Healthy baby food for your precious little one

In today’s age, it’s never too early to tune into infant nutrition if you are planning for the healthy development of the baby. A lot of emphasis is given on the importance of breastfeeding during the initial stages of the baby’s life. But soon enough, the fussy eating phase begins. Poor diet at any age can affect and hamper the ability of the child to grow. Tips on what to  feed from everyone around is never enough thanks to the fussiness of the child that most parents face. Most paediatricians recommend waiting until 6 months to start solid food. Once you have got the go from your doctor, get ready to enjoy a whole new experience of your life.

Making  baby  food is no rocket science. Anything that will keep the food’s vitamins and nutrients intact and has a lot of “yumminess” is good enough for your baby.

But a few essential things to keep in mind while getting baby food ready are very important, like

(a) new eaters only need 1 to 2 tbsp of food, so keep the portions small

(b) be aware of the food that may cause allergies and restrict them

(c) be careful about introducing  foods that may cause gas which can make the child uncomfortable

(d) always  use the freshest and best ingredients as and when you can. Try and go organic whenever possible

And the most important thing is to have fun and make your baby food with a lot of love. The state of mind you are in when making food is infused in the dish and effects and transfers to the eater as well.

For 4 to 6 months old, use simple single ingredients which will help you to spot and identify foods that may cause an allergy. Once the tolerance level of the baby is identified you can try combinations to enhance flavour and likeability. Try out simple essential stuff like peas puree, steamed apples, melons,  oranges, homemade fresh curds 3 times a week, potato puree, avocado mash, banana puree(perfect food because it’s gentle  on the stomach) and carrot purees are some of the basic and best choices. Once they get older (8 to 10 months) switch to thicker purees with multiple ingredients like potato-pumpkin purees, avocado-banana baby mash, bottle guard purees, light soups with 2 to 3 veggies combinations and cooked and mashed rice and pulses with your choice of vegetables.

You’ll need a tool to grind or puree food for your baby.

A baby-food maker. This all-in-one tool first steam-cooks and then purees fruit, vegetables, and meat. Some models defrost and reheat previously prepared food.

FOOD FOR 6 MONTH OLD BABIES

  • Oats with prunes
  • Sweet potato puree
  • Peas puree

BABY FOOD FOR 8 TO 12 MONTHS

Now start using food in combinations.

  • Barley and mushroom mash
  • Oatmeal and apples
  • Pureed hummus
  • Potato and pumpkin puree
  • Barley and  mushroom  mash
  • Mango and banana mash
  • Yogurt and berry swirl

Once the child turns 1 then you will notice a drop in your toddlers appetite ,he will turn his head away after a few bites. It may seem as if he should be eating more now that he has gotten active, but there is a good reason for the change .

His growth rate has slowed , so your child will do fine with 3 small meals and 2 snacks a day. Portion sizes will increase though. Make sure to include the 3 basic nutrition groups in your child’s diet.

Dairy products

Fruits and vegetables

Cereal grains, potatoes, rice, bread, pasta

We have tried to include some basic recipes of wholesome food for your references.

Soups are the best way to sneak in a lot of vegetables. They are good for hydration and are packed with a lot of vitamins, minerals and proteins.

  • SPINACH SOUP
    A bunch of fresh spinach-rinsed well and roughly chopped, 1 big potato-cubed,vegetable or chicken stock,some milk ,butter and salt and pepper. In  a pan melt some butter and saute the potatoes and spinach for a few minutes. When the potatoes are partially cooked add in a cup of the stock,season with salt and pepper and let it cook well.Once the potatoes are completely cooked and the stock is reduced add some whole milk and  to a boil. Blend with a hand held blender and keep the thickness according to the child’s preferences.
  • MIXED VEGETABLE SOUP
    Carrots, beetroot,tomato,sweet pumpkin,capsicum,bottle gourd,cabbage,cauliflower,peas,a little butter and salt.

    Wash and peel all the vegetables and toss them in a pressure cooker with some butter salt and water.Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Once done blend to a consistency to your liking. Please choose  the vegetables depending on what the child can take.

  • SEMOLINA APPLE KHEER
    2 TBSP of  Suji,a small apple, 1 tbsp ghee,water and milk.Wash, peel and grate the apples using a fine grater. Heat the ghee and roast the suji till u get an aroma. Add some water and cook till done on low heat.when almost done add the grated apple and cook till the apple tuns soft and the suji is completely cooked.if not sweet enough you can add some sugar( avoid this part if the apples are sweet). Add some milk and stir continuously with a laddle to avoid lumps. Cool and serve when warm.
  • PASTA IN A CREAMY WHITE SAUCE. Penne pasta ½ a cup, mixed vegetables ½ a cup, salt and sugar.For the white sauce.Butter 1 tbsp, milk 1 cup, all purpose flour ½ a tbsp, ½ a tbsp of italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper.Cook the pasta and once done drain and retain some of the water. Melt butter in a pan and saute the pre boiled vegetables and give it  a quick stir on a high flame. Add the maida and stir till the vegetables are coated well. Add milk and cook while stirring continuously so no lumps are formed.. Season the pasta with salt pepper and Italian seasoning. Add some grated cheese to make it a little more creamier.
  • CABBAGE RICE
    1 cup of rice, 1 cup of chopped cabbage,1 onion, finely chopped ,a tsp of butter, 1 tsp of cummin,salt and pepper for seasoning.In a pressure cooker melt the butter and let the cumin splutter. Add onions and cabbage and saute till they are a partly cooked. To this add salt and pepper and then add presoaked rice. At this stage you can add a little grated cheese. This is optional. Saute the rice for a bit and then add water. Pressure cook for 2 whistles on a low flame. Wholesome food with a little curd or all by itself.

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