Baby Steps: Creating a Balanced Diet for Your Little One
Until about 6 months of age, your baby will be only consuming breast milk or formula. After that, you’ll want to slowly start introducing foods. A few months later, it’s important to start building a good base and some good eating habits to create a balanced diet for your little one once weaned.
The best way to do this is to know what constitutes a healthy diet, and then having an arsenal of baby recipe ideas to fall back on. I’ve always held the idea that my baby should be healthier than me! Actually the best diet for you too is to only eat the types of food you would give to your baby.
Fruits, veggies, whole grains, and small portions of meat, poultry, and fish are the main food groups that are required to live a healthy lifestyle, babies included. Here you will find healthy food ideas that are quick and easy.
Snacks for Babies 9-12 Months
At this point, your baby is starting to eat more and more. You want to make sure they are eating the right things for their age. Here are our top snack ideas for fruit-
- Pureed blueberries
- Mashed banana
- Pureed mango
- Pureed papaya
- Cooked apples
- Slice of orange
- Cut soft pear
- Kiwi slices
- Cut soft peaches
- Watermelon slices
You can see that the first column is for when you are sitting with baby and feeding him yourself. The second column is for if you are trying baby-led weaning (baby feeds self) or want to encourage some independence while eating. Lots of people are advocating baby-led weaning nowadays but always do what you feel to be best!
The same type of thing can be done for different types of vegetables. If they aren’t pureed or mashed, make sure they are very soft (easily able to be mashed by your fingers if you pinch it) to be safe. Cooked squash is a good example of this.
Baby Food Ideas: 1 Year Old
Once your baby hits their first birthday, they’ll be ready to intake food as their primary source of nutrients. It’s good to be prepared with some baby recipes, but the truth is that babies can basically eat the same things that we do with some exceptions. You’ll want to take into account how many teeth your little on has before offering certain types of food.
Here are some good meal ideas for 1 year olds
- Chicken and rice
- Tuna salad
- Quinoa and steamed vegetables
- Ground beef and refried bean mix
- Different soups
- Cheese and crackers (snack)
- Salmon and brown rice
- Mashed potatoes and steamed spinach
This is just a small and starting list of what’s available. There are many more options! As your baby continues to grow, you can introduce more and more foods.
What about the sweet stuff?
Just like you do yourself as a healthy mom, try and limit the amount of sugar and processed food your baby gets. Everything is okay in moderation, but ideally babies only eat foods that are good for them.
Have you seen any commercials or been to any restaurants lately? It seems like all the food for kids are really unhealthy! It is advisable to be aware of the food your baby eats. Don’t be too strict though! Some birthday cake at a birthday party shouldn’t be left behind!
Understand that it’s hard work feeding a baby and making sure their diet is correctly balanced. Do the best you can with the knowledge and resources you have. Use baby first food ideas as building blocks for later. And don’t sweat picky eaters- they will eventually grow out of it.
Remember to ask your pediatrician any specific questions about baby diet or any changes you observe.