It can be an exciting time when your baby starts eating solid foods as it means their growth and development is well underway as they transition through their first year of life. Offering your baby a variety of nutritious foods at appropriate times will meet their growing nutritional requirements and instil good eating habits early in life.
Baby’s First Foods
When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start with iron-rich foods, such as iron enriched pureed cereals, pureed meat, poultry and fish or cooked and purèed tofu or legumes. Purèed vegetables and fruits, such as those in the Mummy’s Kitchen range, and dairy products such as full-fat yoghurt and custard can then be added. As long as iron-rich foods are included as first foods, foods can be introduced in any order and at any rate that suits your infant. Introduce foods at a pace that suits your baby, with one of the key considerations being, to provide foods of the appropriate texture for their stage of development.
The quality and variety of foods offered to your baby are also important. It’s best to stick with nutrient rich foods from the five major food groups which are:
Vegetables – such as pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, beans
Fruit – such as apples, pears, bananas, apricots, peaches
Grain foods – such as oats, rice, pasta, quinoa, noodles, cereals
Milk, yoghurt and cheese
Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
What about texture?
When solid foods are first introduced, start with purees. Once your baby is ready, you can then move onto mashed foods. Examples include minced meat, mashed legumes and fish, a wider variety of cereals, vegetables and fruits, egg custard and yoghurt. Following this, foods that have more texture, such as minced and chopped foods, can be introduced to your infant followed by ‘finger foods’.
By 12-24 months aim for your toddler to be enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods consistent with the foods your family usually eats.
Juggling Convenience and Good Nutrition
While it’s ideal to cook and prepare foods from scratch, a busy lifestyle means this is not always possible. It can also be challenging to always have fresh foods on hand when travelling, or spending significant periods away from home. Products such as those in the Mummy’s Kitchen range provide parents with convenient, portable baby foods made from 100% real food ingredients, in a texture suitable for infants from either 4 months or 6 months. The products are simple blends of purèed fruits such as apple and pear or vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potato and pumpkin, along with oatmeal and brown rice. By providing infants with a variety of foods early in life, they will be more likely to accept a wider variety of foods later on.
© Mummy’s Kitchen