When it comes to feeding your baby, there is nothing more important to your child’s health than breastfeeding. Mother’s breast milk has the perfect combination of vitamins and minerals ideal for the health of your child. For years, doctor’s and manufacturers have tried to design a product equal to breast milk, but studies have shown that nothing compares to real mother’s milk.
The Facts: Nutrition for Babies
When it comes to breast feeding, your child should be taking nothing but pure breast milk for the first six months, and should continue with some breast milk in their diet for 1 to 2 years or more. After six months you can begin adding vegetables and fruits into your baby’s diet. I would recommend adding vegetables first, followed by fruits.
Keep foods simple and meals small for at least the first few months so you can detect any sensitivities your baby may have. Introduce each new food alone, rather than in combination with other foods. Feed one food for 3 to 4 days before introducing others. Go slow!
Steam, boil or bake vegetables and fruit (peeled).
Here is a list of examples to start:
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
Also, never limit fat intake–dietary fat is essential for the development of the brain and the immune system. A mother’s milk is high in fat. Fats are very important, as they provide fat soluble vitamins. 50% of one’s calories should come from fat, according to the AAP, for up to the first 2 years.
After 9 months, you can begin mixing two foods together, such as carrots and peas.
Also, at this point, coconut milk is an excellent food to complement other foods such as pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Coconut milk contains lauric acid, which is found heavily in mother’s breast milk, making coconut milk a great addition to your child’s diet.
There are also several foods that you definitely want to avoid due to the likelihood of causing an allergic response in your child.
These foods to avoid include:
Also, keeping your child away from processed sugars is essential for their health. I would even include white bread, pasta and white rice in this category.
In addition, I would hold off feeding your baby grains such as rye, wheat, oats or any other grain because grains don’t share the same nutrient density as do vegetables and fruits.
When you do finally begin to add grains into their diet, I would first add gluten free grains like brown rice, quinoa and millet.
I would also encourage mothers to take their own health as a highest priority. A small amount of what goes into the mother is also transferred through breast milk to the baby. Eating large amounts of vegetables and healthy fats is the best way to build health in your own body.
Some of the healthiest fats include:
- Coconut (flakes, milk or oil)
- Fish Oil (for Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Olive Oil
- Nuts (especially almonds)
- Flaxseeds or oil
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
Finally, any time you can buy organic, do so. Many foods today are polluted with chemicals and additives that can be harmful to anyone’s health.