15 Starter Foods The Baby Might Not Be Getting Enough Of

Those who went through breastfeeding cannot wait for the weaning period to start. Medical practitioners advocate for six months exclusive breastfeeding, but for a mother to hit the six-month mark it takes a lot of patience, dedication, and grace. These are the women we call super moms and even the title doesn't do them justice. Breastfeeding is often a nightmare and even for those who say it's a joy, it is an exhausting, painful and most often a yucky experience.

When we are pregnant and quite giddy about being new moms, no one ever tells us that even though the baby is sweet and cuddly, that is not always the case. There are sessions when that angel turns into the devil himself, especially if you do not have enough milk. On those nights, woe unto you if you do not have help or even a way of boosting your milk supply.

So if you survive through the wet t-shirts, the breast engorgement, the cracked nipples and the sleep deprivation that comes with the first six months, it is now time for you to go to the slower phase. Baby weaning. This is the period where that baby who wakes up ten to twelve times to breastfeed, now somehow seems to sleep through the night with one or two feeds in between.

Do not get excited though, weaning, if not done properly comes with its own challenges ranging from constipation, diarrhea, and allergies. If done well though, it is a period for you to finally take a breather. Some of these according to Red & Honey are foods we should give our babies.

Here are 15 starter foods that baby might not be getting enough of, keep reading to find out.

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15 Sweet Potatoes

For most mothers, making sweet potato when you are exhausted and in need of rest is not appealing, especially because it takes a little longer to cook than most foods. That is why most of us prefer to slap together baby cereal and forget about it. Other mothers are not even aware that a baby can be given sweet potato as a meal.

The truth is, sweet potatoes are most babies favorite. Not just for the sweet taste, but also because of their smooth finish.

Packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including copper and iron, this amazing superfood is ideal for baby growth. While some foods give babies an allergic reaction, sweet potatoes rarely cause allergies and they can be considered a superfood. Mash with some milk or mix with pureed chicken to make a balanced meal for baby. If you are raising a fussy eater, this colorful meal is quite appealing.

14 Red Meat

We all love the taste of lamb chops unless you are vegetarian. If your mother is into soul food, Sunday lunch must be your favorite day of the week where the table is practically painted red.

Babies in their first years should get plenty of red meat. It is an amazing source of protein, riboflavin, iron, vitamin B6, and zinc.

To feed your baby though, do not give him chunks of meat. Babies tend to choke on many things and meat is an especially common choking hazard. According to The Bump, to avoid this it is advisable to make meat puree. Mix it with some vegetables or potato puree and the baby will be licking his fingers in no time. Even if your baby is a fussy eater, this meal is guaranteed to whet his appetite. The good news is that unless your baby has eczema and therefore allergic to animal proteins, this meal is very easy to make. It just requires you to make a smooth puree and you are good to go. A deficiency of iron causes learning and behavioral problems later in life.

13 Yogurt

If you are like me, raising a young child who is prone to eczema, then we do not need to sell the yogurt idea to you as it must be a staple in your house. It is an amazing source of protein, calcium and phosphorous, all which contribute to strong bones and teeth.

There are good and bad bacteria and yogurt has probiotics, which supports the immune system and aids in digestion.

While most people are prone to pick low-fat yogurt due to the size 0 fad and all, one should bear in mind that babies need fat. It is advisable to pick whole-milk yogurt, which will help him pack on a little fat. As much as babies tend to have a sweet tooth, one should keep off flavored yogurt, which is high in sugars. Make a smoothie by adding fruit to give plain yogurt some flavor. Some babies get allergic reactions to yogurt, though so care should be taken when feeding them this food.

12 Peas

In most families, peas are a staple and are served either in a stew mixed with meat or made into a shepherds pie. In some cases it is mashed together with potato to make mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, most people shy off from feeding baby this vegetable because it is a choking hazard.

According to My Little Moppet, peas are full of vitamin K, which works with calcium which is an excellent source for building healthy bones. They are also said to be a good source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and folic acid.

