Healthy Eating for 6 to 24 month old Children (2) Moving On (6 – 12 months)
Food and nutrients
Eating a variety of foods
As your baby eats more solid food, you should include a variety of foods in his meals. This ensures that he will enjoy well-balanced nutrition.
Main sources of nutrients:
Grains (e.g. Rice, noodles, pasta, bread, oatmeal)
Grain provides carbohydrates, proteins, several B vitamins (excluding vitamin B12) and magnesium.
Whole grain foods such as brown rice and whole wheat bread provide more vitamin E and dietary fibres. Offer these foods to babies when they can chew better.
Eggs or meat (e.g. fish, chicken, pork, beef, mutton, liver, seafood)
Eggs or meat provide protein, fat, cholesterol, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B and B12. Fish provides more unsaturated fat; fatty fish also contains vitamin D. Avoid eating fish of high levels of methylmercury. Egg yolk and liver are rich in vitamin A and contain vitamin D (Avoid eating liver too often).
Dry beans and other bean products (e.g. Red kidney beans, chickpeas, red beans, cowpeas, and other bean products)
Dry beans and other bean products provide protein, carbohydrates, several B vitamins (excluding vitamin B12), iron, zinc and dietary fibres. Tofu made by the traditional method provides calcium.
Vegetables (e.g. Green leafy vegetables: choy sum, bok choy, broccoli, Chinese kale, leaf mustard, Chinese spinach, etc.)
Vegetables are rich in carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fibres, potassium and minerals. Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of iron, calcium, vitamin E and K.
Fruits (e.g. Bananas, pears, apples, grapes, watermelons)
Fruits provide vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fibres, potassium and minerals. Dark yellow fruits, such as papaya, mango, contain carotene. Example of vitamin C rich fruits are kiwifruits, strawberries, oranges, papaya, persimmons.
Milk and milk products (e.g. Cheese, yoghurt, milk)
Milk and milk products provide protein, saturated fat, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin B12.
Cow's milk should not replace breastmilk or formula milk for babies under 1 year old as their main source of food.
- After eating solid food, offer babies water to drink so that they can get used to it;
- Babies usually drink a few sips of water each time and that is enough;
- Do not replace water with glucose water, juice, or sweet drinks. This protects babies from developing the bad habit of drinking sugary drinks.
Babies need iron-rich foods
After 6 months of age, babies need more iron. They should eat adequate amounts of iron-rich food daily.
- Rice or wheat cereal with iron added is a good choice;
- Iron in meat, fish and egg yolk is easier to absorb;
- Vitamin C in fruits helps the body to absorb the iron in green leafy vegetables and dry beans;
- When your baby eats meat or egg yolk and vegetables daily, you can gradually replace the rice cereal with congee.
Iodine is essential for the development of the nervous system. What foods provide iodine?
- Kelp, seaweed (They have a high iodine content, so eating a small amount is enough.);
- Iodized salt;
- Seawater fish, seawater shrimp, shellfish;
- Milk, egg yolk.
DHA helps in the development of babies' nervous systems. What foods contain DHA?
Fish is the main source of DHA. Salmon, sardines, halibut, jade perch are rich sources. Golden thread, Bigeyes and Pomfret also provide DHA.
- When cooking for your baby, add a small amount
of vegetable oil;
- This provides your baby with energy, and also helps him absorb fat-soluble vitamins;
- Vegetable oils provide essential fatty acids that are needed for growth and the development of the brain;
- Various types of vegetable oils differ in their composition. They can be used in turns or in mixtures.
Eating a variety of foods helps us maintain good health.