How nutrition affects your little one’s development

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Congratulations! You’re now a parent to a beautiful little bundle of joy. As a parent, you want to ensure your baby gets the best start in life, and that includes their nutrition. After all, as the saying goes, “You are what you eat,” and this rings especially true for babies and toddlers. Proper nutrition is vital for optimal brain development in young children. In this article, we’ll take you through the journey of nourishing your baby from breastmilk to their first bites.


The First 6 Months:

During the first six months, your baby’s digestive system is still developing, and breastmilk or formula is the only recommended source of nutrition. Yes, that’s right – no soup, rice water, or broth just yet! Your baby is getting all the nutrients they need, including water, from breastmilk or formula, and there’s no need to add anything else to their diet.


From 6 to 9 Months:

After six months, it’s time to introduce your little one to complementary foods. This is an exciting time as your baby will start exploring new tastes and textures. However, it’s important to remember that young children need a variety of nutrient-dense foods for optimal growth and health. This includes breastmilk, meat, fish, pulses, cereals, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

When introducing solids, start with soft foods like mashed bananas, sweet potatoes, and avocados. As your baby gets used to chewing, you can gradually introduce more textures and flavors. Remember to cut the food into bite-sized pieces and cook until tender to prevent choking hazards.


Expert Recommendations for a 0-9 Month Baby’s Nutrition:

As you embark on this exciting journey, here are some expert recommendations to ensure your baby’s nutrition needs are met during the first nine months of life:

  1. Start with soft and tender textures and gradually introduce different textures as your baby gets used to chewing.
  2. Avoid adding salt, sugar, or spicy spices to your baby’s food until they are 1 year old.
  3. Establish a routine for meals and feeding to help your baby expect meals at certain times and make them less fussy.
  4. Offer a wide variety of foods, but ensure that they are bite-sized.
  5. Sit down and eat with your baby at the same time. Babies tend to imitate their parents, and this will help them become good eaters.
  6. Keep a food journal or diary to rule out any allergies.
  7. Avoid giving your baby packaged foods, fried foods, or Cerelacs as they are like junk food for your baby.
  8. Always give your baby freshly prepared, home-cooked food, preferably from your family pot.
  9. Ensure that your baby has enough protein-rich foods every day.


Water is Life:

When starting your baby on solids, it’s important to offer water. Start by giving your baby a little bit of water after every meal, using an open cup, a straw sipper, or any other suitable method that allows your baby to sip the water. This way, they won’t gulp down lots of water at once. You can also give your baby water initially with a spoon and cup.


What different nutrients mean for your baby’s growth and development:


You know how to wean your baby, but it’s equally important to know which nutrients your little one requires in infancy. Below are some nutrients that are crucial for your baby’s growth and development:



Iron-rich diets are necessary for children to maintain their physical and mental health. Anemia, caused by a lack of iron, can hinder a child’s physical and mental development. In newborns and young children, even modest anemia can harm intellectual growth. Liver, lean meats, fish, eggs, and meals with added iron are the finest sources of iron.



Calcium is best known for helping to keep bones and teeth healthy, but it also helps regulate the heartbeat, send and receive signals from the nervous system, release hormones, and even relax and contract muscles. Lack of calcium over time weakens bones, increasing the risk of rickets in children.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for children’s health and vision development. Vitamin A is found in many fruits and vegetables, oils, eggs, dairy products, fortified foods, breast milk, and vitamin A supplements.


In conclusion

Your baby’s growth, development, and health depend on their nutrition, which comes from breastmilk and the food they eat after 6 months of age. It is important to offer your baby a variety of foods that are thoroughly washed, properly cooked, and finely cut into bite-sized pieces. 


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