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Baby Food Diet

As new parents you may be anxious about what kind of baby diet you should give your baby so that your baby will grow strong and healthy. Taking care of your baby’s food diet can be very overwhelming initially but as the months pass you will be able to adjust and understand what kinds of food would harm or heal your baby. The first four months of infancy are the easiest for the parents because at this stage you do not have to pick and choose from various kinds of food. Most doctors will tell you that the best food for your baby in the first four to six months is breast milk and baby formula. Both these have the required amount of minerals and vitamins naturally and therefore are the best kinds of baby food nutrients that will help to increase your baby’s growth.
The calories that a baby needs are provided by protein, fat and carbohydrates which are present in the breast milk and later on in the baby food.

The first few months your baby’s food schedule might be very erratic and as you breastfeed you may have to feed you baby every two to three hours. It is necessary that you feed your baby every time he is hungry, he will be sure to let you know that he is hungry with his incessant cries. As the feeding continues you may not have to get up and feed him in the middle of the night. Even after the initial four months doctors advise that you gradually start giving your baby semi solid food since your baby doesn’t have any teeth at this point of time, semi solid food will be swallowed easily by him. Though both formula and breastfeeding would continue to be the basis for your baby’s nutrition, these are just added supplements. But introducing your baby to such food must be done only with the consultation of your doctor. This will also be a good time to bring in a routine so that your baby will not insist to be feed by the hours. In consultation with a pediatrician you can draw up a baby food schedule which lists the baby food calories
and baby food nutrients so that you know how much of a kind of food to feed your baby. Moreover you can also set a time for feeding your baby so that you and your baby are able to keep to a schedule. After the six months period you can start your baby on baby cereal, oatmeal and rice. But be sure to slowly introduce him to these foods, preferably these should be done one food item at a time so that you can check for any kinds of food allergies making it easy for your to eliminate food from his baby diet. The baby food diet and meal plan must be formulated with a great deal of care and attention. Initially breast milk is all the nutrition the baby requires because it contains protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fat and calories. There are also certain enzymes present in breast milk which aid in the process of digestion. In addition, breast milk contains antibodies which strengthen the baby’s immunity and protect from illnesses and infections. It is also free from adulteration and contamination and does not produce any allergic reactions. Babies that are fed on breast milk alone do not require additional supplements. Also read tips on healthy baby diet

Fruits and vegetables are also rich in nutrients and can be good for your baby but this too should be introduced with precaution. Even at eight to eleven months your baby will be able to eat a lot more, you just have to make sure that it is mashed making it easier for him to chew a little and swallow.By the time your baby is nearing his first birthday you can add more food items into his diet and maybe even include baby food dinners usually called “first foods”. All these food will carry baby food nutrition facts on their labels which will make it easier for you to pick the best for your baby. You can also start giving him food from your plate just make sure that it is mashed and not too spicy.

At 4 to 6 months, solid foods may be introduced in the diet. By this time the child is able to digest protein, complex carbohydrates and fats. New foods must be introduced to the baby slowly and one at a time. This helps in keeping a check on allergies. Some good foods to begin with include mashes pulses, cooked and mashed peas or beans and pureed vegetables. At 7 to 9 months, the baby food diet menu can incorporate animal foods. Foods such as chicken and lamb are full of protein. Certain substances such as fish, egg whites and wheat may result in allergies and require careful monitoring. Nuts, berries and hard sweets should be avoided as they can lead to choking. Water helps to prevent constipation and hence is an important part of the diet. There is no need to add salt and other seasoning to baby foods. If the child is ready to eat foods from the family tables, ensure that they contain less spice and are easy to eat. Juice should be given to babies sparingly as they may hamper the intake of breast milk and solid foods. Consumption of juice has also been associated with dental problems in babies. The teeth begin to grow at about 6 months of age and dental issues can occur if the teeth are continually exposed to the sugars contained in juices. Children that are fed a variety of different foods enjoy better health than those that are fed primarily milk, fruit juice and biscuits. A balanced diet that contains mixed foods helps to protect from illness and disease and also inculcates family dietary habits in the child.

Submitted on May 27, 2011