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Four superfoods to consider for your growing baby
by Rita Watkins
In the past, you may have heard of superfoods that could potentially boost your cognitive function, immunity and even lifespan, but did you know that there are ones that can benefit your infant as well? Throughout your pregnancy, you likely chowed down on plenty of fruits and vegetables in addition to taking prenatal supplements to aid in baby development.
Now, many experts say there are certain foods you can give your little one once he or she is out of the womb to provide certain health benefits as well. Some of these might already be in your baby's jarred food while others may need to be slowly introduced into his or her diet once teeth arrive! In any case, keep the following foods in mind as you shop for delicious and nutritious items for your little one to munch on.
If you love avocados, you might already have some in your refrigerator ready to go! This food is perfect for babies, as it can be sliced, diced and mushed into a delicious little meal for children (even if they only have a few teeth). Avocados are full of healthy unsaturated fats which can aid in brain development. Whether you can't get enough of the stuff or you've never tried an avocado yourself, there's no better time to introduce this food into your household.
2. Sweet potatoes
Another tasty treat that you might want to have around the house is sweet potatoes. A combination of various types of squash and sweet potatoes can make for a delicious meal for your baby, and best of all, it'll be packed with nutrients! Many experts recommend these foods because they're high in beta-carotene which can help fight the effects of free radicals. Sweet potatoes are also packed with vitamin C - a beneficial nutrient for adults and babies alike. Similar to avocados, sweet potatoes can be easily mashed or pureed to cater to your infant if he or she doesn't have a full set of teeth just yet.
Even if you're not a big fan of yogurt or commonly have it in your refrigerator, this is a good time for you to incorporate it into your shopping list. Babies can benefit from yogurt because it's full of protein and has an abundance of beneficial bacteria. It also has high levels of calcium which can promote the development of strong bones. Unlike avocados or sweet potatoes, you don't have to worry about mashing it up before giving it to your child - yogurt is already solid-free (assuming you buy the variety without fruits). It doesn't get any easier!
Once your infant begins to grow teeth and can consume more solids, you may want to try to incorporate more broccoli into his or her diet. This green vegetable is renowned for having high levels of iron and folate, making it ideal for adults, too. Furthermore, broccoli has vitamin C and can offer infants their daily dose of potassium. When preparing broccoli, try to avoid boiling it - this burns away the beneficial nutrients. Steam it instead for a tasty side dish or meal for your little one.
As always, check with your baby's primary care physician before feeding him or her any of these foods to see what's best. Some foods may not be suitable for your child until he or she reaches a certain age and has more teeth!
Which superfoods have you fed your baby in the past? Have you tried any of the foods mentioned? Leave your feedback in the comments section!