A baby’s digestive system is just as itty bitty as the rest of them, yet a baby’s nutritional needs often exceed that of a full grown adult. When feeding tiny tummies you have to make every bite count. That’s why introducing superfoods into your baby’s diet is so beneficial. These nutritional powerhouses deliver the optimal amount of vitamins and minerals to help your child grow and thrive while keeping your baby’s servings manageable. Here is a list of superfoods that will jumpstart your baby’s development and meet his/her nutritional requirements.
Babies are born with a natural inclination towards sweet foods, so items like sweet potatoes and butternut squash go down easy. Sweet potatoes have high levels of potassium, vitamin C and fiber, as well as beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, bones and eyes. Try your baby out on a sweet potato and apple puree.
Egg whites provide a good amount of protein while the yolk offers zinc and vitamins A, D, E and B12. Egg yolks also contain choline, a key component of Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the development of fine motor skills. Eggs can be problematic for some babies, so be sure to consult your child’s Doctor before introducing them.
Despite their frequent appearance in savory salads, the avocado is actually a fruit and what a fruit it is. Rich in protein and monounsaturated fats (i.e. healthy fats), avocados help guard against heart disease and promote your baby’s overall cardiac health. A little of this filling fruit goes a long way, so try serving a small amount of mashed avocado as a side.
Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, which will provide your little tyke with the energy to play and learn. Bananas are wonderfully portable and their rich fiber content keeps digestive tracts happy. For younger babies it’s best to mash bananas until smooth, but when your baby is ready to transition to finger foods, chopped up banana is a great place to start.
This vegetable (and other greens like it) have a ton of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, iron, potassium and fiber. Boiling broccoli cuts its Vitamin C content in half, so it is best to steam it.
Not only are beans rich in protein and fiber they also contain 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in oranges. They also have a good amount of iron, which is vital to your baby’s health. Test your baby out on a kidney bean puree. But be sure to ask your doctor before introducing beans to ensure that they give you the ok!
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and are also high in fiber, iron, protein and vitamin B. What this all adds up to is a powerful berry that is beneficial for your baby’s brain, urinary tract, nervous system, heart and eyes. Blueberries are also the perfect finger food for older babies. You can slice in half or quarters for younger babies.
Fatty fish (like salmon) contains Vitamins A, D, E and K as well as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), which supports brain and eye development while promoting a healthy immune system. Be sure to consult with your baby’s Doctor before introducing fish into your little one’s diet.
Complex carbohydrates, like the ones found in brown rice and oatmeal, have a high fiber content, which helps regulate your tot’s blood sugar and their digestive system. Whole grains also contain Vitamin B and E, both of which stimulate cell and skin growth.