July 7, 2022
Lots of babies need some time to get used to the different textures, colors and tastes of food; food is still very new. In fact, just as babies crave routine and consistency in their schedules, many also like that same familiarity when it comes to their food. Research suggests that some babies need to try a food 15 times before they finally accept a food into their diet.
During this period, take the opportunity to introduce lots of new foods and tastes into your baby’s diet. Soon, babies may be more likely to reject new foods to prove their independence.
Of course, many babies are genuinely picky eaters, and if this seems to be the case for your baby, you can use these tips for introducing new foods:
Lots of parents worry that their babies aren’t getting enough vitamins, now that they are finished with formula or breastmilk. Even if your baby seems to be eating nothing but cheese and bread, don’t worry. Usually, once parents record what their babies actually do eat over the course of a week, (not a day), they are surprised to find that their baby benefits from all of the major food groups and is getting the nutrients they need.
If you are still concerned and really don’t think your baby is getting enough vitamins through food, please do check with your pediatrician. Pediatricians routinely check for iron deficiency at 9-12 months and again at 2-5 years.
Calcium is key for building strong bones and teeth, promoting nerve and muscle function and helping blood clot.
Good sources of calcium for your baby are:
1/2 cup yogurt: 190 mg.
1/2 cup calcium-fortified orange juice: 175 mg.
1/2 ounce cheddar cheese: 153 mg.
1/2 cup milk: about 150 mg.
1/2 cup fortified soy milk: 150 mg.
1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese: 128 mg.
1/2 ounce jack cheese: 106 mg.
1/2 ounce Swiss cheese: 102 mg.
1/4 cup white beans: 80 mg.
1/4 cup cottage cheese: 68 mg.
1/2 ounce mozzarella: 75 mg.
1/2 slice cheese pizza: 59 mg.
1/2 cup calcium-fortified apple juice: 50 mg.
1/4 cup spinach, cooked: 73 mg.
1/4 cup cooked macaroni and cheese (from a packaged mix): 50 mg.
1/2 orange: 25 mg.
1/4 sweet potato, mashed: 17 mg.
1/4 cup broccoli: 15 mg.
Iron is important for making hemoglobin and myoglobin. Lack of iron can cause anemia, which can result in fatigue, weakness, and irritability. Iron also affects brain development.
Some of the best sources of iron for your baby:
1/3 cup fortified, ready-to-eat cereal: 4.5 mg.
1/3 cup fortified oatmeal: 4 mg.
1/4 cup soybeans: 2.2 mg.
1/4 cup navy beans: 1.2 mg.
1 ounce steak: 1 mg.
1 ounce shrimp: .9 mg.
1/4 cup garbanzo beans: .8 mg.
1/2 medium-sized hamburger (1.5 oz.): .9 mg.
1/4 cup black beans: .9 mg.
1 tablespoon wheat germ: .5 mg. iron
1/4 cup tofu: .9 mg.
1/2 large egg: .3 mg.
1 ounce breast of chicken: .2 mg.
Zinc aids digestion and metabolism.
Some of the best sources of zinc for your baby:
1/2 medium-sized hamburger: about 2 mg.
1 ounce steak: about 1.7 mg.
1 tablespoon wheat germ: about 1 mg.
1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese: .7 mg.
1/3 cup bran flakes: between .8 mg. and 1.4 mg., depending on the brand
1/4 cup tofu: .6 mg. 1/4 cup lentils: about .6 mg.
1/4 cup lima beans: .4 mg.
1/4 cup corn: .2 mg.
1 large egg yolk or 1/2 whole large egg: .3 mg.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb minerals like calcium and builds strong teeth and bones. It’s called the “sunshine vitamin” because the body can make it when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Some of the best sources of vitamin d for your baby:
1 ounce salmon serving: 103 ius
1/2 cup fortified whole milk: 49 ius
1 large egg yolk: 25 ius
1/3 cup fortified, ready-to-eat cereal: 13 ius
Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth, and helps protect the body from infections. Vitamin A also promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body, particularly those in the hair, nails, and skin.
Some of the best sources of vitamin a for your baby:
1/4 cup mashed sweet potato: 646 mcg.
1/4 cup cooked carrots: 336 mcg.
1/4 cup butternut squash (cubed): about 286 mcg.
1/2 cup fortified milk: 72.5 mcg.
1/2 large egg: 35 mcg.
1/4 cup cooked broccoli: 26 mcg.
1/4 cup sliced mango: 16 mcg.
Vitamin C helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues. It helps keep your child’s gums healthy and strengthens his blood vessels, minimizing bruising from falls and scrapes. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, boosts the immune system, and keeps infections at bay.
Some of the best sources of Vitamin C for your baby:
1/4 cup guava: 82.5 mg.
1/4 cup papaya: 47.5 mg.
1/2 medium orange: 30 mg.
1/4 cup broccoli: 30 mg.
1/4 cup orange juice: 25 mg.
3 whole medium strawberries: 21 mg.
1/4 grapefruit: 21 mg.
1/4 cup cantaloupe: 17 mg.
1/2 tomato: 11 mg.
1/4 medium mango: 7.6 mg.
1/2 banana: 5 mg.
1/4 baking potato (such as russet): 5 mg. without skin, 6.5 with skin
1/4 cup spinach: 4.5 mg
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