11 BEST FOODS FOR YOUR BABY IN WINTER
What are the best foods for your baby in winter? This cold season has often been noted as the time when colds and cases of flu strike. Every mother's concern is to boost her baby's immunity and protect him from infections that are often rife this time of the year. One of the best ways to keep your baby healthy is to feed him with foods rich in immune-boosting nutrients like Vitamin C.
Here are 11 such foods that should be on your list of groceries.
In winter, apples are in season, and so it comes as no surprise that apples are one of the best foods for your baby in winter. Apples are rich in Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C will boost your baby's resistance to infections. Apples also contain a lot of dietary fibre, the B-Complex vitamins and minerals. You can puree your apples and serve them to your baby. Making homemade applesauce is also another way of serving apples to him.
- You can add some spices like cinnamon, cardamom or cloves to your pureed apples to give them different flavours your baby will love.
- Try using the different types of apples; they have different tastes.
This is another very nutritious baby food you should have your eyes on this winter. It is a powerhouse for vitamins (A, B-6 and C), potassium and magnesium. You can prepare sweet potatoes for your baby by pureeing them after boiling, baking or roasting. The roasting or baking methods have been noted to give a much better taste. For older babies, you can peel and cut sweet potatoes into thin chunks and then roast them in a hot oven until they are soft.
Try different varieties of sweet potatoes – red, white and purple. You would be amazed by their different tastes.
Kale is a super-food for babies and should be on your shopping list. It is rich in iron and vitamins (A and C) which will all boost your baby's immune function. It also makes a great puree, but its flavour can be strong, so remember to mix it with other sweet purees made from bananas and sweet potatoes.
Here is a recipe for Kale and Apple puree your baby will love.
Mushrooms may seem like the odd one out of this list of best foods for your baby in winter, but the truth is they are very nutritious. They are rich in lots of minerals like copper, zinc, potassium, selenium and magnesium. They also contain the full set of B-vitamins, which are good for your baby's brain function and cell growth. They all help prevent infections because they are rich sources of compounds called beta-glucans, which boost your baby's immune system. You can puree mushrooms with mashed potatoes or oatmeal. For older babies, you can cut them up into small pieces, roast, sauté or steam them.
Cook your mushrooms well before serving to your baby.
These are great for babies. Carrots are another powerhouse for vitamins A and C, minerals like potassium, and fibre. In fact, they are very rich in beta carotene, which helps to keep your baby's eyes healthy. They are a fave for babies because of their sweet taste and colourful look when pureed. Make sure your carrots are cooked well by pureeing them. Alternatively, you can cut them up into long sticks and roast or steam them for older babies.
You can make a homemade sauce with pears, just like with apples. This homemade sauce can be made the same way as applesauce. For a twist, you can blend pears and apples and make a sauce out of them for your baby. Or just puree pears with other fruits like banana and sweet potato. If your baby is older, you can try something chewable. Peel and cut soft, ripe pears and serve to him.
Avocados are one of the best foods to feed your baby in winter. They will give your baby all the healthy fats he needs for the development of his brain and to keep his body warm. What's more, avocados are full of vitamin C, all the B vitamins, magnesium and fibre. For younger babies (4 to 6 months old), ripe avocados are best served pureed. However, for older babies, you can cut them into small wedges.
If you are looking for something to tease your baby's taste buds, then get some oranges this winter. Sweet oranges will delight your baby with their sweet-sour flavour. Besides, oranges are juicy and make great purees or smoothies, especially if they are seedless. They are also packed with Vitamin C, folate and thiamine (vitamin B1). Folate helps your baby form healthy red blood cells, while thiamine supports your baby's nervous system. And, of course, Vitamin C boosts your baby's immune function. It is pureed oranges for younger babies but for older babies who can eat finger foods, cut oranges into small pieces after removing the pits, stems and membranes.
With winter squash, you have so many varieties to try out this winter. For babies, though, the most common is the butternut and pumpkin. There are also varieties like kabocha and acorn. Winter squash is one of the best foods for your baby this winter because they are so rich in vitamins and minerals, have a sweet flavour and are easy to cook. Wash your winter squash, cut it up in half, remove the seeds, chunk it into small pieces and roast in a hot oven until the flesh is soft. You can serve these roasted chunks to an older baby or steam and puree them with fruits like pears.
This root veggie may look ugly but do not judge a book by its cover. You would be amazed to know that rutabagas make a great mash that contains vitamin C and a host of minerals (calcium which is good for your baby's teeth and bones, magnesium and potassium). Rutabagas are the result of cross-breeding between cabbage and turnip. Your younger baby will enjoy steamed rutabagas that have been mashed. But as he gets older, feed him with small roasted or steamed rutabaga chunks.
Here's an easy peasy rutabaga puree recipe.
After all the fruits and veggies, it is time to add some meat into your baby's meals if you are weaning him. One great way to do this is to give your baby some organic turkey. Meat will provide your baby with the protein he needs to boost his energy levels and help him grow and develop well. If he is doing finger foods, then cut the cooked turkey up into small pieces, so he picks with his hands and eats them. If they are younger (6 months old), puree the well-cooked turkey till it is thin and smooth and blend it with some pureed veggies.
Any type of meat should be well cooked before serving to your baby.
Here's an easy-to-make turkey puree recipe.
You can't go wrong with these foods, so here's to a healthy baby this winter!
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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