Right Nutrition for Baby’s First Year
Date: Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020
As they grow, children's nutritional needs cannot be met by milk alone and, therefore, they need solid food too, for their healthy development.
Moving on from milk to solids is known as weaning – this transition should be done in stages, with soft, runny food served at first, with a consistency slightly thicker than milk. This consistency should gradually thicken as your child gets older and gets used to eating solids.1
So start with pureed food, then move on to mashed, minced then chopped food. Some types of food are healthier and easier to digest for babies. If you don't have the time to prepare homemade meals every day for your baby, most supermarkets in Singapore sell a variety of organic baby food; just pick the healthiest options for your little one.
Here are five foods to introduce to your little one when it’s time to wean them: these should replace milk over the first year.
Foods rich in iron
By the age of six months, your baby needs more iron than what they get from milk alone. Therefore, it's important to include iron-rich foods when introducing solids. Iron-fortified baby cereal is a good choice, thanks to its thin and smooth texture. Other iron-rich foods for baby that you can mash up smoothly include cooked tofu, legumes and cooked eggs.
Fruits and vegetables
These fresh foods are a great first food for your little one thanks to their high levels of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps their body absorb more iron.
Soft cooked vegetables and stewed or mashed fruit are good choices for baby's first foods. Introduce your baby to a wide variety of vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, broccoli and tomatoes.
And give them fruits like bananas, papaya, apple, pear, melon, avocado or watermelon. Bananas and apples have the added benefit of containing prebiotics, which will help improve your baby's digestive system. Try to give your baby fruits and vegetables at every meal: this keeps them fed with a chock-full of vitamins, fibre and anti-oxidants.
Your baby should also be fed a range of grains and grain-derived foods like bread, rice, oats, wheat and pasta. Oats in particular have prebiotic benefits, which will increase your baby's healthy gut bacteria. Grains give your baby energy to grow and develop, and also keep them full for longer.
Feed your baby dairy foods like full-fat cheese and yoghurt. Along with the milk that they're drinking, these dairy products will give your baby the calcium that they need for strong bones and teeth.
Do note that you shouldn't feed your child reduced-fat dairy products until they reach the age of two. This is because kids under that age need these healthy fats for their growth, brain development and vitamin absorption.2
Give your baby fish (not shellfish or crustaceans), poultry or minced meat as part of their introduction to solids. For example, put some pieces of minced chicken into their porridge, blend it with fruits or veggies, or puree the meat once you've cooked it.
Meat provides your baby with useful nutrients such as protein and iron. Remember to cook meats fully and always ensure that even the smallest fish bones are removed before feeding your baby.
Transitioning from formula to solid food
Your little one’s intestines will take time to get used to solid foods, so favour milk formulas that contain nutrients that can ease the transition. Sn-2 palmitate, for example, promotes the growth of a healthy gut microbiota3, and also enables better absorption of nutrients.4
Sn-2 palmitate reduces the formation of hard stools, so your baby will be less likely to deal with constipation while weaning5. Then there’s A2 beta-casein, a nutrient that reduces the likelihood of a fussy tummy while weaning by reducing gastrointestinal discomfort and flatulence6.
Illuma Stage 3 Growing-Up Formula Milk Powder is suitable for children from one year and above. This advanced growing-up formula contains a unique combination of sn-2 palmitate and A2 β-casein, offering a range of nutritional and gastrointestinal benefits for your little one.
For more tips, Contact Us to chat with our friendly Club Illume consultants.
- 1. https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1227/baby-getting-ready-for-solids
- 2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24840511/
- 3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10539755/
- 4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/children-and-sleep/how-much-sleep-do-kids-need
- 5. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0147-z