What are the essential nutrients that a baby need? Well, just like an individual need all nutrients, the baby needs vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins and even fat! There is no exception to any nutrient that is not required for the baby. Variety is the basic key to meet all the nutritional needs of the baby. Balanced diet with food choices from all major groups of food ensures that your baby receives adequate and all essential nutrition.
What are the foods that I can feed my baby?
12 – 18 months is the second stage where the baby can be feed anything that is healthy! Of course, let your baby stay away from eating junk foods and processed foods. Feeding the high fat or fried or high sugar foods may reduce the normal appetite of the baby, which impact eating nutritious foods!
You can start introducing new foods every now and then! There are absolutely no restrictions about feeding all veggies and fruits.
For Energy: Babies need energy to stay active all the day. Dense solid foods and carbohydrate rich foods provide the energy. Potatoes, cereals, rice, nuts and seeds, greens, vegetables, etc. provide energy.
Vitamin A: Essential nutrient required for growth of healthy skin, proper vision and good immunity. Carrots and cheese are the right baby foods that have adequate vitamin A. Yellow skinned fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin A. Feed the fruits like papaya, mango, butter squash,
Vitamin C: An essential nutrient for baby to absorb iron! It also aids in promotion of collagen, a gel like substance inside the skin, aids in the formation of healthy flawless skin, ligaments, tendons, etc.
Vitamin D: If your baby drinks infant milk, your baby will receive Vitamin D. Otherwise, the best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Make your baby exposed to sunlight at least for 10 – 15 minutes, either in the morning before 8 am or evening after 4 pm. Vitamin D deficiency impacts the calcium absorption and result with poor bone health!
Iron: The most important nutrient that every baby should receive. Lack of iron impacts the overall health and growth with long term effects. Fatigue, tiredness, laziness, etc are the symptoms of vitamin B12 and Iron deficiency! Adding one serving of dark green leafy vegetables, beetroot, dates, etc provide sufficient iron!
Zinc and Magnesium: Essential for normal growth and building a strong immune system.
Your baby also needs the antioxidants to ensure proper growth.
Water: It is an important thing that your baby should drink more water as she is now taking a variety of solid foods!
Feeding fruit juice, chopped fruits and veggies, boiled eggs, iron fortified cereals, legumes, etc ensure that your baby receive all those essential dose of nutrients.
If you still breast feed your baby, there is no harm in continuing the same. Similarly, make sure that your baby drink milk and enough water!
How much food your baby who celebrated the first birthday need?
Quantity and fulfilling nutritious needs doesn’t always go hand in hand! The quantity of food needed by your one year old baby is as much as half of what adults eat! Your baby can eat 10 times a day or thrice a day. It all depends on the appetite and the little tummy needs! Moms need not worry as the little one always let their moms know that they are hungry!
Changes in the eating habits:
While meeting the baby nutritional needs until one year is an easy task for many moms, the behavior and habits of the babies’ changes dramatically after attaining one year of age. They tend to learn many things during this phase and you will notice changes in their eating habits!
- Babies are more likely to follow the eating habits of the parents.
- The babies will try to eat on its own with fingers or spoon
- Will love to eat colorful and nicely decorated foods (please note this!!)
- Show interest in favorite foods and try to pick from the variety of fruits and veggies
- Grab foods from others plates!