the growth of your child. You must include these healthy foods in the daily diet of your child.
Here is a list of calcium and protein-rich foods that augment the development of bones and teeth in infants and toddlers.

  • Beets

Beets are sweet and enriched in folic acid and potassium. They are an excellent source of nutrients for infants. Beets also contain beta-carotene which is the precursor of Vitamin A. They can be roasted or steamed until they become squishy. You can also serve mashed beets to your baby.
Ideal age: 11 months+

  • Sweet Potatoes

They have a high content of beta-carotene which gets converted to Vitamin A within the body of the baby. Sweet potatoes supply dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates essential for the growth of bones in the body of your baby. Mashed sweet potatoes are suitable for satisfying the hunger of your baby.
Ideal age: 6 months+

  • Avocados

Regarded as ‘Nature’s Perfect Food’, Avocados are nutrient-rich fruits with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals required for adequate nourishment for your baby. They are packed with unsaturated fats, making it easily digestible for your offspring. They have a mild taste and creamy texture. They can be mashed as solid foods or mixed with other fruits like bananas and peaches as well as with yoghurt.
Ideal age: 6 months+

  • Yogurt

Yogurts are powered with Vitamin D and several proteins that increase the calcium level in the blood of your baby. They are prime sources of calcium for the babies. Packaged yogurts do not contain complex milk fats, and hence they are easily consumable for babies.
Ideal Age: 8 months+

  • Pulses

Pulses or ‘Daal’ are considered as staple foods for Indians. They are rich in proteins and are easily comestible for the infants. Legumes play a crucial role in the development of tissues and act as a rich source of proteins. Pulses have enough fats and carbohydrates to satiate the hunger of your baby.
Prepare Daal khichdi and serve it to your baby. It is a calcium-rich recipe responsible for bone development in the body of your baby.
Ideal Age: 6 months +

  • Milk

Milk is the richest calcium source for toddlers. It plays a significant role in the physical growth of your baby. There is no alternative to milk when it comes to nourishment for children. Breast milk should be continued alongside other foods until the baby becomes one-year-old. It is recommended by some paediatricians to abstain from feeding cow’s milk to your baby since it contains heavy elements such as calcium, protein, iron and other minerals in conjugated form. Your baby might not be able to digest such complex forms of nutrients. Hence, you must consult with a dietician before introducing your baby to cow’s milk.

  • Oranges

This fruit has a high content of Vitamin-C, calcium, and phosphate. These essential nutrients promote bone development in children. Oranges also play a critical role in protecting your child from various ailments like cold and cough, rickets etc. Oranges also help in building immunity of a child. Oranges can be included as fresh fruits in the diet of your child, or it can be squashed to form juice that acts as a refreshing beverage.
However, oranges are rich in acids, and if your baby is suffering from acute acidity, then it is not prescribed to add orange to the diet.
Ideal Age: 9 months +

  • Spinach

This calcium-rich leafy vegetable is filled with an abundance of fibre, iron and vitamin A. A cup of cooked spinach will improve the physical strength of your little one.
Ideal Age: 6 months +

  • Finger Millets

Finger millet, popularly dubbed as ‘Ragi’ in India is another exceptional source of calcium and iron. They nourish the bones of your little one and contribute to its health and strength.
Ragi flour is used to prepare dishes like Dosa. Ragi Porridge is easily comestible. It adds to the nutritious value of your baby’s meal. You can also serve finger millets as lunch and dinner to your baby.
Ideal Age: 6 months +

  • Nuts

Nuts are excellent sources of calcium for kids and infants. Special types of nuts such as Almonds and cashew nuts contribute to the development of bones and teeth of your baby. However, they cannot be consumed by babies in solid forms. They should be crushed to powder and served to your baby. Mashed nuts can also be added to milk, cereals, oats and other food items.
Ideal Age: 1 Year +

  • Cereals

Some cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and calcium. Traditional rice cereals, oatmeal, and barley are rich in iron. They play a sound role in the development of bone and teeth of your baby.
Ideal Age: 4 months +

However, there are food items that create a negative impact on the health of your baby. Such foods create digestive disorders and allergic ailments, awful for your child’s growth. Here are 6 items that your baby should avoid.

  • Honey

Honey is a prime source of a harmful bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum that causes botulism, muscle paralysis, and other grave illnesses. Digestive systems of infants are not equipped to fight botulism. Hence, it is always advisable not to serve honey to your toddler.

  • Nut Butter

Peanut butter is a protein-rich food, but its only drawback is that it causes allergic reactions in babies. Since it is thick and dry, sometimes it causes choking problems in babies.

  • Berries

Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries are incredibly delicious, but they contain complex proteins that are not digestible for infants. Berries are highly acidic and cause frequent stomach aches in babies.  They even create skin allergies and irritations in babies.

  • Chocolates

Chocolate has a high content of caffeine that creates a negative impact on the health of your baby. It contains a significant amount of sugar which makes it difficult for children under a year old to digest.

  • Wheat

Paediatricians always recommend not to introduce your child to wheat foods since they contain gluten, a type of protein that is not easily digestible for infants. Wheat also shows signs of allergic reactions in babies that are considered to be dreadful for the health of your baby. Most baby cereals, bread, and pasta contain gluten, and hence it is necessary to look for alternatives to wheat-rich food items.

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