Tips for baby’s delicious diet:
Begin before birth. Pregnant mothers should eat a varied diet, with plenty of calcium, vitamin D, iron, and omega 3 fats. The baby needs to build up a store of these nutrients for its first six months of life.
Breastfeeding mothers should drink a lot of water, eat a varied diet, consume up to 500 extra calories daily, and take a vitamin D supplement.
Babies should also receive a supplement of vitamin D to help with bone growth and to reduce the risk of developing certain conditions. The current recommendation is 5ug daily.
Solid food should be introduced from six months of age, earlier in some cases. A wide variety of fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, pulses and grains are recommended.
Iron-rich foods are critical for brain development. These include fortified breakfast cereals, green vegetables, red meat, eggs, beans, and pulses.
Calcium is necessary for building strong bones. It can be found in whole milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, tofu, broccoli, white beans, tomatoes, and oatmeal.
Zinc plays a role in cognition, the immune system, and optimal cell growth. Foods rich in zinc include pork, yogurt, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, lentils, wholemeal, cheddar cheese, and fortified cereal.
Omega 3 fats play a role in brain and eye development and can be found in oily fish such as salmon, trout, herring, mackerel and sardines, green leafy vegetables, and eggs.
Foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar are to be avoided as babies’ bodies can struggle to break them down and too much can contribute to childhood obesity and poor dental health later on.
Honey should be avoided because it can contain botulism, a form of bacteria that a baby’s immune system is not developed enough to fight.
Bran is too high in fibre and it can impair the absorption of other nutrients such as iron and calcium.
Persevere. Don’t assume a baby doesn’t like something if they reject it on the first try. Try again. Babies and children need to be offered something ten times or more before they know if they like it.