Even though babies have tiny tummies, they need enough energy to frolic around throughout the day. This makes it imperative to incorporate the right nutrients in their diet, and what could be a better way to do so than nourishing vegetables? Yet, you should hold your horses and not feed your baby any solid foods before four months of age. If you are unsure, consult your family doctor for your baby’s diet. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
By the age of 1, most babies shift to solid food, and the intake of milk subsequently reduces. This is the right time when you should focus on making healthy food attractive for your kid. If you are successful in doing so, you will raise a self-dependent child who will love to lead a healthy lifestyle and that too, with almost negligible efforts from your end. Let’s then explore the veggies which are packed with nutrients and will keep your baby in the pink of its health.
- Sweet Potatoes
1. Sweet Potatoes
You can start feeding these to your new-born when it is six months old. Initially, they should be fed in the form of a soft puree. Afterwards, when your baby turns to almost eight months of age, you can feed them in a mashed or lumpy form. To boost the nutritional value of sweet potatoes, you can serve them with rice or oats.
They are a powerhouse of nutrients. They contain vitamin C, potassium, fibre and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which clears free radicals and also keeps cancer at bay. The fibre will keep the digestive tract of your baby in good shape. It is an immunity-booster which is vital during these times.
Moreover, which baby doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Sweet potatoes naturally have a sweet taste, and thus babies prefer it over most of the other vegetables. If your baby has just started eating solid food, you can cook and mash them into a soft puree.
Carrots are once again a fantastic source of beta-carotene. Did you know that it is this nutrient which gives carrots their colour? It is beta-carotene which converts into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision. Moreover, Vitamin A also acts as an immunity booster.
Carrots also have other vitamins like K, which helps in blood clotting and B6, which will keep the skin and hair of your baby radiant. If you are feeding your baby cereals, you must include carrots in its diet as cereal-based dishes are low on fibre.
Cooked carrots are quite sweet and are appealing to babies. If you are feeding carrots to your baby, they should either be cooked till they are so soft that they turn into a puree or they should be diced well.
We know that the thought of the seeds in tomato might be stressing you out. Yet, we can assure you that you can start feeding tomatoes to babies as soon as they switch to a solid diet.
Tomatoes are one of the best sources of Lycopene. This antioxidant pigments prevent cancer and also keeps the heart-healthy. Research reflects that this nutrient is absorbed well by the body if the tomatoes are cooked in a little oil. So, What are you waiting for? Get your apron ready now!
If your baby is a fussy eater, here are the several ways in which you can serve tomatoes –
- If your baby has just started eating solids, you can feed tomato puree or mashed tomatoes.
- If you want to foster self-independence, you can go for small, cut and peeled tomatoes.
- Tomatoes have a rich red colour which is attractive to babies. Try placing them on a high tray and watch for yourself how your kid gets attracted to them and is compelled to eat them.
- Homemade tomato sauce and soups are also a great option to encourage your baby to try and enjoy tomatoes.
When it comes to the sources of Vitamin K, there is hardly anything which matches up to the level of peas for baby food. Vitamin K along with calcium is a potion for healthy bones. Besides, peas are also packed to the brim with antioxidants, Vitamins A, Band C, folic acid and fibre. Vitamin C helps our bodies absorb iron from plant sources and peas provide a combination of both, which is fantastic!
Serving peas can be tricky. Make sure that you choose organic produce over canned ones. Canned beans contain a high quantity of sodium, and the can is lined with BPA. Peas have high exposure to pesticides which can affect the brain development of your child. Thus, you should always serve them after washing them well.
Vitamin C, folic acid, beta-carotene, fibre, iron, potassium – you name it, and broccolis have it. Don’t boil broccoli in water. It reduces their Vitamin C content. Instead, either microwave them or steam them.
If your baby isn’t a big fan, you can mix broccoli with a sweet vegetable like sweet potatoes. We are sure that your baby will love the mix-and-match! You can also boil them and then serve them chilled. However, you should not do so if the baby is prone to catching a cold or if it is cold outside.
The bottom line
Try introducing the vegetables gradually. Don’t go for everything all at once. Ideally, you should give a gap of three days after trying something new to observe if your baby has any allergic reactions.
New parents are always on their toes to ensure that they give their best to their babies. Yet, the “best” is indeed subjective. Everything depends on what suits your baby. A good idea would be to place an assortment on your child’s platter and sit back and observe what those tiny fingers choose. Remember, babies have taste buds too!