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Health Tip

Healthy Meal Planner For Babies

Infants need to grow very fast, but they are also highly vulnerable to diseases. They need proper nutrition to grow and remain healthy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should be fed only breast milk until they are six months old. They can be introduced to solid foods after that, but breast milk should remain their main source of nutrition until you are ready to wean them. You can start weaning after six months if you need to start working, if your breasts are not producing enough milk, or if your nipples hurt. However, it should be a gradual process, because the baby may become malnourished if he is not ready to eat solid food as his main food.

Solid Foods

When you baby is six months old or more and if you think he can sit on a chair and use his hands to put food items into this mouth, then it is time to give him solid food. Make your baby's mealtime as pleasant as possible because babies do not like being force fed. He may like to play with food and make things messy. This is normal for babies and you should let him do it to a certain extent. If your baby doesn't want to eat a certain food, make him taste a little until he develops the taste for it. He may need to be fed certain foods 8 to 10 times before he will start liking it.

Homemade Baby Food

Make your own baby food if you are up to it, because homemade baby food is not only cheaper than readymade baby food, it is also equally nutritious if you make the proper mix. Maintain good hygiene and cook the foods well. Babies mustn't be fed unhygienic and not-well cooked food because they can fall ill very easily. You can cook meat, chicken and vegetables, but avoid using spices, butter, sugar and salt.

Feeding Regimen

Your infant start start decreasing his dependence on breast milk and start eating three meals and some snacks every day by the age of 8 to 10 months. Give him his breakfast, lunch and dinner just before or at the same time as the adults in the family. Always serve the foods in small bowls and provide them with long-handles spoons. As he may need time to develop taste for a new food, give him a few days to get used to it before introducing another new food.

Meal Ideas

Babies do not like to eat tasteless and insipid foods, and they do not like to eat anymore after they are full. You can give your baby crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, cottage cheese or infant cereal for breakfast. Give him table foods such as mashed potatoes, mashed vegetables, ground meat and pasta for lunch and dinner.

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