10 'super foods' to feed your baby before age one
Your baby’s tiny tummy gets full quickly – make sure you’re filling it with nutritious bites.
Some of the most nutritious foods are those not conventionally given to weaning babies. Here are 10 superfoods to give your baby before the age of one:
1. Egg yolk
“Egg yolks are a highly nutritious first food for babies,” says nutritional therapist Sally-Ann Creed. “They contain choline, arachidonic acid (ARA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and saturated fat – all crucial for brain function. Serve them soft boiled and runny for easy eating.”
This sweet and satisfying fruit is loaded with potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre, and when it comes to convenience it can’t be beat – simply mash and serve.
3. Sweet potato
This root vegetable is a popular first food for good reason – its sweet flavour and creamy consistency appeals to little ones, and it packs a powerhouse of nutrients.
The probiotics, calcium and protein in yoghurt make it a valuable addition to your little one’s diet. Fat is crucial for brain development in the early years so choose plain, full-fat yoghurt.
Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C which boosts your little one’s immunity, while blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Cut finely and serve as finger foods for older babies, or purée for weaning babies.
This creamy source of healthy fats is full of folate, fibre and potassium, plus it’s easy to serve – no prep required!
7. Cold-water fish
Salmon and sardines are rich in DHA, an essential fatty acid that’s good for healthy skin and brain development. To prepare, simply steam or bake the fish, purée, and add breast milk or water to create a palatable consistency.
8. Red meat
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in children; red meat is therefore an important addition to your baby’s diet from around six months.
9. Veggie soup
All the goodness of multiple veggies in one small meal! “Cook the soup with chicken bones to add flavour,” advises Creed. “Strain to ensure no bones remain.”
Don’t be afraid of fat – it’s crucial for the healthy development of your baby’s central nervous system. Choose unsalted butter and add it to foods that are tough or lacking in flavor. “Mashed boiled chicken and butter are a tasty combination for your baby around 10 months of age,” says Creed.
When to speak to your paediatrician
While eggs, citrus fruits and yoghurt are fantastic sources of nutrition, they can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible babies. For this reason it’s best to chat to your paediatrician before introducing these foods.