An infants weight is expected to double from birth to five months old. This increases three times by the age of one and almost four times by 24 months. With such a rapid rate of growth and development, ensuring they are getting the right amount of nutrients to support this is vital. This can be a challenging task especially as they start to transition into solids. Here are a few tips and tricks for a smoother transition into solids and beyond whilst ensuring optimum nutrition.
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy needed to support brain function, muscle movements and their fast growing little bodies. Texture however is key! Peeling, chopping, cooking and then pureeing fresh vegetables or fruits is an easy way to get not just carbohydrates but a wide range of nutrients into their diet. Using the Bbox Mesh Feeder makes this not just infant friendly but parent friendly by letting them feed themselves with little to no mess!
Try the following delicious combinations:
- Sweet Potato + Zucchini
- Avocado + Potato + Carrot
- Apple + Pear
- Peach + Apricot
- Banana + Pear
From 6-12 months, lumpy to more normal textured foods should be introduced, preparing them for the next phase of eating. This is particularly important when introducing iron rich foods such as beef, chicken, fish and beans. Iron is critical for brain development, relating to functions such as memory, attention, perception and language skills.
Research has shown that delaying the introduction of lumpy food beyond 10 months is more likely to result in food being refused at 15 months. Ease the transition by chopping these iron rich foods into tiny bite size pieces and combining with pureed or mashed vegies such as those previously mentioned. Use a small, shallow plastic teaspoon for portion controlled mouthfuls they can handle as they get used to chewing.
Fruit juice is not necessary or recommended whilst breast or formula feeding as it may interfere with their feeds. However, this is often a popular beverage of kids beyond this phase. Fruit juices contain high amounts sugar with little nutrition as much of the fibre and goodness has been removed during the juicing process. Furthermore, many of the store bought juices contain preservatives and added sugar.
A much healthier option is to make your own fruit smoothies by using the whole fruit. Simply peel, chop and add the fruit to a blender along with some water or ice when your kids are old enough to handle colder liquids for a slurpee like consistency. These are great on a hot day! Add a handful of baby spinach to the mix for added goodness in disguise. They won’t taste it I promise!
Try the following combinations
- Minty Fresh: 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple + Small Handful Mint + Baby Spinach + Water or Ice
- Green Machine: 1/2 Apple + ½ Pear + Baby Spinach + Water or Ice
- Berryana: 1 Small Banana + ½ Cup Fresh or Frozen Berries + Baby Spinach + Water or Ice
- Berry Frozen yoghurt: 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Berries + ½ Cup Plain Natural Yoghurt + Ice (Berry Frozen yoghurt)
- Banana Ice-cream: 1 frozen banana + 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 cup ice + desiccated coconut sprinkled on top to finish
Tip: If you have over-ripe bananas, peel and store in a snap-lock bag in the freezer and use when needed for smoothies.