Babies grow so quickly – it seems like each day there is another wonderful milestone. One of the most memorable times is when your baby can start to eat a diet of solid food. It is so fun to watch your child try new and exciting foods, and explore different colors, textures, and consistencies. Outside of the basic parameters discussed with your pediatrician, it can be challenging to develop a diet of solid foods that are healthy for your baby, convenient for your busy schedule, and good for your baby’s developing teeth and gums.
While you can find a host of options in any grocery store, the best choices are usually found in the produce section of your local market. Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables are always an excellent choice for any age – and it’s great to introduce these nutritious foods to your child as soon as she or he is ready.
Bananas are a favorite of both children and adults. They are easy to shop for, easy to carry with you, and easy to prepare. You can mash them up into an nice consistency that will be easy for your baby to eat. Furthermore, bananas are packed with nutrients like Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium while being low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. However, like all fruits, they do contain a good amount of sugar, so after your tike enjoys a delicious meal of mashed bananas, make sure to wipe and rinse their mouths out with some water.
The winter squash family, which contains acorn, butternut, calabaza, and spaghetti squash, is an excellent choice for your baby. With calcium, Vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients and minerals, squash benefits not only your baby’s oral health, but their overall health, too. Preparing winter squash can be a little more labor intensive, but once done, you can store pureed squash in jars in your refrigerator for easy serving.
Avocados have enjoyed increased popularity over the last decade – it seems like one of everyone’s favorite appetizers is guacamole! While guacamole may not be in your child’s immediate future, a mashed avocado is a great choice for meal and snack times. Avocados are chock-full of healthy fats, B vitamins, Vitamin C, and folate. Plus, they are portable and easy to prepare – just mash up a bit of avocado and serve.
Sweet potatoes are flavorful and rich in vitamins and minerals. They contain Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy teeth and gum development, as well as fiber. They also taste delightful. Easy to prepare (just bake, smush, and serve), sweet potatoes are a healthy, fun food that your baby will love.
In general, natural, organic fresh fruits and vegetables are your best bet for starting your baby on a diet that is beneficial both oral and overall health. While there are thousands of choices from different companies on the market, when you can, stick to those foods you can buy and prepare yourself. Also, make sure your baby is seen by a pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth appears (or by the time they are a year old – whichever comes first). Good food choices and a regular dental routine will ensure that your child develops a healthy smile.
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