How to prepare healthy meals for your baby: 10 options
Antonella Grandinetti • March 8, 2019
Cooking healthy for your child is much easier than you think. Discover in this article the best tips and some ideas to incorporate into your recipe book.
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If you have started with complementary food, our article today comes as a glove. We explain how you can prepare healthy meals for the baby with little effort. Would you like to discover our options?
The food should be included following the recommendations of your pediatrician. It is worth noting that, during these first moments, when the child develops a taste for flavors. For this reason, you must expose your child to a wide variety of flavors.
Of course, you can adapt the recipes to the foods your child has already tried . Remember that it is usually recommended that when incorporating food you do it one at a time in order to detect possible food allergies.
Make healthy meals for the baby
The list presented is merely illustrative. Follow the specific recommendations of your pediatrician when introducing food into your child’s diet.
Before putting to work and preparing healthy meals for the baby at home it is important that you have clear what foods you can incorporate according to the age of your child . Let’s see some general suggestions:
Up to 6 months: exclusive breastfeeding . In case of taking a bottle, the incorporation of food can occur between 4 and 6 months.
Between 6 and 12 months: fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and olive oil.
Between 12 and 24 months: tender cheese, yogurt and whole milk.
From 3 years old: nuts, apple in pieces, raw carrot in pieces and any food that may cause choking risk.
Tips for healthy cooking for your child
fruits and vegetables
Buy fruits, vegetables and fresh meats to prepare your baby’s food.
At the time of buying:
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables: try to use them in a maximum of three days so that they do not lose properties.
Choose lean meats: a good way to prepare healthy meals for your baby is to buy lean meats to avoid excess fat. If necessary, defat before cooking. Consult your pediatrician about it to discover the best options and quantities.
If you opt for the Baby Lead Weaning instead of purees , remember to present soft meats and small pieces. Do not forget to talk with the doctor about your decision so he can advise you.
Washing the hands
Hygiene is essential when cooking.
Remember to wash vegetables and fruits well , clean your work surface and use clean utensils for each food. It is important to avoid cross-contamination of food .
Minimizes the use of salt when cooking: the amount of salt must really be minimal so that the kidneys of the infants are not overloaded. Thus, until the year, the intake should not exceed 1 gram of salt per day and between the year and three years, the 2 grams per day.
Choose olive oil against other fats: olive oil provides monounsaturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids and also, vitamin E. Its consumption is recommended from the start of complementary feeding , always in small doses and used raw.
The best cooking options are boiling, oven and frying pan (as long as you use a minimum of fat).
Use the cooking broth: the cooking broth of the vegetables, for example, can be wonderful for cooking rice or other cereals such as quinoa. It will give a different (and tasty) flavor to cereals. Do not waste it!
Incorporate milk to the purées: if you are preparing your baby’s porridge and you notice that it is too solid, instead of incorporating water, opt for milk. You can use the milk your child habitually consumes, including maternal milk.
Freeze the food you do not use during the day: a good idea is to use a bucket to freeze small portions of food.
Read also: When should a baby start drinking water?
10 ideas of healthy meals for your baby
Look at the list of foods that your pediatrician has told you and let your imagination fly!
Meals for the baby:
Rice with chicken and vegetables: choose the vegetables of your preference and boil them with the chicken in small pieces until they are cooked. Remove and reserve. Cook the rice in the cooking broth. When you’re ready, you can go through the blender if you want a mash, step with the fork or serve with pieces.
Zucchini cream: boil a large potato, a large zucchini and half an onion (all vegetables should be peeled and cut) until they are cooked. Use the masher or a fork, depending on the texture you want.
Lentils with vegetables: boil the lentils together with a peeled and chopped carrot, half chopped onion and 2 tomatoes, peeled and without seeds. When the plate is ready, you can crush or serve as is.
Short noodles with tomato sauce: prepare a sauce with onion, tomato and carrot in small pieces to add nutrients to the short noodles.
Vegetable omelet: if you have already incorporated the egg, you can prepare an omelette with a variety of boiled chopped vegetables and an egg. Easy and delicious!
Vegetable puree with fish: boil a zucchini, a small potato, 1 leek and half an onion along with 80 grams of unlined lean fish. When everything is cooked, it goes through the blender.
Meat balls and vegetables: these meatballs you can freeze to always have healthy meals for the baby ready in a minute. Boil a carrot, a leek, 40 grams of green beans and 40 grams of lean meat. Remove the excess water, crush and shape your meatballs. Instead of frying, cook in the oven.
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Desserts for the baby
Apple, pear and banana porridge: cook an apple together with a pear, both peeled, without pips and cut into cubes. When they are tender, remove them and blend with the banana. If you want a more liquid fruit porridge, incorporate the milk your child drinks regularly. Do not incorporate sugar .
Banana and orange: this dessert is super easy. Smash a banana with your fork and mix it with the juice of half an orange. Ready!
Yogurt with fruits: includes a fruit porridge inside the yogurt or simply, small pieces of some fresh fruit. Your son will love it!
Preparing healthy meals for your baby is not complicated. You should only choose healthy ingredients, choosing mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains, and cooking them without adding fat, excess sodium or sugars.
Remember that your child’s stomach is small, so you should not force him to eat. What seems like little food to you can be more than enough for him. Doctors recommend letting the child guide the intake according to their needs.