Proper nutrition means getting the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in the right combinations. Having nutrition knowledge and making smart choices about the foods you eat can and will help you achieve optimum health for your little one over their lifetime. It is key to avoiding obesity, illness, and many of today’s most prevalent chronic diseases.
Nutrition is just one key to growth and development, as well as maintaining good health for your little ones. Good health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being — a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Offering your baby a varied diet is a great way to ensure your little one is getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and develop. Every spoonful you feed them should contain the required nutrients.
Weaning is, however, the most important transitional phase for a baby. They start tasting and eating foods that aid their growth and development. The need to wean babies generally begins from the age of 6 months and can go on until that of 12 months to 2 years, depending on the baby’s intake and the weaning foods and portions. But since their stomach is still very delicate, they need food, which is easy on their digestive system.
The foods that parents can start with once a day are cooked and mashed vegetables, soft fruits, and baby cereals mixed with breastmilk or formula. New, nutrient-rich foods mean that your baby now has access to all the nutrients required for growth and development. With breastmilk no longer being the only source of nutrition, your baby’s body can have its share of iron, protein, minerals, etc., from a varied set of food items.
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Types of Weaning
Natural or Baby-led Weaning:
This occurs when your baby starts to accept a larger quantity and a wider variety of solid foods while still nursing on demand. With natural weaning, you must take note of your baby’s behavioral cues and go along at their pace. Babies who are weaned naturally usually tend to stop breastfeeding only between the ages of two and four years.
Planned or Mother-led Weaning:
This occurs when mothers themselves decide to start the weaning process. Planned weaning could happen for several reasons – insufficient milk production, their return to work, and so on.
Partial or Gradual Weaning:
Partial weaning combines the best of both worlds for you and your little one. Here, one or more solid food feedings are substituted with breastmilk from time to time. Partial weaning works well for working mothers who still want to continue to breastfeed.
However, weaning your baby from 6months of age is extremely important. They begin to need nutrients from real foods such as iron, which has already diminished at 6 months of age.
Several nutrients play a crucial role in growth and development, depending on the age of your child. For example, from ages 6-12 months, fat, protein, and other micronutrients are vital for your little one at that stage. While from 12 months, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as other micronutrients, plays an important role at that stage.
Getting a Baby Meal Plan
It is imperative to get a well-prepared healthy baby Meal plan to guide and assist you in choosing a variety of foods from each nutrient to help your little one’s growth.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to think of what to give your child. Especially, when you opt for healthy nutrition for your little one. Seeing what your little one is eating for a couple of days, week/month written down, can alert you to any patterns of bad habits. This might give you the push to try new recipes, which can only be a good thing for your little one to explore different foods, as well as varieties of nutrients.
With a meal plan, you can buy what your child needs, and not being swayed by special bulk offers. You can avoid throwing out lots of food you haven’t been able to eat in time (before the expiry date) and, in turn, save money.
Babies, as well as toddlers, can be fuzzy when they are hungry, which can be so stressful for moms. But getting things figured out, which is a vital key, is why you need a meal plan for your baby.
It is important to note that nutrition plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. Good food helps our body’s natural defence to fight viruses, infection, etc. Especially that of our little ones whose immune system are still developing.
Remember your little ones needs all the nutrient they can get from real foods. Let’s raise healthy kids together.