Eating healthy food from an early age helps to make one fit. Encouraging your child to eat healthily is a tough task nowadays. As parents, we should ensure to include all sorts of nutritional food in a child’s diet. Consuming healthy food helps in development, and growth in children is as fast food, or sugar-rich items only offers you taste without being healthy.
When you start feeding your baby solid food, make sure you give them what is best for their health. Newborns are extensively on breastfeed for six months so you can even take a dietitian help. Feeding a variety of foods, you can assure yourself that your child gets vitamins and minerals which are essential for their growth. Fibre-rich foods are recommended for babies.
Firstly we should understand What fiber is and how it helps babies?
Fibers are plant-based dietary nutrients which a human body can break down easily. There is insoluble and soluble fibre which you can introduce to your baby. Insoluble fibre mostly adds up to the baby’s stool, and soluble fibre is dissolved in water and fed to baby’s. If you are not sure about how to include fibre in your baby’s diet, then consult a pediatric before you start.
Fibres help in constipation relief of the child, foods such as plums, prunes, peaches etc. Foods rich in fibre keep the baby full and are packed with vitamins and minerals. They help in the development of the baby’s immune system and keep many chronic diseases at bay. Fibre-rich food also helps reduce obesity which is now quite common in children.
Fiber-rich foods recommend for babies are:
- Vegetables: Vegetables are rich in minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. You can feed veggies such as carrots, spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, etc after six months. As babies don’t have teeth you can boil the veggies or make a puree of it and then feed them. Gradually when they have teeth you can give them blanched veggies as finger food which is easy to bite and swallow. Vegetables keep children full for a longer duration and aids in better digestion.
- Grains: Even grains are rich in fibre and it’s advisable to giving babies grains from early. Start from a single grain and then steadily add multiple options. Oats, wheat, lentils, chickpeas, barley, etc are various grain which children will enjoy. When they have their teeth you can offer them wheat pasta, multigrain bread and even crackers. Children love to munch these and as parents, you will also be satisfied. You can also offer them lentils soup with added vegetables and spices.
- Fruits: Fruits must be included in a baby’s diet as it’s rich in antioxidants and fibers too. Start with one fruit and see how your baby’s body is reacting to it. If you notice any sort of problems as rashes, constipation or gas in your child accordingly stop feeding the fruit. Apples, peaches, plums, pears, and bananas are fibre rich fruits which you can easily feed your baby. Fruits have colour and it’s essential for everyone to consume a fruit a day.
Some of the recipes you can try feeding your baby are:
- Rice and lentil soup: This is an easy recipe and takes no time in cooking. All you have to do is take some lentils and rice and soak it in water after having it for an hour. Then take a pressure cooker and put the soaked rice and lentil in it. Now add water accordingly and then add grated potatoes and carrots and a few spinach leaves. Add salt and turmeric and pressure cook it up to a 6-8 whistle. Now when the pressure is released with a masher mash the soup so that it’s even and then top it with little butter and feed your child.
- Whole wheat pasta or noodles: Now whole wheat pasta or wheat noodles are available in grocery stores easily. All you have to do is get them and boil it in water with some oil and salt. Once they are cooked strain the water and keep it aside. For pasta, sauté some veggies in a pan and then make your child’s favourite dressing. Add the pasta to it and the sautéed veggies, top it with little grated cheese and you are done.
For noodles, in a pan sauté some and then add the noodle in it and put your child’s favourite sauce in it. Season it well and done. You can also add eggs or chicken to make it tastier.
- Baked or blanched veggies: Take some carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and peel them. Cut them into bite-size and put in a greased baking tray and bake them until soft and tender and serve. You can also blanch the veggies and serve it with various dips like yoghurt, hummus, cheese dip.