In my experience as parenting consultant – I have found that weaning to solids is an experience that parents are both excited about and terrified of.
They are excited about getting it right and terrified about making mistakes.
Among the things that leave them wondering if they are doing the right thing – is the recent buzz about superfoods.
Here are some facts about giving babies superfoods:
What are superfoods?
Superfood is a term used to describe nutrient dense foods, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and/or phytonutrients.
Should babies eat superfoods?
Yes. Babies can and should eat superfoods because they are good for health.
How can I introduce my baby to superfoods?
- Choose foods with intense natural colours for your baby’s meals. For example – pumpkin, spinach and so on
- Ensure that your baby eats a rainbow of colours through the day
- Make sure whatever you serve is fresh, natural, unprocessed, whole and locally grownIs there a risk in introducing superfoods so early in life?When the basic rules of introducing new food to babies and feeding babies is kept in mind while introducing superfoods, there is no risk. Keep the following things in mind.
- Always introduce foods gradually. Follow the three-day rule and gradually increase the quantity of food you serve
- At first, serve each food on its own and then begin to combine it in recipes with other foods
- As good as a certain food may be – do not serve it in unlimited quantities on a certain day
- Ensure that your child gets a balanced diet. A restrictive diet where the child eats only one or more superfoods can do more harm than good
- Food allergies are real and dangerous. Always consult with your doctor before introducing new foods
- Always keep in mind the fact that choking is a possibility. Avoid chunky food. And never leave the baby alone while eating
What superfoods can your baby eat?
Superfoods that you can start when your baby is 6 months old:
Mashed banana, stewed apple, carrot puree, pumpkin soup, mashed papaya, sweet potato mash, stewed beetroot, spinach soup, etc.
Superfoods that you can add when your baby is 7 months old:
Rice porridge, ragi porridge, moong dal soup, etc.
Superfoods that you can introduce when your baby is 8 months old:
Khichdi with white rice and moong dal and ghee, khichdi with brown rice, moong dal and vegetables and ghee, ragi apple pancake, carrot sweet potato fingers, pumpkin apple mash, semolina pudding with banana, parathas with mashed vegetable stuffing, idli, dosa, upma, sweet potato fingers, etc.
Indian superfoods that can be added to your baby’s food: ghee, turmeric, cinnamon, sesame seeds, etc.
Delay the following superfoods until after 1 year. Start after asking your doctor: nuts, berries, eggs
Superfoods for 6 month old babies
|Mashed ripe banana
|1. Easily digestible because of simple carbohydrates
2. Good for gut health because of fibre content
|Carrot boiled and pureed
|Ripe papaya mashed
|Boiled sweet potato mashed
|Stewed and mashed
|Stewed and pureed
Superfoods for 7 month old babies
|1. Complex carbohydrates give energy
2. Proteins build muscle strength
3. Vitamins and minerals help in growth
|Moong dal soup
Superfoods for 8 month old babies
|Whole grain Rice
|Khichdi with brown rice moong dal and ghee
|1. Baby gets used to the food eaten by the family
2. Whole grains and fresh fruits provide vitamins and minerals
3. The combination of ingredients used in the recipes provides a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats
4. The meals are fibre rich for good gut health
5. The complex carbohydrates provide energy for the rapidly growing and increasingly active baby
|Khichdi with brown rice moong dal vegetables and ghee
|Ragi apple pancake
|Carrot sweet potato fingers
|Pumpkin apple mash
|Semolina pudding with banana
|Paratha with vegetable stuffing
|Sweet potato fingers
It is wonderful to be enthusiastic about introducing nutritious food to babies. But it is important to be cautious.