Are you still wondering what to cook for your little ones when they reach 6 months of age? Do you have a toddler who refuse to eat most of the healthy food you cook for him/her?
This article is to share with you some healthy baby foods which you can find easily in the market and they are my top 3 healthy baby food choices for new moms. If you have a child who are about to start the semi or solid food, here is the article for you.
Please read on to find out now!
Health baby foods
No. 1 Anchovy
Maybe you will wonder, among so many oily fish in the market, why I pick anchovy? Nowadays, perhaps you know that large oily fish may have issues of toxic chemical content such as mercury which will lead to serious health problem to human being over a period. Anchovy is also an oily fish which is much smaller, and the best part is, it contains the least amount of toxic chemicals because its body cannot retain it ( due to its size and short life span).
Anchovies can be available in fresh, preserved in can or dried form. In Malaysia, we often see anchovies in dried form and they can be found easily in the market. Anchovies has pungent fishy smell which may not be favored by a lot of people but consider taking them again after you have seen the impressive health benefit of this little fish do to your babies.
Health benefit to our babies – Anchovy
If you want to add anchovy in your babies diet, try anchovies powder. It is commercially available nowadays for the busy and working parents. You can also make your own anchovies powder at home.
Anchovy is the least contain harmful elements which is really safe to be consumed by babies. Anchovy contain various micro nutrients needed for babies to thrive. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, a good source of protein for babies and rich in vitamin B and D. It is also high in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Here are some health benefits you will get by giving adding anchovy in your babies diet.
1. High amount of omega 3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid). These fatty acids are important in development of neural system in babies.
2. High in Vitamin D promotes calcium, magnesium and phosphate absorption for strong bone and teeth. Vitamin D also essential element to protect your babies against infection and disease.
3. Rich in calcium, phosphorous and magnesium which are the essential element for the child’s rapid growth.
4. It is a good source of protein with the least toxic elements due to its short life span and small. Protein is needed especially in the early childhood year to maintain the body’s growth and help repair damage tissues.
5. High iron content is needed to build hemoglobin which will transport oxygen to all the important organ in our body. Babies need iron for their brain to develop normally.
How to introduce anchovies in babies diet?
For infants who are started to have solid food after 6 months of age, you may use dried anchovies powder which is commercially available in the market now (look for those which have no additives or other preservative and no additional of salt or MSG). You can make your own anchovies powder at home too.
You can add half or one teaspoon of anchovies powder in your babies porridge or soup, mashed potatoes puree, pumpkin puree. For older kids, you can add in their pasta or spaghetti, mushroom soup, pizza, noodles etc.
This is an ideal food for children who are picky eaters. If you worry about he/she is not getting enough nutrient, add it in the porridge, soup, pizza or even pasta paste for the extra flavor.
No. 2 Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes come with various colors – orange, purple, pink, yellow, red and white. It contains high amount of carbohydrates which provide the energy source for your babies. Sweet potatoes is one of the healthy baby foods we like to cook for our little ones after turning 6 months old.
Health benefits to our babies – Sweet potatoes
Sweet potato can be found easily in Malaysia and usually it is orange. It is rich in carbohydrates, relatively high in fiber, and it is also an excellent source of minerals such as beta carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Potassium, Vitamin B and Vitamin E.
How does it affect our child’s health?
1. Due to high beta carotene content, it will be converted to Vitamin A which is needed for the health of the eyes.
2. High content of fiber can prevent constipation issues. Children who are taking enough fiber will have smooth bowel movement
3. High antioxidant especially in purple sweet potatoes is linked with protection against free radicals which can damage our DNA and trigger inflammation. Some studies also have shown high antioxidant in purple sweet potatoes promotes the growth of the healthy gut bacteria. These bacteria within the intestine is associated with prevention of diarrhea and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in children.
Healthy gut is important part for a healthy immune system for our kids.
How to introduce sweet potatoes in your baby’s diet?
It is very filling, taste sweet and very delicious baby food. It is best to boil or steam, but it can be baked and fried too. For very young babies, it is normally served in mashed sweet potatoes after boil/steam. For older kids, it can be baked or fried, also a good finger food choice.
However, sweet potatoes are low in protein, you can add in some formulas milk or breast milk in the sweet potatoes puree.
In Malaysia, we have plenty of bananas whole year around and it is cheap compared to other tropical fruits. Banana is also my top pick for healthy baby foods choice and it is a greatly used as a first food for babies turning 6 months old.
Bananas are naturally sweet in flavor when they are ripe so babies will accept it besides the milk. It is easily digested and packed with lots of nutrients needed for the babies growth.
1. High in potassium and magnesium which are essential minerals for babies heart health.
2. Fiber helps babies have smooth bowel movement and prevent constipation issues.
3. Good source of antioxidant, help babies to fight disease
4. Another good source of carbohydrates, banana contain resistant starch acts as the food to promote beneficial gut bacteria which are important for children digestive health.
5. For overweight children, banana is a good snack food which is always associated with weight control food. It is believed that due to its high fiber content, and it is filling, nutritious and yet low in calories, may reduce kids appetite.
How to introduce bananas in your baby’s diet?
It is quite an easy to prepare dish using banana. Just peel off the banana skin and the fresh can be mashed, steam, cut into small pieces, fried, or used in the bakery and dessert.
For young babies, just mashed it up and served. For older kids, you can give them as it is or cut into smaller piece and served. You can bake or make dessert using bananas too. Kids love pastries and desserts.
I hope you find this article useful. I will be introducing more healthy baby foods soon. So, stay tune.
I am sure you have plenty of healthy baby foods to introduce. It is just my top 3 picks. There are more to come.
Please share your experience about your healthy baby foods choices. I hope we will learn from each other through sharing of experience and difference in food culture.