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Babies

Your Baby’s First Foods: What to Feed, What Not to Feed

As your baby reaches all those exciting milestones, questions like when, what and what not to feed your baby arise. This guide will help you chart your babies first foods.

Is your little one already six months old? Now, 6 months is the perfect time to start weaning your baby as the baby needs extra nutrients for growth and the body can also now cope with the external solids. The most exciting of all milestones your child reaches, is most definitely his or her transition to solids. With it, a dozen other questions follow, including when to feed, what to feed, and what not to feed.

Know that a baby’s first foods are no fancy recipes with seasonings! They are supposed to be single flavours for your baby – pureed, mashed, pulped, chopped – all at different stages of their growth. Let us try and chart out when should they be fed, and with what. Do remember to fill your pediatrician in, on your plans.

 

The ‘When’

In bringing the world of solid foods to your child, you as a parent are helping your child shape his or her relationship with food, and letting them establish an eating style that is a healthy one. Except, of course, the time of such introduction depends from infant to infant.  To find out if your baby is ready for baby food, look out to find if he or she displays the following signs –

  • Starting to support his or her neck up, and sit.
  • Grabbing food with hands, wanting to feel its texture and trying to put it in their mouth.
  • Picks up the spoon, sometimes only to imitate adults around.
  • No longer pushes food out of their mouth using the tongue.

 

Nutrition from milk, either breast milk or formula, after six months is not sufficient for the nutritional growth of your baby. And this is exactly when solid foods need to be added to your child’s diet.

 

The ‘What’ and ‘What Not’

At Months 4 - 6 :

At this starting point, try and keep things simple, and prepare single ingredient purees using the following :

 

Bananasbananas in a crate on rustic wood table - banana stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Bananas are rich in fibre and potassium, and are supposed to be a perfect food for your child. They are very gentle on the insides of the baby’s stomach. 

 

Carrotscarrot soup - carrot puree stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

A carrot puree, with its pleasant texture, provides a natural sweet taste to your child’s taste buds. A rich supply of Vitamin A can be provided to your baby even with its simple presentation.

 

Peasfresh green peas - peas stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Although the peas may seem tiny they are a huge source of nutrition, packed with vitamins, protein, calcium, and iron. Passing the puree through a fine mesh sieve will ensure the skin pieces are removed.

 

Sweet Potatoesbaked sweet potato - sweet potatoes stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Sweet Potatoes are loaded with health benefits. Its puree too makes a yummy and nutritious food for the baby.

 

At Months 6 - 8 :

It’s time to prepare your baby’s first foods like purees slightly thicker in consistency, and with more than one ingredient. Combine them one at a time – the ones you are sure your child is not allergic to. It is recommended to run a double check with your pediatrician on purees made out of :

 

Banana and Avocado

young woman making a healthy smoothie - banana and avocado stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesPotassium and Vitamin C rich, this combination also contains good fats and fibre. The banana adds sweetness to this preparation.

 

 

Three Veggies 

spoons and purees - potato puree stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesPotatoes, carrots, and peas make a great combination. Some like to     introduce their babies to non vegetarian food like fish, along with this mix of the three veggies

 

 

Beetroot and Blueberry

fresh beet and blueberry juice - beetroot and blueberry stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesThis nutritious blend is rich in fibre, and can make a delicious breakfast for your baby, when added to a cereal.

 

 

At Months 8 - 10 :

 

Papayas

papaya - papaya stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesA papaya with its enzymes helps in digestion, and so makes a good food to help relieve the baby of tummy troubles. However, it is best to wait until eight months before introducing the papaya.

 

Mangoes

tropical fruits: sliced mangos in a wooden plate on a table in rustic kitchen - mango stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesIt is about time that you let your baby taste some tang. Peal, deseed, and mash the mango to get a fine consistency.

 

Vegetables

organic produce pile on a brown table - vegetables stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesPotatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, onions – all of them can be cooked and mashed to make a nutritious food option for your baby.

 

Water and Juices

bottled citrus fruit juice with drinking straw along side with cut citrus fruits family stacked on white background. - natural juices stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesWhile your baby’s digestive system is still developing, make sure he/she gets enough water. Prepare natural juices, without sugar at home.

 

 

At Months 10 - 12 :

Now that your child is 11 months old already, he/she can eat various fruits, veggies, and meat. Along with breast milk or formula, an average 11 month old baby will require three meals a day along with a snack. You could give them :

 

Dairy

dairy products cheese yoghurt milk - dairy stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesDo not start off with cow milk just yet. Give your baby other dairy products like curd.

 

 

Grains and Pulses

variety of grains - grain and pulses stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesGive your child some variety, and switch between various pulses and grains.

