Since a baby is born, nutrition plays a great part in the growth and development of the baby. For the first 6 months a baby's diet only consists of breast milk and baby formulas.
The initial feeding is done right at the hospital under nursing care, when your baby is born. Milk is the only source of nutrition for the baby for the first couple of months.
Once your baby starts growing, their nutritional needs change and exceeds what is derived from breast milk.
Here are some foods that you can add to your baby's diet as they grow through their first year of development. Baby nutritioncan enhanced significantly with these foods.
- 4 to 6 months
For babies between the ages of 4 to 6 months, single grain cereals are great for development of iron in the blood. The baby is born with an initial reserve of iron which depletes once they cross 6 months. Single grain cereal mixed with breast milk or baby formula will assist with meeting the nutritional needs for your baby.
- 6 to 8 months
Pureed and strained foods like banana, apple, apricot, pear and prunes can be given to the child. You can also add breast milk or baby formulas with the fruits. Additionally you can also feed your baby soy based or whole milk based Yogurt. Pureed vegetables like avocados, peas, potatoes and carrots are also good for the baby.
You can bake or boil the vegetables and puree them using a blender. Keep it watery at the beginning and once your baby is more used to solid foods, you can reduce the water content gradually.
- 8 to 10 months
This is the third stage of baby's development. In this stage you can feed your baby mashed fruit and vegetables. No to make a puree now, you can mash them finely and feed the baby. Proteins can also be added at to the diet at this time including pea sized chunks of cooked chicken, boneless fishes, egg yolks, lentils, beans etc. Beans and lentils should be mashed properly to prevent choking. Babies can also be fed crackers and pasteurized cheese during this period. Make sure to cut the cheese into tiny pieces.
- 10 to 12 months
The last leg of baby's nutritional development goes from 10 to 12 months. Your baby develops most of their teeth at this time and can chew most foods if they are properly cut up. Babies can eat almost all food at this time but avoid cow’s milk and honey at least up to a year. Also visit your pediatrician to know about the foods that may cause strong allergic reactions and avoid them. Also make sure to chop round, firm foods like hot dogs into small pieces as they can cause choking hazards.
As your baby goes from an infant to a toddler it's nutritional needs vary greatly. Consult your doctor from time to time to keep up with the nutritional needs of your baby.