10 Superfoods For Babies

nowA fantastic list of 10 Superfoods for your babies and ways you can introduce them to their daily diet. Link to recipes included.

10 Superfoods For Babies- Easy Baby Meals-www.easybabymeals.com

 

Starting solid foods is a significant milestone in you and your baby’s life. It is the time when they get introduced to new textures and flavors besides breastmilk. It can be an overwhelming experience for your little one as well as for you too.

Babies have little tummies. Their willingness to try something new depends on each baby. Every baby is different. So at times, they might eat quite a bowlful and other times just a lick from few spoons, and they are through.

We, as parents have to make sure that even if they have few spoonfuls, they are getting enough nutrition to help them grown and develop. This goal is achieved by introducing them to “Superfoods.”

What Are Superfoods?

Superfoods are foods that are filled with all the essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron, carbohydrates and omega three fatty acids for the healthy growth and development of the body. They are high in antioxidants, flavonoids, phytosterols, isoflavones, and phytoestrogens. Superfoods are an excellent source of probiotics and dietary fiber along with healthy fats.

Which Are These “Superfoods”?

Following are the list of amazing superfoods which you can introduce to your little ones from the age of 6 months. At this age, the infant’s digestive system is mature enough to eat and digest solid foods. The key here is to start slowly with food mixed with infant cereal and then gradually to introduce them to more complex food groups and textures.

10 Superfoods For Babies- Easy Baby Meals-www.easybabymeals.com

  • SWEET POTATOES:

When To Introduce:

This distant relative of potatoes can be introduced to babies as early as six months.

Why Is It Superfood:

Sweet Potatoes are the orange-fleshed vegetable which is rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene along with fiber and vitamin B6. It contains a reasonable amount of iron, calcium and vitamin C, which makes it a valuable starchy food.

How To Introduce:

Steaming the peeled sweet potatoes and then turning them into a smooth puree can make your baby’s first healthy meal.  Mix it up with iron-fortified baby cereal, and you have a perfect lunch or dinner for that little tummy.

Combine With:

Apricots, Avocados, Broccoli, Green Beans, Pears, Peas or Spinach. 

Recipe: Sweet Potatoes With Pears. 

  • APRICOTS:

When To Introduce:

Apricots both fresh and dried can be introduced to babies at six months of age.

Why Is It A Superfood:

Apricots are rich in vitamin A and C which are essential for good vision. It is also a good source of beta-carotene. Apricots are filled with calcium and iron as well.

How To Introduce:

Apricots with little cinnamon can make a great starter meal for babies. They can be paired with apple, pears, peas, etc.

Combine With:

Peach, Pear, Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Meat or Cinnamon.

Recipe: Apple With Dried Apricots. 

  • AVOCADOS:

When To Introduce:

Avocados can be introduced to babies as early as six months.

Why Is It A Superfood:

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat content which is good fats. They also contain valuable amounts of vitamin C, K and B6, niacin, folate and pantothenic. Avocados have notable amounts of potassium, copper, magnesium, and manganese. It has the highest fiber content in fruit family.

How to Introduce:

Avocados are a fantastic No-Cook meal option. Just cut into pieces and mash them. They are ready to serve.

Combine With:

Combine avocados with bananas, peaches, cumin or mangoes. You can also add a little cilantro to give them a flavor and aroma.

  • LENTILS:

When To Introduce:

Various kinds of lentils can be introduced to your baby’s diet from 8 months of age. By this time, the baby used to the puree and is now ready for more complex food groups, textures, and flavors.

Why Is It A Superfood:

The humble little lentils are one of the oldest whole foods. Lentils have a vast range of nutrients which has B vitamins. They are exceptionally rich in folate which is crucial for brain development. Lentils also include minerals like manganese, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and copper. Lentils are considered to be the most abundant plant sources of iron. They are rich in protein and contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Phytonutrients present in lentils include flavonoids, isoflavones, and phytosterols which makes this a superfood.

How To Introduce:

Lentils can be cooked with other vegetables and made it into a puree or thick soup. It is a great way to combine other fruits and vegetables to create a complete wholesome meal.

Combine With:

Lentils can be combined with sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, tomatoes, spinach, herbs, etc.

Recipe: Asparagus Lentil Pureè

  • BROCCOLI:

When To Introduce:

Broccoli can be introduced to babies around eight months of age. At this stage, they are ready for more vegetables in their diet.

Why Is It A Superfood:

This mostly frowned upon vegetable is one of the nutritious ones, available at the market. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin A and range of vitamin B and folate. It is filled with various minerals like manganese, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and calcium. It is one vegetable loaded with phytonutrients. Broccoli also has sulfur compounds which have anti-viral and antibacterial properties.

How To Introduce:

Broccoli can be introduced to your baby’s diet through soups, stews, and purees. Just steam broccoli flowerets with litter garlic can make excellent finger food.

Combine With:

Broccoli can be combined with sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas, cauliflower, herbs, cumin, garlic, etc

Recipe: Cream Of Broccoli Soup

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  • BEETROOT:

When To Introduce:

Beetroots can be given to babies at eight months of age. Mixed with other basic purees, they make a great addition to your baby’s diet. Beetroots add a vibrant hue to your baby’s food.

Why Is It A Superfood:

Beetroots have a high level of antioxidants. They are a good source of folate and are filled with vitamin C, manganese, potassium and magnesium. The dark color of beetroot is due to the presence of Betalain. Betalain can protect blood vessels which in turn help in protecting against vascular disease and bone weakness.

