If you want to feed your baby the best foods available, there isn’t a universal list of healthy baby foods for you to reference. However, you should make sure baby is consistently fed a good deal of healthy food.
There are certain foods that you should give baby in that first year, with three general rules to follow, including: choose colorful foods, try different flavors, and introduce new textures.
Here are some great foods you can feed your baby.
Breast milk is the best food for babies in their first year, even once the child has grown to the point where they can move beyond breastfeeding. Ideally, breastfeeding should continue along with introduction to solid foods until the baby reaches 12 months, or even longer if it’s recommended.
Iron-Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Babies are born with a sufficient level of iron, but it will gradually deplete until it’s completely gone by six months of age. One way to help maintain consistent iron levels is by feeding your baby iron-fortified cereal, such as oatmeal, barley, or rice cereal. You should feed this to your baby between the ages of four to six months.
Contrary to traditional fruits such as apples and bananas, avocado is a great way to introduce them to this food. They’re full of monounsaturated fats, and have a very smooth consistency and mild taste. All you need to do is mash it up and mix it with a small amount of breast milk or formula until it’s essentially puree. Feed avocados to babies six months or older.
Sweet potatoes are exceptionally healthy for babies. This is because they include beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A to improve your child’s vision and skin, while encouraging natural growth and protection against infections. Babies also love the smooth pudding texture when sweet potatoes are pureed.
Meat is a great source of protein and so much more. In addition to giving your baby all the protein he or she needs, meat comes with nutrients such as iron, niacin, vitamin B6, zinc, and riboflavin.
You just need to puree it to a smooth consistency. You can also mix it with breast milk and add a veggie puree. You should feed meat to babies seven months or older.
Yogurt is great for babies nine months or older, but keep in mind that you should only feed your baby plain yogurt and avoid flavored yogurts within that first year. And while milk from a cow may not be good for your baby, yogurt is different in that it breaks down lactose during the culturing process while removing milk proteins, making it easier to digest.
For the perfect finger food, look no further than classic Cheerios, which include a great source of fiber. This cereal is suitable for children nine months or older.
With these foods introduced into your baby’s diet during the first year of life, you can help encourage growth while keeping them healthy and fortifying their immunity.
Once your little one has graduated from these types of meals, you can take the next step in planning meals for your toddler, which could include dishes such as spaghetti with chicken meatballs and broccoli.