In the first year of life, a baby needs all nutrients available for growing strong and healthy and for fortifying the immune system. Mothers who breastfeed their new – born children know that even if breast milk is a natural barrier against outside threats that builds on a baby’s strength and health, at some point, the nutrients contained by the mother’s milk are not enough, so diversification of foods should take place. This is an important step in any baby’s life and, even if some are not yet ready to switch to a wider area of foods, around the age of 4 – 6 months,a child’s diet should allow vegetables, fruits and even meat to become a constant part of their daily eating routine. And just as we adults sometimes need some new healthy and delicious food recipes, so do babies. Today we will present you next with ten awesome foods for babies aged 4 – 8 months that will ensure them a happy, healthy development in their first year of life.
1. Single – grain cereals
Top listed by the WebMD specialists in child health and nutrition, these cereals are essential for preserving and enhancing the natural iron deposits you child was born with and which he or she will need for a long period from now on. These cereals can be mixed with breast milk or baby formula and will ensure there is enough iron in the child’s system to prevent health problems to occur.
Speaking of iron, spinach is essential for a baby’s diet, not only because it contains iron, but because it is an important source of fibers, vitamins (A, B1, B2, B12, PP, C, and so on), minerals such as calcium and potassium, amino-acids and even proteins. One of the best ways of cooking spinach for your baby is to steam it and mix it in various dishes, with rice for instance, or in a smoothie. It strengthens the immune system, prevents anemia and other illnesses induced by lack of vitamins and minerals.
An apple a day… you know how apples work. They should be however introduced after you diversified the baby’s diet with cereals and at least one vegetable. They work best if consumed raw, with biscuits or rice, as fresh as possible and grated so they don’t pose an obstacle. Apples work great also if pureed or boiled and their benefits over a child’s health are tremendous.
Among the awesome foods for babies aged 4 – 8 months, bananas are the primary competitors to apples, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have both introduced to the diet. Besides the vitamins and the minerals provided by bananas, these have the miracle feature of containing a substance able to release a child’s stress and anxiety, thus improving the mood and lowering the crying and the tantrum sessions in intensity and frequency. If you already introduced solid foods to your child’s diet, multi – fruit purees or mashes of fruits and biscuits can rely on bananas to add to the health of your child.
Broccoli is sometimes underrated, but it contains incredible quantities of vitamins, minerals and nutrients (especially calcium) that makes it sometimes even more efficient than milk and spinach. It can be boiled and mashed for the child’s diet, but don’t boil it too long, it will lose its nutritious qualities.
We all know carrots are one of the main sources for Vitamin A and for minerals keeping our eye sight healthy and our skin beautiful. A child can be introduced to mashed carrots (previously steamed or boiled) or to vegetable cream soups containing carrots and other vegetables.
7. Sweet potatoes
Not all babies agree to having their diet diversified, but this doesn’t mean you should stop trying adding a new food each day. Specialists recommend to start with the jolly colors first – orange seems to be the favorite – in carrots and sweet potatoes and then move forward to the greener bunch. Sweet potatoes make delicious puree or cream soup and they have a mild, pleasurable taste and also a lot of nutrients your child will benefit from.
It is gluten – free and contain all 18 amino – acids necessary to a healthy growth and development, for all children and adults alike. Rice brings all the benefits of cereals, minus the gluten intolerance problem and all the minerals and proteins needed at this age. It is easily boiled and since it has the “talent” to borrow the taste of the other ingredients, you can imagine anything delicious from rice salads with vegetables to fruity mashes and mixtures.
This is a miraculous fruit even adults are recommended to eat. It may not be your child’s favorite at first, as it as a distinct taste and texture, but during this period of life, some avocado mixed with other fruits and even vegetables can do a world of good to your growing child. As an adult you may be in favor of a spicy, well – done serving of guacamole, but in your child’s case, a mix of avocado and other fruit puree is a good start.
10. Minced meat or fish
You may think it is too soon to bring the meat to the table, but doctors are nowadays in favor of such practice, as meat has its benefits too, especially in the iron and protein fields. You should not exaggerate though. Specialists recommend turkey or chicken, low in fat, thoroughly minced, cooked well and added to the diet. Boneless fish is also a great source of nutrients, but it also has to be well boiled and you should make sure it is almost pasteurized, so the baby can eat it without problems.
As we said, food diversification st this age may be a challenge for most parents, but there are plenty of online resources regarding on how to work with children to accept new dishes and how to introduce them to some of these awesome foods for babies aged 4 – 8 months so they can grow healthy and strong.