Baby’s Nutritional Requirements & Tasty Recipes

Your baby’s nutritional requirements and tasty recipes to meet these needs

Baby's Nutritional RequirementsIt is difficult to always know what your baby needs let alone wants, from their expressive but slightly ambiguous cues. It can be a guessing game as to whether you are actually providing everything they need especially when it comes time to introduce them to the wonderful world of solids and your liquid gold no longer satisfies their every nutritional requirement. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have put out recommendations for developing and developed countries alike, addressing these concerns of mothers. They stipulate that indeed a mother’s milk should be adequate in providing every nutrient the baby needs up until 6 months of age, and then something interesting happens. ‘Energy gaps’ appear which are described as being the left over energy requirement of a child that the breastmilk no longer fulfills. It is still important to keep up with breastfeeding, but from 6 months of age the child requires what is known as complementary feeding or simply what we call ‘solids’. But what nutrients specifically should these ‘solids’ have?

The main nutrients the child needs are energy, protein, iron and Vitamin A. There are other beneficial micronutrients but these are the four main building blocks that should be in the child’s diet. Considering specific foods, all communities worldwide have a ‘staple’ which is a locally-sourced and readily-available (within reason) starchy cereal or root. The staple generally is the provider of much carbohydrate and energy. This is not sufficient on its own however and so it must be complemented by other key ingredients. Foods derived from animals or fish provide a lot of zinc, protein and iron. For example, egg yolks are an excellent source of protein and Vitamin A however they are lacking in iron. Remember, the child must eat the solid parts of these foods rather than the watery parts to benefit from the nutrients.

Dairy products are good providers of calcium, protein and energy as well as providing B vitamins. Beans, nuts and lentils (or ‘pulses’) are great for providing protein and iron; however it is important to remember to consume something with Vitamin C concurrently to aid the absorption of iron (such as tomatoes, fruit or leafy green vegetables). Fruits and vegetables which are orange in colour are known to provide carotene (the precursor of Vitamin A) and Vitamin C; and finally, fats and oils are fantastic sources of concentrated energy for a child’s growth.

The solid baby foods available in supermarkets would certainly have rigorous controls in their manufacture to ensure nutritional requirements are being met, however in the event you would like to save money, utilise that fruit from that beautiful tree in your back yard or simply have a personal hand in everything your child consumes, here are some recipes to enjoy:

 

Cheesy Lentil Puree

Ingredients:

1 small onion (peeled and chopped)

2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)

50g red capsicum (cored, deseeded and chopped)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp lentils

500ml boiling water or unsalted vegetable stock (I make my own homemade vegie stock to give it extra flavour)

100g cheddar cheese

Directions:

Saute the onion, carrot and red pepper in the vegetable oil for 3-4 mins.

Rinse the lentils, add them to the pan and pour over the boiling water or vegie stock.

Cover and simmer for 25-30 mins or until the lentils are mushy. Add a little more water if necessary but there should be only a little water left in the pan.

Stir in the cheese and puree till smooth.

 

[Courtesy of http://www.huggies.co.nz]

 

 

 Creamy Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients:

100g chicken breast

1 cup diluted chicken stock (or water based on your preference)

1/2 cup broccoli, cut into very small florets
Cheese Sauce (this is a very basic sauce)

3 tbspns flour

3 tbspns butter/marge

1 1/2 cups of milk/breast milk/formula

4 tbspns of cheese + 1 slice of sliced cheese

Directions:

Cut chicken into chunks (small cubes) and poach in the stock/water for about 5 or 6 minutes or until cooked through.

At the same time, have your broccoli steaming/boiling away until very tender (which takes about 5/6 minutes)

 

Cheese Sauce:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.

Slowly add flour bit by bit, stirring through butter.

Cook on medium to high heat, but stay vigilant or the flour will burn. Turn down to low-medium heat, and gradually add milk (if you add the milk all at once you will end up with a lumpy mixture).

Once milk is added and boiling, add cheese little by little, once again stirring all the time…

 Combine all ingredients (chicken-broccoli-cheese sauce) and blend into your desired texture.

 

[Courtesy of http://www.huggies.co.nz]

 

  

Apple Custard

Ingredients:

1 Apple

1/2 cup water

Custard

 

Directions:

Peel and slice the apple thinly.

Cook in a pot with 1/2 a cup of water for approximately 20 min (or cook in microwave)

While the apple is cooking, prepare custard made with formula.

Once the apple is cooked, remove excess water and blend using stick blender to desired smoothness.

Mix with custard and it’s ready to enjoy.

 

[Courtesy of http://www.huggies.co.nz]

 

 

Sweet Vegetable Puree

Ingredients:

1 small potato

1 small sweet potato

1 small carrot

1 cob of corn

Directions:

Peel and chop up potato and carrot; remove husks from corn.

Combine all together in a pot of boiling water and simmer for around 10 minutes.

Strain veggies (reserve a little of the water for use in puree).

Cut corn from the cob and place all veggies together in a blender. Blend until smooth.

 

[Courtesy of http://www.kidspot.co.nz]

 

 

Beef and Vegetable Dinner

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sweet potato, peeled, diced

1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup cooked beef

1 tbs tomato paste (if your baby is over 10 months)

Directions:

In a small saucepan combine sweet potato and peas.

Add enough water just to cover.

Cook until tender, reserving liquid.

Place beef, peas, and tomato paste (if your baby is over 10 months), into a food processor and puree, adding reserved liquid until the mixture is the desired consistency for your baby’s age.

 

[Courtesy of http://www.kidspot.co.nz]

 

 

SUMMARY

For more recipes visit: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/, http://homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/, http://www.forbaby.co.nz/.

For information or help when you feel stuck with what to feed your kids and ensure they have all the healthy building blocks they need, visit http://www.feedingyourkids.com/. They provide a free program and have helped thousands of families worldwide.

Information also obtained from the World Health Organisation: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44117/1/9789241597494_eng.pdf

 

Have you tried any of these recipes? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook or Instagram pages. Post us a pic with the hashtag #babyviewpics

 

Nicola Contributor Writer for The Baby ViewNicola is a radiography student who lives in Christchurch in an all-boy household with her husband, husky puppy and cat. She is interested in all things creative, loves living near the beach and writes for a The Baby View among other commercial blogs.

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