Baby’s Diet

Mothers always have so many doubts wondering in their minds with regards to feeding the baby. Below are few guidance that may be helpful with baby’s diet.
Mothers Milk-When the baby is born the first and the best food for the baby is mothers milk. Mother’s milk is the best food for babies. Mothers milk contains precisely the correct percentage of nutrients in the right proportions.
Breast feeding ensures that the baby gets the perfect balanced meal. Breastfed babies have increased intelligence, it prevents allergies, also react better to other immunizations’. A recent study has comprehended a connection between breastfeeding and the chances of children recovering from stuttering. Frequent urination in a completely breastfed baby shows that the baby is getting enough fluids from the mother. (at least 6 times in a 24-hour period) Mothers nowadays stop breastfeeding after 1or 2 months and start bottle feeding primarily because they have to return to work.

Bottle feeding

Bottle feedingis one of the easiest way to feed the baby. Mothers have a difficult time when they first try to give their babies milk from a bottle. Once the baby gets used it then it is very convenient. It is very easy to feed the baby while travelling or when you are out with the baby somewhere. Here’sare few tips for bottle -feeding
  1. While feeding the baby make sure you position the baby in your arm so that the baby is very close and in a semi-upright position; this will ensure that the baby will swallow less air.
  2. Check the expiry date on the milk powder can
  3. The hole on the nipple should be the correct size so that the baby doesn’t get chocked with the big hole nor get unsatisfiedwith the small hole.
  4. Clean the powder box before opening such that the powder doesn’t get infected with germs
  5. The left over milk should be discarded immediately to prevent breeding of bacteria
  6. To make the cleaning easier rinse bottles and nipples.
  7. Most babies get tooth decay when they are fed while sleeping

Formula milk

The commercial formula milk for baby’s is prepared by cow’s milk which has been modified to make it similar to mother’s milk. Choose a formula which dissolves easily in boiled water and is closest to mother’s milk in ingredients such as quantities of proteins, fats, sugars, sodium, etc. Buy the formula milk after consulting and approval from your baby's physician.

Cow's or Buffalo's Milk

Cow's or Buffalo's Milk can be given to babies for more than 1-year-old.
The milk should be boiled for 10 minutes before cooling and don’t dilute the milk. Make sure all equipment’s should be sterilized properly to avoid infections.
You should remove the cream if it forms on the surface if it forms on the surface of the milk on cooling. Wash your hands carefully before handling the sterilized equipment and milk.
Cow’s milk doesn’t have sufficient nutrients which is necessary for a healthy growth and development of babies.
Cow’s milk has high levels of sodium, potassium and protein which might be hard on baby’s underdeveloped digestive system to handle.

Weaning the Baby onto Solids

Weaning the baby to solid foodsis always good to start after four to five months of only breast feeding. A wide range of tastes should be developed by introducing varieties of solidsgradually.Breast milk should be continued for at least one year as it protects the baby from infections and illnesses. Water can also be introduced when baby starts having less of mother’s milk.
The purpose of weaning is to develop wide range of tastes in the baby along with introducing the baby to regular food. Instead of preparing the same food it is good to give a little different diet with different foods, however don’t introduce different all foods at the same time as baby will not be able to differentiate between tastes and few foods may not suit well.

Introduction to Fruits, vegetables, rice, cereals and juices

Fruits vegetables rice cereals and juices can be introduced one by one. If you have started adding new foods every day, remember this an addition to the ones you have already beengiving.

