Here’s How You Can Fulfil Your Baby’s Fluid Requirements
When you talk about your baby’s balanced diet, how often do you take into account water and other fluids? It is important to remember how essential these fluids are in making your baby stronger, smarter and happier.
Here’s everything you need to know about different beverages that you can offer to your growing baby:
Fluid requirements for infants:
Infants have higher fluid requirements as water makes up most of their body composition. Until the age of 6 months, exclusive and regular breastfeeding satisfies their fluid needs. But, as they start complementary foods (i.e. after 6 months), they rely on other beverages as well to meet their fluid requirements.
Here are some excellent ways to ensure that your baby drinks a lot of fluids.
Soups are both calorie-rich and nutrient-rich. They can provide that extra-nourishment that your growing baby needs. Be sure to avoid any thickeners, additives or salt. Instead, you can add vegetable stock or chicken stock to thicken the soup. Do not strain the soup much and let it he semi-thick. If you want to make your soup more nutritious, you can even add milk, coconut milk or butter into it.
Remember this while making soups
Soups can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. If you are making vegetarian soups, add dal or pulses into it, which will make it protein rich. If you are making a non-vegetarian soup, make sure it is cooked well. You can either have small, well-cooked chunks of meat so that your kid can bite into it or blend them to get a smooth consistency. Tomato soup is an all-time favourite among babies because it is rich in Vitamin A and also looks very attractive because of its bright colour.
When you first start giving your baby soup, make sure that the soup is thin in consistency. Once your baby gets used to it, increase the thickness and do not strain it much. This is so because the more you strain it, the more you lose out on the fibre content and other nutrients. Soups can be given as appetizers which increase one's hunger before any meal or given as snacks.
Shakes and smoothies:
Another health drink that is great for a one-year-old is a shake or a smoothie. If you want to introduce fruits into your baby’s diet, then fruit shakes like mango shake and banana shake are the perfect option for you. They can be a combination of fruits and milk or dry fruits and milk or both.
Milk is a powerhouse of calcium, vitamin D, protein and fats required for healthy bones and adding fruits or dry fruits into it increases the quality of the micronutrients like magnesium, potassium and iron in the drink.
Start your baby on small quantities of the shake, i.e. about 40-50 ml, when he or she is 6 to 7 months of age. Once they are used to the flavour and consistency, you can slowly increase the quantity to about half a cup when she is 16 to 18 months of age. After 2 years, you can easily give about one and a half cup of fruit shake to your child.
Lassi or chhaach:
Lassi or buttermilk is also a very good option as it is rich in calcium and protein. Curd is an excellent probiotic and keeps your baby's gut healthy and happy.
Juices for your babies:
When you just start giving juices, do not strain out the fibre. Instead dilute the juice a little before offering it to your baby. Do not add sugar to it; the natural sugars of the fruit will suffice. Vegetable juices can also be introduced slowly but with no salt added. As your baby gets used to the taste and consistency, slowly increase the quantity.
What kind of juices are best for babies?
The benefits of fruits and vegetables juices for babies are many. The best juices for babies are the ones with coloured fruits or vegetables. They have important vitamins like Vitamin C, A, B, lycopene, folic acid and other minerals like zinc, iron, etc. in abundance. These nutrients play a very important role in the various functions in our body.
The primary ingredients of soups are usually spinach, beans, carrots, etc. which gives your baby adequate fluids in his or her daily diet. This helps maintain the water balance in their body and meet their ever-increasing metabolic demands. Kids usually are picky and fussy eaters. These fluids also help you cover up the nutrition gaps that may develop due to poor eating habits.