It’s exciting when a toddler gets ready for solid food. New parents immediately start to reach out to their pediatricians about what is suitable and healthy for their babies to eat? So here we are, trying to help figure out baby food for your toddlers.
Encouraging babies to eat healthy food from an early age helps ensure they grow nicely and also helps them make healthy food choices as they get older. However, inconsistent dietary choices and a fickle appetite are quite normal at this age. As annoying as it may be, this is natural as your child gains independence and learns to recognize fullness and hunger signs from their body.
With so much going on, you might be wondering what all baby food items must be incorporated into your baby's daily meals to keep them full and include all essentials without spending your whole day in the kitchen or chasing your child. So, here are the types of nutritional food items your baby needs for healthy growth:
- Dairy: If you've been breastfeeding a baby, you should realize that just because your child is ready to start solid food doesn't mean you should stop nursing. After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive nursing for six months, followed by breastfeeding and food until the infant is 12 months old—or longer if it is beneficial to both mom and baby. Since “breast milk is the finest nourishment for the first year," explains Loraine Stern, MD, FAAP.
If you're using the formula, keep using it until the baby is 12 months old or until your pediatrician says it's ok to stop. After that, you may also use our Goat 1 milk powder to keep your baby fed and reduce their breast milk dependency.
- Bananas or other soft fruits: Around this age, your child will develop their pincer grasp, which involves squeezing and moving food with their fingertips as they attempt to self-feed, making it an excellent time to introduce finger foods.
Softer, fresh fruits are excellent choices during this transitional period and beyond. They provide essential nutrients and a variety of beneficial plant compounds, but they also assist in establishing good eating habits.
- Protein-rich food items: A child's body requires protein to develop and operate correctly. This involves the formation of new tissues and the production of antibodies that aid in the fight against infections. Children would be more vulnerable to severe illnesses if they lacked the necessary amino acids.
Protein-rich plants, such as dry beans and peas (legumes), grains, seeds, and nuts, can be useful protein sources. Meat, fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs are also high in protein. These animal products are rich in protein and include a complete range of amino acids.
Red meat and shellfish are abundant in protein and iron, but they can also be heavy in fat and cholesterol. As a result, your youngster should consume them in moderation. Before cooking, choose lean slices of meat and remove the fat.
- Vegetables: Vegetables must be included in your baby’s every meal as these provide them with all the essential vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers. These nutrients help protect your baby from diseases later in life, including severe ailments like heart diseases, strokes, and even some cancers.
It’s a great idea to give your baby fruit and vegetables for every day's meal. Try using veggies of different colors, tastes, and textures, after cooking and smashing them, as this is one of the best methods to introduce your toddler to this necessary food group.
Bring these healthy food items into your toddler’s daily diet, and they surely will grow healthy.