Fruits

Fruits are mashed and given as they as easy to digest and palatable
fruits
  • Avocados
    This buttery fruits -vegetable is very good for the babies. Most mother choose avocado as one the first fruits to babies. The fat composition of avocados is almost similar to that of breast milk. Avocadoshas arange of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, E, and K; B vitamins; magnesium; zinc; and manganese. They're also a potent source of fiber, they are a rich source of poly and mono-unsaturated fats. Avocados show up among other popular fruits as they provide key nutrients that baby needs for proper growth and development.
  • Bananas
    Banana is very rich in nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, and vitamin B6. Bananas are soft textured and help babies gain weight.Its easier to digest, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Bananas contains low salt content and high potassium content, which is aa good mix for controlling blood pressure. Vitamin A which helps in better vision in kids and potassium in helps grow strong bones. It also increases the concentration power.
  • Boiled and Mashed Apples
    Boil the apple and mash it or pure it and feed the baby. It is very easy for the baby to digest. The pectin or soluble fiber apple contains helps in constipation in babies
  • Plum Pure
    Plums are high fiber and it prevents constipation in babies.it has a unique flavor and taste which will delight your baby’s taste buds. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, and are high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
  • Papaya
    Papaya is rich in vitamins C and E, fiber and beta-carotene which helps in digestion
  • Pear
    Pears helps is gastric reflux in babies and is gentle on baby’s tummy
  • Peaches
    Peaches are excellent source of vitamin c and easy to digest
  • Kiwi fruit
    Rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium and folate they are also known as Chinese gooseberry. Always give only those fruits which you have already introduced to your baby to avoid the possibilityof allergies.

Things to remember while Feeding Fruits to Your Baby

  • Familiarize one fruit at a time and give a gap of at least 3 to 4 days before you introducing a new fruit in order to check for allergies.
  • Wash and de seed all the fruits properly before using them.
  • Puree the fruits into a nice paste so that there are no hard pieces of fruits left which may choke the baby.
  • Give more of seasonal fruits in the diet of your baby.
  • Avoid giving those fruits with family history of allergy to certain fruits
  • Once you feed the baby with the fruit watch for any signs of allergic reaction to certain fruit, stop giving it and immediately report to doctor.
  • Give the child to fresh fruit juices
  • Avoid canned fruits and fruit juices; as they have extreme sugar and contain preservatives.
Fruits are very essential part for a healthy growth and development of babies. They are filled with essential nutrients. Hence, instead of spending on buying in expensive baby foods give your baby natural and nutritional fruits.

Vegetables

Vegetables are very favorable in providing essential nutrients like Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate and beta carotene. Vegetables like spinach, beetroot and broccoli are rich in antioxidants which helps in preventing innumerable diseases. Mashed and well-cooked vegetables Vegetables are very important to be included in the baby’s diet. Vegetables should be boiled or steamed and then mashed in a blender, strain before feeding the baby. Vegetables has lot of fiber and is very nutritious and contains certain useful elements in them hence strain the vegetable puree until the baby is about 7 months’ post which is not necessary. At first begin with couple of spoons and then gradually increase the quantity. Dark green leafy vegetables, carrots and are very healthy. Vegetables have enough sodium in them hence there is no need to add additional salt. Baby’s system is not ready to handle too much salt in the first few months of life. Ghee, butter or cooking oil can also be added for flavor as well as for calories.
  • Scrape vegetables like how to do potatoes,Green, orange, red and yellow vegetables are essential.
  • The water in which the rice and vegetables are boiled contains essential vitamins and minerals hence use that water in your cooking.
  • Never overcook vegetables.