Peas also come with lots of fiber, which is good for the baby's gut.

To make a delicious meal for the baby, puree the peas and the baby will get his daily dose of fiber, which is essential for his growth. Enough fiber also reduces instances of constipation that plague a lot of children.

11 Tomatoes

Some of us cannot cook a meal without using tomatoes. This superfood ensures that you reduce the use of artificial flavors and sweeteners in your food. Tomatoes also improve the color of your food, making it appealing, which we all require as food has to appeal before it can taste. This is not the only perk of tomatoes.

Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, which is not only the red color in them but an antioxidant that acts as a repellent for heart disease and cancer.

An antioxidant that is easily absorbed into the body should be cooked with some fat to aid in this. Do not shy away from giving your baby this superfood, especially if ground into a sauce and sprinkled on his finger foods. Homemade tomato sauce is better than store-bought, since it does not have sugar additives. Be careful of allergies however, as some children are prone to be allergic to tomatoes.

10 Fish

Some of us turn our noses up at the thought of fish, but for others, this is a delicacy. Fish comes packed with omega-3 fats that are known to lower cholesterol, thus reducing the chance of heart disease. Omega three is also a mood booster, which is a welcome thing, especially when dealing with the terrible twos. Fish also aids in preventing memory loss.

According to BabyCenter.com, different types of fish come with different benefits.

Cod and haddock are an amazing source of protein, which is very important for the baby's growth and development.

Salmon is an amazing source of fat-soluble vitamins. It also contains what is known as essential fats. Deficiency of these fats leads to problems with eye and brain development, as well as a healthy immune system. Care should be taken though as fish is known to cause an allergic reaction in many babies.

9 Avocado

Medical practitioners advise against giving babies fried foods that come packed with fats. But then again, we all love chubby babies and we are often tempted to feed just a little fat to ensure they gain weight as expected. However, what better way to give the baby good fat than through this amazing food? Avocados are packed with what is considered a safe source of good fat.

This fat helps in an infant’s physicality as well as brain development. Most mothers balk at the thought of feeding the child avocado, feeling that it will introduce cholesterol in the baby, but that is not true. Avocado fat is recommended even for adults. Avocados have a creamy texture that is quite appealing to babies.

Mixed with bananas to make an avocado puree or mashed together in baby cereal, avocados can be made with just about anything and are easy to prepare.

While some babies are allergic to the super fruit, allergies are rare and far between.

8 Eggs

An egg is usually the beginning of life. They are a perfect way to ensure that the baby gets the right amount of iron for his daily requirement. The egg white is packed with protein, while the yolk comes with vitamins B12, A, D, and E, as well as zinc. According to Parents.com, the egg yolk also comes with choline, which is essential for brain development and health.

While some health practitioners advise against eggs until after the age of one, others are saying that eggs should be an essential part of the baby's diet.

Care should be taken to ensure that babies are checked against egg allergies before they are fed them. It is, however, advisable to introduce eggs before the one year to counter the development of allergies. In addition, for babies with eczema, care should be taken with animal proteins as they cause flare-ups.

7 Carrots

In every Bugs Bunny cartoon, the rabbit munches on carrots. Do we ever ask ourselves why most of these cartoons depict the bunny eating carrots and why bunnies have that amazing vision? Infants benefit from the same carrots as much as the bunnies.

Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant, and those are good for everyone.

When eaten beta-carotene changes into vitamin A, which is vital for baby's vision and healthy growth. When carrots are pureed, they act as sweet food for the baby and can be turned into finger foods for an older child, as long as they are thinly diced and well cooked. Carrots are perfect when mixed with any form of carbohydrate, be it banana or potato. In fact, carrots can be mixed with almost all baby foods and it is advisable to incorporate the carrots in baby food at least once a day.

6 Baby Cereal

We all love cereal, but not everyone knows that the first and best starter food for an infant is baby cereals.

Most infant cereals are iron-fortified to aid in growth and development of the infant. Even though babies are born with a rich supply of iron, at around six months babies require a boost as most of the iron comes from breast milk.

