As your baby grows there are certain nutritional foods you can give to your baby after 5 months. Until 5 months, Breast milk is the best food for your baby. In fact, you should continue nursing even after you begin introducing solid foods. Good nutrition can give a solid start to your baby’s overall growth and development in the coming years.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is important to wait until your baby is at least 3 months old before offering foods with naturally occurring nitrates, such as carrots, spinach, beets, squash, broccoli, and green beans as it may cause a type of anemia called methemoglobinemia in young infants. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and parsnips also contain nitrates.
Here are first nutritional foods your baby should be eating at early stages;
This fruit is a top nutritional foods that you can give your baby after he or she reaches 5 months age. Bananas will give your baby a good amount of carbohydrates that provides sustained energy as well as fiber that supports a healthy digestive tract.
Rich in potassium, bananas help control the body’s water balance. Potassium also helps with muscle functioning and is responsible for the relaxation of your baby’s heart muscle and heart rhythm. It even reduces the risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis in the future.
Use a fork to thoroughly mash a ripe banana until it has the consistency of pudding. Then, serve it to your baby.
For older babies, chopped bananas are an excellent finger food.
This root vegetable contains beta-carotene that aids healthy development of a baby’s skin, eyesight and immune system. Carrots are packed with nutrients including vitamins C, K and B8, along with calcium, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese.
-For babies who have not yet developed teeth, carrots can be boiled, baked or steamed and then pureed. Mix in formula milk to reach the desired consistency.
-For babies who have started chewing, carrots can be served in soft slices for your baby to enjoy.
-Chilled carrot sticks can be given to babies who have started teething.
-Peel off the carrots skin, as infants are not able to digest the skin.
Sweet potatoes are another delicious addition to your baby’s diet. Most babies like the creamy, sweet taste. Sweet potatoes are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for good vision, healthy skin and a baby’s overall growth and development.
-Cook peeled and washed sweet potatoes in enough water to cover them in the pan. Cook them until they are soft.
-Mash the soft sweet potatoes.
-Add a little water or formula milk to make it thinner before serving it to your baby.
Apples are a great food that can be introduced between 6 and 8 months of age. An apple a day is indeed extremely good for your baby’s health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, apples are the number one fruit liked by kids.
One of the most important nutritional components of apples is the fiber content, which helps maintain bowel regularity. Other nutrients in apples include vitamins A and E, folate, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium.
Experts recommended serving applesauce instead of whole apples to babies upto 8 months old.
-Simply peel an apple and cut it into small pieces.
-Cook the apple pieces with 1 cup of water or apple juice over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Allow it to cool, then mash it with a fork to a thin consistency.
Another vegetable that is great for babies is squash, especially butternut and acorn squash. In fact, the bland or savory flavor of squash makes a healthy alternative to sweet fruits. It can be introduced to babies between 6 and 8 months old.
Squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. While vitamin A is needed for good vision and healthy skin, vitamin C is needed for good immunity so that your baby can fight off infections easily.
Other nutrients in squash are potassium, calcium, folate, protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber.
-Bake or roast some squash (without the seeds).
-Put the pulp of the baked squash and a little formula milk in the blender.
-Blend it into a smooth consistency. As your baby gets used to eating pureed food, increase the thickness.
Pears are very nutritious for babies between 6 and 8 months old. This tasty fruit is rich in fiber, copper and vitamin C. The fiber promotes healthy digestion, and doctors often recommend pears as a remedy to help alleviate a baby’s constipation. Vitamin C and copper protect the body’s cells from damage and support the immune system.
Apart from being a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pears are gentle on your baby’s sensitive digestive system.
There is no need to cook pears. When they are ripe, they are very soft and can easily be made into a smooth puree.