Vegetables at its best for babies

vegetables
  • Carrots
    Carrots should be boiled and mashed before feeding the baby. They are rich in vitamin A, B and C. The calcium content helps the bones of babies to grow stronger, they are also good for baby’s eyesight and helps to boost the overall immune system of babies.
  • Sweet Potatoes
    Sweet potatoes are usually babies favorite vegetable they are a high source of fiber and is rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene which will help boost the immune system of babies.
  • Pumpkin
    Pumpkin is high in fiber as well as rich in nutrients like iron and vitamin C. Pumpkin is filled with nutritional combinations that is very essential for every baby. They are rich in beta-carotene
  • Cauliflower
    They are rich in vitamin C and K. If you steam the cauliflower you can provide its maximum health benefits to your baby. This vegetable can be given after 8 months
  • Broccoli
    Is an excellent source vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, calcium, folic acid, iron and potassium, broccoli, and may even help ward off cancer.
  • Spinach
    Rich is iron and folate like the other green leafy vegetables.
  • Garlic
    • Garlic is one of the vegetables that contains useful chemicalswith tremendous health benefits.It is a natural antibiotic, and consists of anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties.
    • Eating garlic during pregnancy, it reduces the risk of you developing pre-eclampsia,where when your blood pressure increases, and there is excessive protein retained in the urine.It also increases the weight of babies in the womb.
    • Garlic reducesbad cholesterol in the body. If you have high cholesterol, increase your garlic intake. It also helps reduce blood pressure and hence the risk for a stroke is also reduced.
    • Garlic is an anti-carcinogen.it helps reduce the risk of cancer, the anti-carcinogenic properties prevents the cancerous combinations from forming and developing into tumors. Tumor growth are prevented and tumors which are already grown can be reduced by increased intake of garlic.
Before introducing the baby to a food always check with your paediatrician. Always make sure that you Wash and clean the vegetables carefully and give freshly cooked and properly mashed vegetables to your baby to avoid chocking.
  • Meat
    Meat is a great source protein, zinc, and iron, mainly from red meat. Babies absorb iron very easily from meat when compared to that from iron-fortified cereals. Lack of iron can cause anemia.
  • Yogurt
    Yogurt is rich in calcium and vitamin D, necessary for healthy bones and teeth. If yogurt with live cultures, that will help control the good bacteria in your baby's digestive system.
  • Rice
    Rice contains good amount of protein and a great source of energy for babies.
    In Indian culture giving rice with milk as baby’s first food is considered as one of the cultures followed from ages called annaparshana.
  • Chapatti
    Chapatti is a very good source of carbohydrate which helps in digestion and prevents constipation problems.
  • Khichdi or dal rice
    Khichdi is one of the best food to be introducing into baby's diet. It can be given with little ghee or butter. It can be blended in the mixer so that the baby can swallow in easily. Gradually you can increase the consistency to a semi-solid state. By this the child will start getting used to regular foods. You can also add few vegetables like carrot, spinach if you want to.
  • boiled eggs
    Egg white is very high in proteins, you can begin with one teaspoon of the yolk (yellow portion), and then gradually start giving the white portion of the egg. Egg is very good however you need to watch for any signs of allergic reactions in some babies.

Fruits Juices

Juices made of fruits high in vitamins and minerals as long as they like it.

Porridge

Homemade porridge is best when compared to the ready-made cereals. 1 or 2 spoons of porridge can be added to the baby's diet twice a day. As and when the baby accepts increase the quantity every 3-4 days. There are quite a few dishes that can be made porridge:

