Learn Early Nutrition and Meal Plan for Your Baby

Baby Nutrition

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 Process 

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.

Read Also: Foods That Will Make Your Kids Grow Tall

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.

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Benefits of Homemade Food for Babies & Toddlers

It is always faster and easier to give babies cereals and store-bought food, especially when you don\’t understand what your baby likes or you don\’t know what food is healthier to introduce your baby to after weaning him off breastmilk.

Introducing homemade food to your baby has several benefits for your child and you, the parent. Here are some of the benefits of homemade foods;

Nutritional value

Nutritional content in homemade food has a higher chance of containing more nutrients than baby food from the store shelf. Shelf-stable baby food is heated at very high temperatures to prevent food poisoning and infections from bacteria, fungi, and possibly viruses. This process of heating destroys proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for brain development and growth in children. Cooking your baby\’s food at home enables you to monitor the temperature. You are also responsible for all that goes into the food, and you determine how rich it is in nutritional value.

Prevention of allergies

You should know about the food allergies within the family. This knowledge enables you to stay away from certain things when preparing food for your baby. In case your child develops an allergy after eating a particular food, the allergen can easily be traced. But if your child reacts poorly to the baby food you bought from the shelf, the allergen wouldn\’t be easily traced because of all the numerous additives present.

Healthy and fresh meals

Who wouldn\’t love a freshly prepared food? Even infants and toddlers do. Making your child\’s food at home allows you to give him healthy meals. You could give your child a gluten-free diet from your kitchen, protein-packed snacks, vitamins rich meals, fruit puree, all of which is healthy, fresh, and he will love it. Healthy meals make your child\’s skin glow, limit how easily he can come down with an infection, and prevents fat deposits in the wrong places while at the same time helping the brain and physical development.

Related Article: Learn Early Nutrition and Meal Plan for Your Baby

Maintain taste of food the baby is used to

A child is used to the taste of the mother\’s food from the womb and the breastmilk. Introducing that baby to meals cooked at home wouldn\’t be strange. Many babies resist shelf stored baby food because of the sudden change from what they used to know. Some children eventually settle the baby food bought and some resist and would prefer being fed with meals made at home. Never make the mistake to force-feed an infant or toddler who rejects baby cereals and foods. Take time to find out what the child likes and prepare his food for him. Also, create a variety of taste for him. Don\’t stick with making one type of meal.

Homemade food has a better flavor.

I am almost certain you prefer the taste of freshly barbequed chicken or fish to canned sardines and portions of bacon. That is the same way a baby feels about his best homemade food and the baby food in cans and plastics. Food store on the shelf with a shelf life of two or more years says a lot about all the processing it has undergone to stay that long, and that is not the best call when talking about eating healthy.

Less consumption of chemical additives.

A child deserves to eat healthily. Eating healthy isn\’t only for adults. If you want your toddler to consume less of the chemical additives present in the world today, then you need to take time to be responsible for making your toddler\’s food. Store-bought baby foods have preservatives, nutrients that aren\’t from natural sources, but are synthesized. We all are aware of how all these additives and biochemicals have largely impacted the world. Lowering body immunity, triggering things that have caused many health challenges today. Consumption of some of these things as a baby can come back to haunt later in adulthood. 

A child\’s body might not be able to breakdown some of the biochemical and chemicals used in preparing and preserving baby food. Most of these molecules that aren\’t broken down are stored in the body, which could later cause damage. But feeding your child with homemade food reduces the chances of a child\’s exposure to these additives.

Read Also: Foods That Will Make Your Kids Grow Tall

Meal plan

Do you introduce a healthy meal plan for your child because you want the child to eat right? Then preparing the food by yourself at home makes your target achievable. Instead of cutting back on the serving of baby foods and cereals, you should give your child protein-rich home-cooked meals. That would keep him fuller for longer with the possibility of not being overweight in view. 

Factors that can prevent you from giving your child home-cooked meals especially if you are a working mother are

  1. Time: you might not have the time at your disposal to prepare meals for your child regularly, especially if you have a clingy or crying baby. A well-prepared meal plan is the best to guide you on what to cook, even on the busiest days. 
  2. Storing freshly made food in the freezer or refrigerator, which you might not like.
  3. Many times organic food and fresh fruits are not as cheap as you would prefer them to be so that you can save cost.
  4. Possible contamination from pathogens which could cause diarrhea and vomiting.

The benefits of homemade food for your baby outweighs all your fears. Put all the necessary hygienic conditions in place, put away your worries, and make out time to cook the meals, and you will raise a happy and healthy. 

healthy meal plan for babies within 6-24 months of age

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Newborn Sleep Schedule: Birth to 3 months

You are back home with your baby, and you are happy and anxious about this new journey. Among the list of things you are probably trying to figure out is your baby\’s sleep pattern. You quickly learn that all your newborn does sleep, eat, poop, cry, and sleep.

