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That little bundle of joy in your arms grows at a pretty fast rate in the initial years. From being a sleeping baby your child will be sitting and soon running around before you know it. To keep up with this rapid development in your child it is extremely important to provide a healthy diet.
Different doctors have different views on when to introduce solid food but one thing is for sure whenever you do so make sure it is packed with nutrition.
Six months is a good enough time for a baby to have food apart from milk. And this calls for deciding upon the best foods for babies at 6 months to one year.
So what do we include in our list of best foods for babies? You will be surprised to know that there are quite a number of things that babies can have but with care and caution. Be patient and tread the baby’s food path with caution.
The digestive system of a baby is at a developing stage. For months it has survived on milk. The introduction of something new needs to be closely monitored.
Given here are some foods that babies can be introduced to. Being soft they can be easily swallowed and digested.
Rice cooked with lots of water to make a custard-like consistency is ideal for the delicate tummy of the baby. Boil rice with enough water and a little bit of sugar. When well-cooked add the rice in a blender and add half a teaspoon of ghee. When the baby is a little older and used to eating food you can wash, dry and grind the rice to a coarse powder. Cook this powder in water and start with a little granular meal.
Kichdi involves the cooking of rice and dal together. Maybe not at six months but when the baby is more used to having meals you can introduce this nutritious but soft textured food. Cook one part of dal and two parts of rice with four parts water. Add salt and turmeric as per required. Gradually you can add vegetables along with the rice and dal and make a complete meal.
When introducing fruits stewed apples prove to be the best foods for babies at 6 months. Peel, chop and cook the apple in water with a little bit of sugar. When soft and well-cooked blend well to get a consistency comfortable enough to drink. You can also add half a teaspoon of ghee to the ‘drink'.
Some of the fruits that are easy on a baby's digestive system are bananas and chickoos. All you need to do is mash these fruits enough to allow the baby ease in swallowing. Both fruits keep the digestive system in good shape.
Citrus fruits contain the much required vitamin C. They are also tasty and liked by babies. Squeeze fresh juices at home and serve them to your little one. Make sure they are always at room temperature.
A milk product but with nutrition of a different kind is curd. Curd, or yogurt, has always been accepted as a boon to the digestive system. When your baby starts out on having things apart from milk you can include curd to the diet. You can give it as it is or make curd rice. But as far as possible try to set the curd at home as then it will be fresh. And once again, keep it at room temperature.
Ragi is a small dark colored grain which is ground to flour. Wash and roast the ragi and grind to a fine powder. You need to cook this flour as you prepare the packaged custard powder. Ragi is packed with calcium which makes it an indispensable part of a baby's diet.
Wheat is said to be a little difficult to digest for a baby so you would rather wait for some time before introducing wheat products. Once the child is comfortable with rice you can graduate to bulgar wheat, or dalia. Cook it with dal like you would cook rice khichdi. Once cooked dalia is also very soft and easy for the baby to swallow. By now your baby would like a bit of tempering too.
No matter what age soups are always beneficial. You can make clear soups or thick soups. In either forms the baby is sure to love the taste. But this should be soup made at home from scratch. No ready-to-eat powders.
The importance of this food item can never be ignored. Even though your baby has started eating solid foods milk will always remain on the list of best foods for babies. Make sure your baby has close to 500 - 600 ml of milk daily. This could be formula milk, breast milk or both.
Weaning a baby is milestone not only for the baby but for the parents as well. Pureeing food is the introduction to solid food. If your baby starts teething you can go one to include soft finger foods like cooked carrot and broccoli too. Remember, one rule does not apply to all babies. Observe your baby and accordingly feed. Introduce one item at a time and when settled with that move on to the next.