Benefits of Protein Rich Foods

By giving protein rich food to babies on a regular basis it aids their rapid growth
  • Cereals
    Cereals are also very essential to be introduced in the baby's diet progressively. Well-cooked cereals with vegetables to enhance the nutritive value can be made.
  • Indian Baby Food Recipes
    Feedingyour baby with the homemade baby food is very nutritious and healthy when compared to readymade food.
    Indian food is often said that they use lot of spices and are unsafe for health, however the purpose of using few spices is to make food items tasty and appealing to the taste. There a many Indian dishes that tickle the taste buds of all including babies. Many doctors consider that when a baby is 7-9 months old it’s good to introduce food with spices if the parents wants to.
    You will get millions of recipes online nowadays, however below are few most common Indian recipes.
  • Khichdi
    Khichdi is probably one the best Indian food that can be given to babies and for adults when they are unwell. Khichdi is cooked with vegetables and pulses.
    • Ingredients 1/2 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of green gram, 1 carrot, beans, peas, 1 slice of pumpkin and a pinch of haldi (turmeric).
    • Recipe Wash the rice and pulses thoroughly and soak it for half an hour. Wash and cut the vegetables. Put all the ingredients like vegetables, rice and pulses in a pressure cooker containing. Add a pinch of turmeric or haldi. Allow the entire thing to cook till at least 7-8 whistles of the cooker. Mash the cooked dish using a spoon and serve itafter it cools down. You can add a teaspoon of ghee or butter while eating
  • Dalia (from broken wheat)
    Dalia is filled with essential vitamins and minerals.
    • Ingredients equal quantities of wheat Dalia and lentil. ½ cup carrots, beans and pumpkin, or any other vegetables of your choice
    • Recipe Add Dalia to boiling water and cook until half-cooked. Then add lentil and vegetables until all are well-cooked. Add salt and butter for taste. You can also garnish it with ginger and garlic.
  • Vegetable Soup
    Soups are a great way to provide ample amount of nutrition to the baby from vegetables
    • Ingredients 1 carrot, beans, a slice of pumpkin, Green peas, broccoli, a pinch of haldi or turmeric powder, a small piece of clove and cinnamon and 2 cups of water.
    • Recipe Cut the cleaned and washed vegetables into small cubes. Cook all the vegetables with the spice and turmeric along with some water in a pressure cooker. Allow the mixture to cook properly. Pure the cooked vegetables in a blender once its cooled down. Feed the baby while is little luke warm.
  • Fruit Smoothie
    Once you have introduced the baby with yogurt you can make this for your baby. You can use banana, avocado, cheeku, papaya or melon.
    • Ingredients 1/2 cup of yoghurt and 1 fruit of your choice.
    • Recipe Cut the fruit into small fine pieces. Blend the fruit along with the yoghurt really well serve it to your child after adjusting the consistency as per his/her choice.
  • Suji Upma (rava upma)
    Ingredients 1/2 cup of suji, 1 tablespoon on oil, mustard seeds, onions, boiled and diced vegetables for taste and nutrition like peas and carrots. Saute mustard seeds, onions and boiled vegetables in oil. Then add suji and lightly fry for a few minutes. Once brown, you can add either 1 glass of water and keep stirring. Once well cooked, remove from gas, season with coriander leaves and serve warm.
    Note -upma becomes lumpy very quickly, so prepare it only when the child is ready to eat.
  • Chicken and Sweet Potato
    • Ingredients A breast of chicken cut into pieces of 1” each, 1/2 cup of red lentils, 1 small finely sliced onion, 2 peeled and sliced sweet potatoes, a pinch each of cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, coriander, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and 2-3 cups of water.
    • Recipe Fry the onions in a heated until they become soft and translucent. Add the chicken pieces and cook the mixture until it turns golden brown. Then add the sweet potatoes and the spices. Cook it for some time and then finally add the lentils and water. Cook it for about 35-40minutes.Onve the curry cools down you can mix this with brown or white rice and feed your baby.
    • Sweet Potato Kheer
      It is highly nutritious for kids.
      • Ingredients 1 cup of milk and 1sweet potato.
      • Recipe Cook the peeled sweet potato and mash it with milk, make a batter consistency when feeding your baby.
  • Suji kheer (rava kheer)
    • Ingredients 1/2 cup of suji, 3-4 tablespoons of sugar and 3 cups of milk.
    • Recipe Boil the milk and then add suji. Cook it on slow heat, keep stirringto prevent lumps until the consistency is semi-solid add sugar to the suji. Garnish with powdered badaam.
Kids get bored of the same dishes often in their diet hence you can try many variations while cooking. While cooking for a little one you should be careful and conscious keeping in mind the hygiene and the texture of the food is appropriate for your baby’s feeding stage

Benefits of Homemade Food for Your Toddler

  • You will be able to provide food with all the minerals and nutritious food with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • The benefits of natural products areincomparable with commercial canned fruits and food items.
  • Homemade food is safe and healthy. They always add up to the healthy practices and also make a child healthy and good development at early age.

