For a woman, becoming a mother is the most precious moment in her life. New mommies are usually confused about what to give their toddler to keep them healthy. Well, the food habits for each growth stage of your baby are different. Here’s what experts have to say about nutritional food that will contribute to the growth and development of a baby.
How Much Your Baby Should Eat at Each Stage of Their Growth
- 0-6 Months– During the first six months, all pediatricians recommend only breastfeeding as per the guidelines from UNICEF. So it is necessary to include all kinds of nutritional foods in the mother’s diet. Through mother’s milk, the baby should get calcium, fat, folate, iron, protein and carbohydrates, zinc as well as vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. These nutrients will contribute to the growth of the baby in each stage. Thus, make sure that the mother’s diet contains these nutrients especially for the first six months.
There may be women who haven’t produced enough milk for feeding their babies. In such cases, pediatricians might recommend formula milk. Most formula milk powders are manufactured from cow’s milk. They are fortified in order to make them closer to breast milk and provide the baby with enough nutrients for complete growth. Most formula milk products contain the same nutrients as breast milk.
- 6-12 months– The solid foods are introduced during this stage. It is not recommended to give food in a solid form when you introduce foods other than breast milk. It is recommended to introduce food slowly in the form of semi-solids. As they are achieving their milestones one by one, you can slowly increase the consistency of your baby’s food. At 12 months, babies can be completely fed solid food instead of semi-solids items.
However, always remember that your baby has a small tummy and needs only a small quantity of nutritional foods throughout the day, such as grains, tubers, dairy, egg, meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables, and baby foods. When you start giving solid food, you must give extra care while preparing it and make sure that it is not causing any harm to your baby. If an allergy occurs, you should immediately stop and inform the pediatrician about it. While preparing the food for your toddler, always make sure that the surroundings are clean and hygienic.
When you introduce new food to your baby, you must feed the same at least for three days and make sure that the food doesn’t do any harm to your baby. The main nutrients that a baby should get through food include:
- Iron: meat, egg yolks, wheat, grains and cereals, legumes and so on
- Calcium: whole milk cheese, whole milk yogurt, ricotta and cottage cheeses and so on
- Vitamin A, B, C and E: Carrots, sweet potatoes, green veggies, bananas, peas, tomatoes, strawberries and so on
- Grains and carbohydrates: Whole grain bread, whole grain cereals, whole grain pasta, brown rice, peas and so forth
- High-fat food: healthy dose of avocado, olive oil and so on
- Omega 3 fatty acids: fish, grass-fed meat, tofu, flaxseeds, cereals, eggs and so on
Even as you introduce other foods to your toddler, experts recommend continuing breastfeeding until your baby is at least two years old.