If you have started giving extra food to your baby, you will benefit from this article. It will help you learn how to prepare healthy meals for your baby with little effort.
Always remember that the food you prepare must be approved by a pediatrician. It is also good to know that during these first moments of feeding, the child develops an understanding of different tastes. For this reason, it is important to provide the child with a wide variety of flavors.
These recipes can be adapted to the foods your child has already tried. Remember that it is usually recommended to add foods one at a time to detect possible food allergies.
Healthy meals for baby
Before you start preparing these healthy meals for your baby at home, it is important to know exactly what foods can be added to a child’s diet at a different age.
Here are some general recommendations:
- Up to 6 months: Breast milk only. If you are feeding baby foods, foods can be gradually added in small amounts to your baby’s diet at the age of 4-6 months.
- 6-12 months: Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, eggs, meat, chicken, fish and olive oil.
- 12-24 months: Soft cheese, yogurt and milk.
- 3 years of age and older: Nuts, apple slices, raw carrot pieces and other foods that pose a choking hazard should only be given to children over 3 years of age.
Tips for preparing healthy meals for your child
In the grocery store
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to use them within three days at the latest to preserve their nutrients.
- Choose lean meats. A good way to prepare healthy meals for your baby is to buy lean meat to avoid excess fat. If necessary, cut the fat off the meat before cooking. Ask your pediatrician for advice on the best options and amounts for your child.
- If you choose baby-friendly finger feeding instead of purees, be sure to give your baby soft meat in small pieces. Be sure to tell your doctor about your decision so your doctor can give you instructions.
- Be sure to wash fruits and vegetables, clean the countertop, and use clean kitchen utensils for every dish. It is important to prevent cross-contamination of food.
- Minimize salt use. Salt should be used minimally to avoid damaging the child’s kidneys. Up to the age of one, a child’s salt intake should not exceed one gram per day. At the age of 1-3 years, a child can eat up to 2 grams of salt a day.
- Choose olive oil instead of other fats. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids and healthy vitamin E. In addition, crude olive oil is always recommended in small doses at the beginning of supplementary feeding.
- Olive oil can be used for cooking, frying and baking (as long as it is used as little as possible).
- Take advantage of the broths. Vegetable broth is perfect for cooking rice or other cereals such as quinoa. The broth gives the cereals more flavor.
- Add milk to the purees. If you try to make puree for your baby, you may find it too thick. You can add water or milk to the puree. You can use milk commonly used by your baby or even breast milk.
- Freeze the rest of the food. It is advisable to freeze small portions of the food for later use.
Healthy Meals for Your Baby: 10 Ideas
Delicious and healthy meals for baby
- Rice with chicken and vegetables: Choose the vegetables you want and cook them with small pieces of chicken. Take off the stove and set aside. Cook the rice in this broth. When the food is ready, you can puree it with a fork or serve it in small pieces.
- Zucchini puree: Boil one large potato, a large zucchini and onion until cooked (all vegetables should be peeled and chopped). For example, change the dose to the desired composition with a fork.
- Lentils and vegetables: Boil lentils with peeled and chopped carrot, half a chopped onion and two peeled and seedless tomatoes. When the food is ready, you can mash it or serve it as is.
- Sliced Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce: Make the sauce small from the chopped onion, tomato and carrot to make the sliced spaghetti more nutritious.
- Vegetable egg : If you have already added an egg to your child’s diet, you can make an egg with a variety of cooked and chopped vegetables. Easy and delicious!
- Fish-vegetable puree: Boil a small zucchini, potato, leek and half an onion and 80 grams of lean boneless fish. When the ingredients are cooked, mix everything together into a puree.
- Meat-vegetable rolls: These rolls can be frozen, so you can get healthy meals for your baby in just a few minutes if needed. Boil one carrot, leek, 40 grams of green beans and 40 grams of lean meat. Remove excess water, grind the ingredients and shape them into dumplings. Instead of frying in a pan, bake them in the oven.
Desserts for baby
- Mashed apple, pear and banana: Boil the apple and pear (peel, remove seeds and chop them first). When they are soft, remove them from the heat and mash with the banana. If you want lighter than mashed fruit, add the milk your child normally uses. Do not add sugar.
- Banana and Orange: This dessert is very easy to prepare. Turn the banana over with a fork and mix with half the orange juice. Get ready!
- Yogurt and fruit: Give your child mashed fruit or just small pieces of fruit with yogurt. The child will definitely like it!
Preparing healthy meals for your baby is not difficult. All you have to do is choose healthy ingredients (preferably fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats and whole grains) and cook them without adding fat, salt or sugar.
Remember that the baby’s stomach is still small, so don’t force the baby to eat. The dose may seem small to you, but it may be more than enough for your child. Doctors recommend that the child be allowed to eat at his own pace, as this will allow him to eat the amount he really needs.