How To Introduce:

Beetroots make a good addition to your little one’s everyday meal. Mix in with vegetable puree, fruit purees or smoothies. Steam beetroots cut into child-friendly pieces can be excellent finger food.

Combine With:

Carrots, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Fennel, Green leafy vegetables, Parsnips, Rosemary, Rice, etc

Recipe: Beetroot Carrot Pureè

  • SPINACH:

When To Introduce:

Spinach can be introduced to babies around eight months of age. Since they come under Dirty Dozens, it is advisable to choose Organic Spinach when using it for baby food.

Why Is It A Superfood:

This dark green leafy vegetable contains four times more beta-carotene than broccoli and also has a high level of lutein and zeathanthin which helps in maintaining good vision health. Spinach contains an immense amount of vitamin K and is an excellent source go vitamin A, C and E. It is filled with folate and riboflavin. Regarding minerals, spinach is loaded with magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

How To Introduce:

Mixing spinach with other vegetable and fruit purees can make a great combination. Adding some garlic or thyme can give a delicious aroma to steamed spinach.

Combine With:

Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs, Fish, Onions, Garlic, Meat, etc.

Recipe: Indian Spinach Lentil Stew

  • QUINOA:

When To Introduce:

Quinoa can be a part of your baby’s daily diet from the age of 8 months.

Why Is It A Superfood:

Quinoa is called as the “Mother Grain” by Incas. It’s super-grain/ superfood status hails from its abundant nutritional value. Unlike other grains, Quinoa contains a high level of protein, with a proper balance of all essential amino acids. It is an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, iron and zinc. Quinoa grains are full of B vitamins and fiber. These grains are gluten-free, so they are great for babies with gluten allergies.

How To Introduce:

Quinoa is cooked just like rice. Mixing the right combination of vegetables or fruits with quinoa can make a perfect meal. You can make a breakfast porridge, quinoa vegetable puree or make a pilaf for older kids.

Combine With:

Quinoa goes well with potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, peas, celery, carrots, apple, beets, pears, poultry, etc.

Recipe: Dates And Quinoa Breakfast Porridge 

  • BLUEBERRIES:

When To Introduce Blueberries:

Blueberries can be introduced to babies between 8 to 10 months of age. However, they rarely cause an allergic reaction, at times they might give a diaper rash. So it’s always better to introduce to this superfood little later if your baby has a sensitive stomach.

Why Is It A Superfood:

These little dark purple gems are the first ones to be named as Superfood. Studies show that blueberries high phytonutrient content gives them this status. Blueberries contain flavanols which are associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries are filled with essential nutrients like vitamin C, K, and folate. They are an excellent source of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, sodium and iron. Blueberries are an excellent source of fiber as well.

How To Introduce:

Blueberries are quite versatile. They can be introduced through smoothies, mixed with fruit purees, adding them to muffins or pancakes. For ages one year and above they make great finger food and snack.

Combine With:

Blueberries can be combined with breakfast cereal, oatmeal, yogurt and so on.

  • YOGURT:

When To Introduce:

Yogurt can be one of the delicious and healthy food to introduce to your baby at the age of 8 months and above. It gives them a delightful dose of calcium for healthy bones. For babies with milk allergy, use caution. Choosing a whole milk yogurt is beneficial since babies need all the essential nutrients in one little bowl.

Why Is It A Superfood:

The bacterial fermentation of milk produces yogurt. It is considered one of the vital health foods. Yogurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Bifidobacterium found in yogurt, works in harmony with the bacteria already present in the intestines which makes sure that harmful bacteria do not overpopulate our system. This helps in healthy digestion and acts as a natural probiotic. Besides these, Yogurt is a good source of vitamin A, B6, B12, and vitamin D. It is also filled with calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin and magnesium.

How To Introduce:

Yogurt is another No-Cook meal. Add fruit puree to plain yogurt and let the baby enjoy the richness of yogurt along with the sweet flavor of fruits. Yogurt can serve as a sweet and savory dip as well. Mix it with grated cucumber, and you have a meal for hot summer days.

Combine With:

Combine yogurt with fruit purees, breakfast cereal, smoothies, dips and so on.

This is a small list, but we have an abundance of food groups which can be beneficial for our little humans during their early years. Incorporating all of these slowly into their everyday diet will help them grow and form base trying out new textures and flavors.

I hope this Superfood list will give you ideas on introducing these food groups to your baby’s everyday diet.

What is your baby’s favorite Superfood? Do let us know.

Till then, Happy Cooking.

References:

Deane. A (2014) The Complete Encyclopedia Of Superfoods. Hermes House

Bessinger.J.L (2010) Best Food For Your Baby And Toddler. New York. Sterling Publishing.

 

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Disclaimer:

Every baby is different. Please use Caution before introducing new foods into your baby’s diet. Always consult your Pediatrician.


You May Also Like:

Tips On Making Homemade Baby Food

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Introducing Solid Foods To Babies

Note:

This article is originally published at We The Parents under the tile 6 Superfoods For Babies And How To Introduce them. It is now published at Easy Baby Meals with newly added information, recipe ideas, and links.

10 comments

  1. Meredith says:

    What a fantastic list of superfoods to introduce into a little one’s diet. Starting them young on these delicious, healthy foods is a great way to ensure healthy eating as they grow older too!

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