This is where foods rich in iron like infant rice cereal come in. Rice cereal is non-allergenic and serves perfectly as a starter meal. Infant cereal can be mixed with vegetables and protein to serve as a balanced meal. For older babies, infant cereal can be mixed with fruit. Oats are also very good for babies and if mixed with pear or peach, this serves perfectly as an older baby's solid meal.

5 Cheese

The trend here shows that proteins are important for the development of babies and their sources are so many that it's only the mother who seems to limit herself. Moms should know that as far as the baby is concerned, food needs to be of diverse varieties to keep him interested. Just like grownups, if you bore him with the same food day in, day out, he is bound to lift his nose up at the prospect of food.

As much as you may not think cheese is an important meal, Parents.com says that cheese is a very important source of protein and should not be overlooked.

Cheese is also packed with calcium, which is essential for bone and teeth development. However, cheese has been known to be a frequent choking hazard but is well suited for babies who are older and eating finger foods. Cheese can, however, be grated and served in baby food and if you can afford swiss cheese, it comes with a sweet taste that most babies seem to favor.

4 Pasta

If you have ever gone on a ‘No Carbs diet' for more than a week then you will understand what I am saying here. After the third day, you feel weak, lethargic and dizzy. This is because your body is missing an important component that is essential for the provision of energy; that is carbohydrates. Pasta comes full of carbohydrates and that is why those who are watching their weight try as much as possible to avoid it.

For a fussy eater, pasta is perfect as it comes in fancy shapes that are entertaining to a toddler.

It is also easy to digest and break down and in most cases, it comes with a mineral and vitamin enrichment that is important for growth and development. If cooked well, pasta is also a very nice finger food that the child will enjoy.

3 Citrus Fruits

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If you do not like washing handkerchiefs like most of us, then citrus fruits are for you.People who have a habit of eating this superfruit report fewer instances of colds. Citrus fruits are lemons, grapefruits, and oranges, limes and kumquats.

Packed with vitamin C, this fruit helps in the production of collagen - commonly found in bones, muscles and body tissues and skin.

It is vitamin C that also helps in healing of cuts and aids in the absorption of iron found in others foods. Also packed with potassium, which helps in maintaining fluid balance and it helps in contraction of muscles. Even though you may be tempted to feed a baby and see his reaction to the fruit, citrus fruits are a little too acidic for babies under the age of one and should be kept on hold until then. After the first birthday, ensure that baby gets the maximum fill of this amazing fruit.

2 Butternut Squash

Unlike pumpkin, butternut has a smooth finish that most babies love. Just like carrots, the color is appealing to babies and is packed with antioxidants. The superfood also comes with vitamin C, fiber, potassium and vitamin B. This amazing food also contains omega 3 fatty acids. Sometimes we overlook this vegetable, thinking it is complicated to make or that the baby will not like it, and sometimes we just don't think its baby food, preferring to give store-bought baby foods.

This vegetable is healthy and has its own unique value that comes with having no chemicals in it.

Butternut can be mashed or pureed to make a healthy meal, and the good news is that it can even be made for the whole family as most people love the taste. It can also be mixed with other foods like a potato, as well as meat.

1 Banana

Most mothers avoid giving baby bananas for fear of constipation. However, bananas are perfect for babies. Unlike other fruits or vegetables, you will never encounter a sour banana. Even monkeys love this food. Bananas are considered perfect, being rich in potassium and fiber.

For babies who suffer from acid reflux, bananas are nature’s antacid.

The only downside with bananas is that they can cause constipation in babies if you overdo them and if you forget to give them water.

According to Parents.com, bananas are packed with carbohydrates, which is great for giving the baby energy while the fiber is gentle on the gut, thus giving them a digestive tract that is healthy. Bananas meant for the baby should be completely ripe and not plucked when they are not fully developed. Ripe bananas are easy to mash and if what you need are finger foods, also ensure they are ripe and well chopped for easy chewing for the baby.

References: RedAndHoney, MyLittleMoppet, BabyCenter, Parents, TheBump

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