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Baby Health | Baby Foods Guide | Cooking Baby Foods and Recipes

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Baby foods guideline to age 2 years

After 4 months, start infants on first solid food by timely introduction of cereals vegetables fruits proteins, dairy milk

 

How should an infant be started on solid foods?

An infant does not benefit from any solid foods for the first 4 months. After six months, breast milk or infant formula no longer meet the nutritional needs specially the iron. However, the breast milk or iron fortified infant formula may be used in preparing the foods to make them more iron bio-available.

 

The weaning starts with cereals (Introducing Cereal and Grains). You should select the grainns that are least allergic. In south India, Ragi is the most common cereal. In Rajasthan, it is Bajra. In United States, it is brown rice.

 

Vegetables are add after the cereals (Introducing Vegetables). The best vegetables to add are Kaddu (Butternut squash) and Sweet potatoes. These are chosen for the best nutrition needed at the time. You can choose almost any vegetables. The vegetables high in acid (Tomatoes) and high in nitrates (Spinach) are deferred till the infant is about 10 months old. All the vegetables must be fully cooked during first year.

 

Following the vegetables, fruits are added (Introducing Fruits). The banana, apples, and pears are common first fruits. All fruits must be cooked except the fruits with soft flesh (Banana, Avocado, Papaya). Citric fruits are deferred till 10th month. In United States, Avocados provide the best choice.

 

The proteins are introduced following the fruits (Introducing proteins). The egg yolk is the best choice. For vegetarians, choose skin less split beans to make thick Dal. Choices for Dal include Chana Dal, Moong Dal and Toor Dal. Non-vegetarians may use skinless boneless chicken.

 

Gradually, an infant progresses to a more adult type on first birthday. During this time some foods are avoided that may be sensitive. By the time an infant is 24 months old, the baby should be given the same balanced diet as the parents from all the food groups.

 

How to wean infant off the breast milk?

 

What foods should be avoided and for how long?

We should avoid certain foods because the baby organs are not yet mature (e.g., don't use salt due to under developed kidney. Non allergic foods can be introduced, however, some foods need to be introduces as the infant builds up the immune system.

Avoid Baby Foods

 

What spices and fats should be used in cooking?

While saturated fats are not good for adults, infants need saturated fats, and cholesterol. About 50% of calories should come from fats till the age of 24 months. The transfats should be avoided. Foods should not be deep fried.

Fats and Oils for Baby Foods

You can use almost any spice to prepare foods. Some of the spices are even helpful to the infant. When introducing spices, one must be careful with Cinnamon.

Curry Spices for Baby Foods

Do not use any salt

Salt and Children

 

What are special precautions for vegetarians?

Emphasis should be on fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C to make iron bio-available. It is recommended that a vegetarian infant continue with iron fortified infant formula to 18 months of age.


In India, it is becoming customary to give vitamin A, C, and D as drops starting at six months of age to 12 months, and then as standard tablet or liquid form till the age of five years.

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