When the baby is around 4 to 6 months old, then there is a need to introduce some extra food in the diet apart from milk. This is necessary to satisfy the increased nutritional needs for proper growth and development. These foods are called weaning foods. Apart from breast milk or infant formula, the diet is expanded by feeding new food and beverages to the kid.
Weaning foods should be rich in calories along with an adequate amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. The consistency should also be soft, making it easy for the child to swallow. Weaning foods should also not cause any digestion issues to the child therefore, must be low in indigestible dietary fibre. A person should also refrain from adding any artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners while preparing the food.
In this article, we will talk about some simple yet nutritious weaning foods which are healthy and eat to prepare.
- Mashed Banana Puree - Simply blend banana in a blender. To make an appropriate consistency of a puree, infant formula milk can also be used. Banana puree provides an adequate amount of calories along with nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, etc. Alternately, chickoo/ sapota, mango and papaya can also be used as per the availability of fruit.
- Boiled Moong Dal or Yellow Split Peas - This nutritious dal can also be given to the growing child. It comes with the benefits of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamin A. Simply boil this pulse and use a blender to mash it properly.
- Apple Stew - Apple stew is also one of the traditional and healthy weaning foods given to babies. It is easy to prepare as well. Just chop a peeled apple into small pieces and cook them in a pan using water. Mash them properly so that it becomes easy to swallow for the baby.
- Suji Porridge - This is prepared by cooking suji/semolina using infant formula milk. Water can also be added to get adequate consistency. This is served a little warm to the child. Suji porridge provides carbs and proteins in a balanced proportion along with nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B1, B2 and B9.
- Carrot and Spinach Soup - Both these vegetables are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, C, K, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese. Preparing this soup is also easy and quick. Simply boil them together in a pan using water. Avoid over-cooking the same. Once the vegetables are boiled then they can be blend together and sieved.
Weaning foods are important to provide additional nutrition to the child. Food should be properly cooked having an appropriate consistency. You can always try different foods to add variety and make combinations. For porridges, we can also use daila and oats. Some other options can be fruit yoghurt, rice kheer, plain khichdi, fruit purees and fresh fruit juices. Always remember that every child has his/her taste, likes and dislikes, therefore never force them to eat.