The Best Foods for Your Baby’s Development

a baby with an avocado

Every parent will want the best for their baby, which is why you should provide them with various healthy foods once they can move onto solids. However, there are some products that are healthier than others, which can support their health and brain development.

While you should ask your health visitor for advice before you start feeding your little one, you should read the below best foods for your baby’s development.

Vegetables

A bunch of carrots

It is recommended to move a baby to solid foods by the time they reach 6 months old, but some might need to do so a little earlier, depending on their development.

Vegetables are often the best foods to start your little one off with, which should be cooked to soften them. You also have the option to either mash or blend them, so they are easy to swallow.

You also should aim to provide your son or daughter with a wide variety of vegetables, which should be a mix of sweet and bitter.

For instance, they might enjoy the following vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado

It’s also common for babies to pull a face when they try vegetables for the first time. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like the taste, it could just mean they are surprised by the flavour on their tongue.

It is also essential to avoid raw vegetables until your baby is at least 12 months old, as your little one will be unable to chew and swallow hard foods.

Fruit

Punnets of strawberries

Fruits are also filled with many vitamins and nutrients, which can support your baby’s development. It is, however, important to mash or blend soft, ripe fruits, which they will be able to swallow and will offer a pleasant texture on their tongue.

If, however, you want your baby to benefit from the nutrients found in harder fruits, you will need to cook them first to soften them. You also shouldn’t forget to wash the fruit and remove any stones, pips or hard skin.

Great options to try could include:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Melon
  • Peaches

It is, however, important to provide your baby with more vegetables than fruit, as it could prevent them from developing a sweet tooth.

Starches

Toast

Starchy foods can be another great option for your little one, which can be cooked, blended or mashed to provide a pleasant texture or could be used as finger foods.

If your baby is six months or older, you could add the following starchy foods into the diet:

  • Rice
  • Baby rice
  • Pasta
  • Porridge
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Toast
  • Bread
  • Quinoa
  • Pitta bread

You also could mix cereals with either breast milk or first infant formula.

Dairy Products

A raspberry in yoghurt

Once your baby reaches 6 months old, you will be able to offer them various pasteurised dairy products, such as cheese or full-fat yoghurt. They also might enjoy either plain or full-fat, unsweetened yoghurts.

It is, however, essential to note that your child should not consume whole pasteurised cows’ milk, sheep’s milk or goat’s milk before your baby is 12 months old.

It is also safe for 6-month-old babies and toddlers to eat eggs that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice. Look for the red lion stamp when selecting your eggs.

Protein Products

Baby weaning

Protein is suitable for your baby once they reach six months old. For example, your baby might enjoy:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish (without the bones)
  • Lentils
  • Egg
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Pulses
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Pulses

It is, however, important to ensure all meat and poultry are thoroughly cooked. You also should refer to the above advice regarding eggs, as they should feature the red lion stamp. The above sources of protein can also contain various essential nutrients for your baby, such as zinc and iron.

So, if you are moving your baby onto solids, consider the above foods for your baby’s development. However, you should consult your health visitor for advice when moving onto solids.

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