How much do newborns sleep?

Have you been wondering, \’How much do newborns sleep?\” Newborns sleep for a total of 16 to 18 hours a day within the first two weeks. Their sleep is in small chunks, usually between two to three hours, both day and night. Because their stomach is small, they wake in between their sleep to eat and relax before settling back to sleep. Baby sleep schedule at such an early stage is not recommended. Babies don\’t know the difference between night and day in their first month of birth, and you want to allow your baby to get all the sleep they require because it is essential for their brain development and growth. 

Some parents make a mistake of trying to follow a newborn sleep schedule for their newborns. It is imperative to note that a baby between 0 to 6 weeks is too young to have a sleep schedule. In fact, at this stage, newborns are just struggling to understand the difference between day and night. You, as a parent, should take time to help your newborn clear the confusion between day and night at this stage by keeping the day full of activities and bright and then the night quiet, calm, and dark with fewer activities.

1 to 2 weeks old schedule

The first two weeks of birth are very much the same for you and your baby. It is expected that your baby sleeps soundly for two to three hours regularly, which would make a total of 16 to 18 hours sleep in a day. Your baby would wake up every two or three hours to feed, and it is vital to allow him to feed well to regain their birth weight. It is alright to wake your baby to feed if your baby hasn\’t woken up after three hours of sleep because she is most likely going to return to sleep after feeding.

Your baby would also wake up every two to three hours in the night to feed and look into your face before going back to sleep. You have to get ready to wake up several times in the night to feed, clean poop, change soaked diapers, and play with your baby. During this early stage, you should not tie your baby\’s feeding to a clock because a newborn feeding schedule will not work. Your baby feeding schedule should be based on her demand because you want to be able to meet all the nutritional requirements of your newborn. 

3 weeks old

At this stage, your baby is starting to spend longer periods awake even though your newborn will still sleep about fourteen to sixteen hours of sleep out of twenty-four hours. Your newborn\’s brain and central nervous system are maturing at a rapid rate, and he begins to start taking note of his environment. He will still wake regularly to feed, and if he is gaining weight well, you will not need to wake him up to feed. Your baby might also become fussy at this time, and it might be because he is cluster feeding


4 weeks old

Your four weeks old baby would still need fourteen to sixteen hours of sleep daily, but he will spend more hours awake. Your one-month-old baby is already aware of his surroundings and might be sleeping longer stretches at night, and that means they wake fewer times to feed. At this stage, you can begin to help your baby understand the difference between day and night to help your child sleep through the night, especially if your baby is one to sleep in the day and stay awake to play in the night. You should remember to follow a baby feeding schedule of every two hours. Consistency is key.

5 to 6 weeks old

At five to weeks old, your newborn is starting to stay awake longer for up to one hour and take four to five naps. Your baby can handle more stimulus now, and he is already beginning to learn new things, especially as you and those around him talk and sing to him. Your baby will still sleep for about thirteen to sixteen hours daily. You don\’t have any reason to worry if your baby is not staying awake longer than an hour. My daughter spent most of her first two months sleeping and, after then, became actively awake. At this time, you can settle your baby into a routine or schedule. You can help him set his bedtime, and after 6 weeks, you might want to schedule his time for feeding to every two or three hours. Consult with your pediatrician on what will be appropriate for your baby.

7 to 9 weeks

Though your baby is sleeping about fourteen to fifteen hours a day and taking short naps in between long periods of sleep during the day, your baby will be sleeping longer at night. Some babies learn to start sleeping through the night at this stage, but some babies don\’t reach this milestone until they are five to six months, and other children don\’t sleep through the night till they are about three years old. Your baby would not wake to feed often in the night because he can hold more food in his stomach now. Some babies will begin to drop some of their cluster feeding fussiness at this time, and a newborn feeding schedule might be possible.

10 to 12 weeks

Your baby is more aware of his surroundings and wants to be more involved in it. This will keep him awake longer. He will take between three to five shorter naps and three to four hours of sleep during the day but ten to eleven hours of sleep in the night. He will wake for three feeds in the night and go back to sleep again. At twelve weeks, it might become harder to stick with his sleeping and feeding schedule because your baby might want to stay awake longer. At three months, your baby is likely to start fighting his sleep because he wants to play more. You will schedule your newborn\’s feeding to be every two hours

You must learn your baby cues for sleep and feeding. During the first six weeks, you should follow your baby\’s lead, and after then you can settle into a schedule. Baby sleep or feeding cues range from

  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Yawning
  • Fussiness
  • Crying

Your newborn will need your help in settling to sleep in the first few weeks of life because most babies don\’t know how to sleep on their own.

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