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Most Important Nutrients For Babies

Most Important Nutrients For Babies
Jodi Harris

Most Important Nutrients For Babies@my.little.food.critic

After your little babe hits 6 months and is ready to start solids, they need some important nutrients in their diet to support they growth and development.

The 3 most critical nutrients are:

1.               Iron

2.               Omega 3

3.               Healthy fat

Iron

Iron is the most essential nutrient for babies as it is needed for making haemoglobin in red blood cells. Iron is the micronutrient that enables blood to carry oxygen around the body to all your baby’s organs and muscles.

There are two types of iron, haem iron, from animal sources and non-haem, plant-based iron. Haem iron is more readily absorbed by the body and is found in a variety of animal products such as red meat, fish, and eggs.

Non-haem iron can be found in foods such as broccoli, beans, legumes, and nuts. Adding a source of vitamin C alongside non haem iron rich foods to help aid the absorption of the iron. Dried fruits and leafy green vegetables are also a good iron source.

Vitamin C can be found in food such as:

Strawberries, mango, pineapple, broccoli, bell peppers and tomatoes.

Here are a couple of our favourite recipes packed full of vitamin C:

PRAWN PAELLA

MANGO, PINEAPPLE & ORANGE LOLLIES

BASIC BROCCOLI PURÉE

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that babies can’t produce, so it’s essential that their diet contains foods rich in omega 3’s. These fatty acids are ‘essential’ as they help the development of your child’s vision, nervous system, as well as brain growth and development.

Omega 3 is primarily found in oily fish such as salmon. However, walnuts, hemp hearts and chia seeds are fantastic vegetarian/vegan options.

For tasty recipes containing omega 3 see below

SARDINE PATE

SALMON & POTATO PUREE

Healthy fat

Healthy fats are a concentrated source of energy for the body. They help slow the absorption of carbs and helps us feel full longer. Fat is so important for baby’s rapid brain development.

Avocados, nut butters, pumpkin seeds, full fat yoghurt and eggs are good sources of healthy fat.

Olive oil and ghee are also great options for cooking with, to add healthy fat to meals.

Here is some recipe inspo below for meals containing healthy fats

PEACH, AVOCADO & PINEAPPLE PUREE

VEGGIE LOADED SCRAMBLED EGGS

ALMOND BUTTER BUTTERNUT SQUASH PURÉE