How to introduce eggs, meat and nuts in your baby’s diet
Till your baby becomes 6 months of age, breast milk will meet all his nutritional requirements. But as he grows older, this may not be enough. You will soon start struggling to find the best ways to meet all his nutritional needs.
Many parents wonder when to introduce eggs to a baby or when to introduce meat to a baby. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), you can consider introducing eggs, meat, nuts, fish and poultry to your baby at around the age of 9 months.
So, here are a few ways to include nutrient-rich food in your baby’s diet:
How to introduce meat to a baby
Meat and poultry are rich sources of many nutrients. While chicken is rich in protein and vitamin B, red meat is a good source of zinc and iron. Fish is another healthy meat to consider as it is a good source of vitamins A and B, protein, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Here are a few tips for introducing these meats to your baby:
- Start with chicken
Chicken has a mild flavour and is easily accepted by babies when compared to other meats. Hence, this is the ideal meat to start with.
- Mince the meat
Babies cannot chew food the way adults do. Hence, mince meats finely before feeding them to your baby. Make sure all the bones have been removed, to reduce the risk of choking.
Soups are a good way of introducing meats to your baby as the liquid makes the process of eating smoother.
- Feed one meat at a time
Allergies to meats are rare but they can happen. To identify potential allergic reactions, feed your baby one type of meat at a time. Some reactions that may indicate an allergy include swelling of the lips, tongue or face, rashes, stomach aches, diarrhoea, vomiting and wheezing.
How to introduce eggs to a baby
Eggs are a rich source of protein, calcium, iron, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and essential amino acids. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in eggs play an important role in producing DHA, which in turn aids in the development of the brain and retina. Here are a few ways to introduce eggs to your baby:
- Mashed eggs
Many babies do not like the taste of an egg. In such cases, boil the egg and mash it. This can be easily added to your baby’s favourite cereals and porridges, without influencing the flavour too much.
- Check for allergies
When you start introducing egg yolk to a baby, look out for allergic reactions. A stomach ache, rashes and restless behaviour may indicate an allergic reaction. If you notice any such symptom, contact your paediatrician.
How to introduce nuts to your baby
Nuts are rich in proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, antioxidants and vitamin E. They are also a rich source of energy. Similarly, dried fruits have high fibre, vitamin A, vitamin E and niacin. You can introduce nuts and dried fruits to your baby from the age of 6 months onward. Here are a few tips to do so:
- Powder the nuts and dried fruits
Do not feed your toddler whole nuts and dried fruits. Instead, grind them to a fine powder and add this powder to their cereal or porridge mix.
- Make a paste
You can also soak the nuts and grind them to a paste. This paste can then be added to milk, yoghurt or custard. For older infants, it can also be spread on a bread slice or a chapatti.
- Check for allergies
Signs of an allergic reaction to nuts include rashes, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue, lips and throat, nausea, vomiting, stomach aches and diarrhoea. If you notice any such symptoms, contact your paediatrician immediately.
Feeding your baby in a healthy and easy way can be a challenging task, but once you understand how to incorporate nutrient-rich foods, you can sit back and relax. The aforementioned tips will ensure that you have a happy feeding experience.