If you are a parent, it is given that you worry about your little one's diet. Babies and toddlers are known to be fussy eaters and we often have to put in a lot of effort to make them eat.
Kids are often attracted to the foods that are tasty, but not very good for them. As parents, we are eager to help them fill their little tummies and let them have what they wish for. But isn't it our duty to make sure that they eat healthy? We, sometimes, forget that nutrition is more important than mere filling up of our baby's stomach.
Healthy food habits need an early start, but it is never too late. Let us make sure that our children have their fill of the food that is the best for them. To help you feed your baby the right selection of food items, we bring to you a list of things that are the worst for your baby. Make sure to avoid the foods on this list for a healthy start to your baby's eating habits.
Honey is a good source of natural sugar. But did you know that it can also cause food poisoning called botulism in children younger than the age of one? It is best to avoid feeding your baby honey. You can give your baby pureed fruits instead to add some sweetness into your baby's diet. Apple sauce or mashed bananas serve well too.
Sweets, toffees and chocolates are often offered to babies and toddlers as treats. It might be the parents who do that or your friends and families give it to them as gifts. These sweet treats are high on sugar and are bad for your baby. It can also cause your baby's new teeth to rot.
So, make it a practice to reward or treat your child with toys, clothes or activities instead of sugary foods. Encourage your friends and family to do so too. If your baby does have a sweet or a toffee, make sure that he/she follows it with milk or milk products like cheese or curd.
If your baby is a toddler, you might have introduced him/her to breakfast cereals. Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and are very unhealthy. They also tend to be high in salts. Homemade breakfasts like idli, dosa, upma and poha are some healthy options you can choose from. If you want to give your child cereals, just make sure that it is of the plain kind. You can always add sweetness into it by adding fresh or dried fruits.
Some fish make for a great source of nutrition for your baby. But there are some fish that you need to stay away from. Marlin, shark and sword fish are some examples. These fish are very high in mercury levels and eating them can be the source of potential health hazard. Choose oily fish like sardines and salmon. These are rich in omega fatty acids and are good for your baby.
In the fast-paced life of today, parents can be too busy to make meals for their children from scratch. Ready-made meals can seem like a great solution to the problem. But beware! These ready-made meals are often very high in salt content and may also contain artificial preservatives. These meals might be fine for adults but can be very harmful for babies and toddlers.
Instead of purchasing these ready-made meals, look out for easy recipes that can be cooked at home. Oats and semolina are some of the ingredients that are easy to cook. You can also prep for the meals for the whole of the week on the weekend and store them in your freezer for an easier cooking experience.
Snacks such as chips, cutlets, samosas and pakodas are tasty and are loved by toddlers. But these are high in saturated fat and are low in nutrition. These foods make your child full fast but provide them with negligible amount of nutrition.
If you do want to serve your toddles with these foods, make sure that it is air fried or baked. You can also opt for steamed veggies and toasted snacks instead of the fried goods.
Tea, Coffee And Aerated Drinks
Tea and coffee are often offered to the toddlers. These are addictive and contain caffeine. The tannins that are present in them can cause the malabsorption of iron. Aerated drinks are loaded with sugar and some contain a large amount of caffeine. These provide zero nutrition.
Choose breast milk, formula milk and water as drinks for your baby or toddler. If your baby is at least one year old, you can also introduce cow's milk into his/her diet. Tender coconut water, sugar-less fruit juices and vegetable juices also make for great drinks if your baby is at least one year old.