Proper nutrition is vital to the healthy growth and development of newborn and infants. While, not all foods can be fed to babies, the following are some of the best foods for them.
One of the best foods for babies is yogurt. According to Baby Center, yogurt is a great food to acquaint with babies when they are about six months of age. According to University of California Nutrition Professor and dietician Nancy Hudson, yogurt is an excellent source of Vitamin D and calcium, which are vital in health teeth and bone formation. In addition, yogurt boosts the function of the immune system, along with cardiovascular and neurological health.
Single grain cereals are appropriate for babies aged four to six months, as per Web MD. These give them additional iron, which helps in oxygenation of the cells in the body. In addition, the natural iron reserve received by babies from their mother’s placenta at birth starts to decrease when they reach six months of age. Single grain cereals can be mixed with either formula or breast milk. Also, water can be added to adjust consistency. As the baby reaches eight to ten months of age, small o-shaped cereals, teething crackers, or small pieces of cooked pasta may be introduced.
Meat can also be given as best foods for babies, according to Baby Center. Aside from being an excellent source of protein, meet also contains a number of nutrients, such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B-complex. Iron improves cellular oxygenation by enhancing the properties of hemoglobin while zinc aids in cellular metabolism. The B-vitamins are present to enhance the actions of both iron and zinc, not to mention its capacity to boost the function of the nervous system. Best for babies seven to ten months and older, pureed meat can be combined with breast milk, along with vegetable puree.
Avocados are also healthy food to give to babies. As per The Bump, these fruits serve as excellent sources of monosaturated fat, a healthy kind of fat due to its positive effects on brain development. Nutritionist Leanne Cooper also said that avocados are similar to that of breast milk when it comes to fat composition. Aside from the palatable taste and suave consistency, avocados are relatively easy to prepare. Little amount of breast or formula milk is added to a mashed ripe avocado until the mixture gets a pureed consistency. For preparation variety, mashed avocados can also be combined with cream cheese, apples, or canned fish.
With all foods available in the market, breastfeeding stands as the best. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), exclusive breastfeeding should be done for about the first six months of life, which entails that no other food or fluids will be needed unless indicated by a medical doctor. Breastfeeding should also be done for a year and may be extended, as long as both the mother and the baby want to.
With proper nutrition and care given to babies, they will be able to grow and develop well into healthy and well-functional children.