Balanced Diet

A diet where a child is consuming all the nutrients required by a child in correct proportions for a healthy growth. A well balanced diet prevents the child from infections and diseases All groups of food needs to be included in a child diet for a healthy and optimum growth likeenergy, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals etc.
A child’s diet should be both good in quality as well as sufficient in quantity.
A baby from the start will consume food in the quantities that the child needs. No two babies would require the same amount of feed every time. Their feeding pattern would differconsiderably. As long as the child’s growth is as per the schedule, there is no reason to worry about the intake even if small amounts are being eaten. The focus should be on the quality of food given to the child. Importance should be given on the preparation of foods with adequate calories, fat and other nutrients.so don’t comparing your child's intake with another. Each child eating pattern is different.
Along with achieving the nutritional requirements, importance should be given on learning to enjoy food. Mealtime should be an event they lookforward for and interesting.
Energy and Protein requirement of infants
AGE KCAL/KG G/KG
0-3months 116 2.3
3-6months 99 1.85
6-9months 95 1.65
9-12months 101 1.5
Avg. during 1st year 103 kcal/kg.
Source - ICMR

Vitamins

  • Vitamin C
    Helps in building resistance against common infections like common colds, asthma, cancer, and hardening of the arteries.
  • Vitamin D
    Is necessary for the absorption of calcium and phosphate which helps in the growth and development of bones. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children.
  • Vitamin E
    Vitamin E has evolved as a beneficial anti-oxidant in a wide range of disorders such as cardiac and metabolic problems
  • Vitamin K
    This is required for clotting of blood normally.
  • Folic Acid
    Folic acid is a useful in treating anemia caused due to folic acid deficiency.
  • Vitamin A
    Is very useful for eyes .it helps vision in dim light and night blindness. Night blindness is caused as a result of vitamin A deficiency and for foetal development Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
    Is a co-enzyme in carbohydrate metabolism. It also contributes in euro muscular transmission, and is useful in treating neuritis (inflammation of nerves) often associated with pregnancy.
  • Vitamin B2
    Vitamin B2 is helpful in treating ulcers of the mouth, inflammation in the food pipe and inflammation in the intestine called riboflavin deficiency syndrome.
  • Vitamin B3
    Vitamin B3 deficiency causes a disorder called pellagra, which is caused by loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness and mental and neurological changes.
  • Vitamin B1
    It is useful in treating anemia which is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy.
There are many vitamins present in variety of foods with varying amounts of vitamins, therefore important that the child’s diet is nutritious that consists of fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, dals, milk products, chapattis and rice.
By following a healthy balanced diet, the child will be protected against common illnesses but will have an overall healthy growth.

Foods to should be Avoided

There are few foods that are not only harmful for the health but also effects the babies’ development parents must never introduce to their children.These filler foods also destruct the child's appetite for nutritious meals
  • Foods like Chocolates, cold drinks, flavoring agents etc. contain chemicals and caffeine that are harmful to the child hence should be avoided as much as you can.
  • Foods like chips, candies, packaged juices, packaged milkshakes and foods containing artificial flavors and colors which is harmful for kids.
The foods to be avoided mentioned above are not only harmful for the health of the babies but also it can affect their brain development. So, make sure that you avoid introducing such foods in the diet of your child at all costsThese filler foods can also ruin the child's appetite for nutritious meals
  • Appetite-spoilers
    • Parents should control the intake of sweets, biscuits, chocolates, cakes, colas, etc. as sugar causes tooth decay.
    • Snacking between meals should be avoided as snacking often spoils the child's appetite.
  • Fussy Eaters
    • Inviting some other children of the same age who are good eaters over during mealtimes might help a fussy eating child.
    • Make an effort to make the more attractive
    • Don’t fuss about eating if the child is healthy, growing as expected.
    • Mealtimes should be enjoyable and food should not be the topic to talk and don’t have a battle at meal times.
  • Cooking Tips
    • Unpolished rice is better than polished rice.
    • Consumption of less sugar, salt and refined flour is always better for healthy body. So use less of these while preparing food.
    • The nutritive value losses if vegetables are overcooked
    • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables with skin to your child as many vegetables is rich in vitamins and minerals
    • Using jaggery instead of sugar wherever necessary as jaggery is rich in iron.
    • If your child is overweight, grill or bake the food instead of frying or cooking with oil, and avoid adding too much spice in the food.
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