 

 

Green Leaves

fresh organic homegrown herbs and leaf vegetables background - spinach stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesLeafy greens like fenugreek and spinach are beneficial particularly because of the iron they contain. You may go ahead and feed your baby with these now.

 

 

Stay patient with your baby, and keep your creativity running, because in no time they will grow up and begin to ask for burgers, pizzas, sodas, and other junk food of all sorts. While you still can, try and make sure that your baby’s first foods are healthy, and the experience is fun for all involved

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Parenting & Lifestyle

Healthy Eating for Mothers

Post Delivery, new mothers are advised to consume nutritious food to keep the mothers and the babies healthy. Here are a few tips on healthy eating and post pregnancy weight loss.

As important as it is to take care of your baby after the delivery, it is essential to take care of yourself as well. After the baby is born, your body would need rest and proper nutrition to stay healthy. If you are breastfeeding, the food you eat helps your baby grow and keeps both of you healthy. 

 

Generally, in Indian families, healthy eating for mothers includes a certain set of foods that is highly advised to keep the mothers and the babies healthy, and another set of food that is definitely not advised for new mothers. Food in India, especially for new mothers, are prepared keeping in mind the dietary and nutritional requirements for the baby and the mommy. It is not only helpful in keeping healthy all the time but can also help you lose the weight you had put on during your pregnancy.

 

Eating Options 

 

Here are a few options for healthy eating for mothers that help keep both mommy and the baby healthy and happy.

 

  • Rotis and Rice

Rotis and Rice are a big part of the Indian staple diet. They are extremely healthy; rich in fiber, carbohydrates, and have very little fat content. These would help you keep strong and energetic to take care of yourselves and the baby. The fiber content present in roti helps you have good digestive health. Rotis are generally made of whole wheat; they are extremely successful in reducing body weight and making you healthy. 

You could consume rice with a simple dal curry, variants of sabji, and even with ghee, salt, and pepper. They help you keep warm and increase your immune power. 

 

  • Ghee 

Indian mothers swear by ghee for many problems. Ghee is rich in omega fatty acids that help you boost your immunity, keeping you healthy. Even though there is no evidence proving that ghee would help you increase breast milk, it definitely helps in keeping our muscles and bones strong. Consuming ghee in moderation also helps you in reducing your hair fall concerns. 

 

  • Fruits and Vegetables

Consuming fruits post-delivery would keep you healthy and immune. Naturally, they help and improve your immune system, keeping you and your baby strong. Fruits like oranges, watermelon, and papaya gives your body strength and provides you with essential minerals and vitamins. Since fruits generally have fewer calories, they help you lose weight as well. You can either eat them or drink pulpy juice made from these fruits. 

 

Green leafy vegetables are a must for all the new mommies. They enhance your metabolism and help you with breastmilk. Spinach, methi, and mustard greens are rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and folate. Mothers who are breastfeeding are advised to consume them every day to enhance lactation. You could eat them as salads or use them in your dishes like methi-paratha, methi rice etc. 

 

  • Spices and Pulses

It is well known that Indians are big on spices. We use them in almost every dish. They not only enhance the taste, but also have several health benefits. Sprouted fenugreek seeds are usually advised for new moms. You could consume it with jaggery or honey, or you could add them to your everyday salad.

 

Cumin seeds are usually used as spices, but they have endless health benefits. They improve everything from the immune system to blood circulation. You could powder them and add it to milk, or you could even eat them raw. 

 

Food made of sesame seeds are a must for all new moms in Indian households. They are rich in minerals like copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Laddoos and chikkis made of sesame seeds and groundnut are how they are generally consumed. 

 

  • Dairy Products

Dairy products are rich in proteins that are essential for new mommies. You could consume milk with pepper and turmeric. It helps you in getting a good sleep and improves your immunity. Buttermilk generally helps you with hydration and cools down the body. You could add ginger, a pinch of salt, and garlic to your buttermilk to make it healthier. A cup of yogurt is beneficial in digestive health and skin concerns. 

 

 

Food that New Mommies Have to Avoid

 

  • Caffeine and Aerated Drinks

Mothers who are breastfeeding are advised not to consume any aerated or caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant that passes through breast milk to the baby, it may affect the baby’s growth. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and many aerated drinks.

 

  • Alcohol

All alcoholic drinks and drinks mixed with any amount of alcohol are a strict no during breastfeeding. The alcohol passes through your breastmilk to your baby and can harm your baby’s brain and body development. 

 

These are just a few suggestions and tips on healthy eating for mothers. Adding to the list, you should not forget to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You could always consult with your doctor and nutritionist if you have any other doubts or problems. You can join in on our community and ask the Baby Space Expert for nutrition tips too!

 

February 09, 2021 |  read

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