What is a healthy balanced diet? A healthy balanced diet is a diet that has the right amount of all the food groups to stay healthy and support growth.
The importance of baby’s milk feed
Milk feed is the main source of nutrients for your baby at his early age. It is very important not to reduce the amount of milk you offer even though he is beginning to take solid foods. His milk feed will begin to decline when he is well-established on solids. Follow the appetite and pace of your baby. The first two years of your baby milk feed will remain a crucial part of his diet.
Your baby’s nutritional needs differ from adults
Your baby is growing rapidly and his nutritional needs differ from adults. Adults are advised to follow a low-fat and high-fiber diet, while babies are recommended to take low in fiber and high in fat. It is true that fiber is very important in your baby’s diet, but too much of it will leave your baby very full.
Your baby’s life from birth to two years is considered as a stage where growth is rapid. Thus, it is important that you provide him enough energy to a diet that contains calories and high in fat.
The food that your babies take is very small compared to adults. Your baby can’t cope with a lot of foods at once, so he has to take a smaller amount of foods frequently.
Variety in your baby’s diet
Parents should offer a variety of taste and texture for your baby to receive more nutrients. No food can provide all the nutrients that your baby needs. The more food you offer during the first year of your baby’s life, the more nutrients he receives. Once your baby is settled on solids and taking large amounts of vegetables and fruits, you can start introducing meat, fish, and poultry.
The food pyramid
It is very important that your baby’s diet contains food from all the major food groups in the correct position that is appropriate for their age. The food pyramid will ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of all the 5 main food groups.
1. Carbohydrates. These foods are great sources of energy and should be included in every meal such as bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice.
2. Fruits and vegetables. This group of foods is rich in essential nutrients such as Vitamin C and fiber. Fruits and vegetables are great finger foods that your baby will love. Green leafy vegetables provide a high level of iron and calcium.
3. Dairy products. This group of foods is a great source of calcium that is very important for the development of bone and teeth.
4. Protein. Meat, beans, eggs, and fish are great sources of protein that are needed for the growth and repair of cells. Protein is also a great source of iron that is needed for the development of the brain.
5. The not so healthy foods. These provide a lot of empty calories that have no or very little nutritional value. The best example of this group are biscuits, drinks, sweets, and cakes.