Baby foods packed with nutrients, think outside of the box…Literally!

The foods your baby consumes in their first year is crucial. Research shows that the more fruits and veggies consumed prior to turning one will result in more consumption of produce by the time their six. Also introducing common allergens like peanuts and eggs can prevent the development of allergies later in life, even if their genetically prone to them!

So how can you get a picky baby to agree to fruits and veggies?? Make it fun! Like adults, babies eat with their eyes, and adding chopped or pureed, bright colored fruits like strawberries or blueberries will not only grab their attention but supply them with lots of antioxidants and fiber for better digestion. Peaches are another great fruit addition to add to baby’s diet. If pureed they’ll love the texture and sweet taste, and they’ll secretly be indulging in a sufficient amount of potassium.

Now, the hard part…Veggies! It’s natural for babies to turn away from veggies at first but its important to keep on trying, especially when it comes to dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. And no, this isn’t only for Hipster Hollywood Babies. Dark leafy greens supply your baby with tons of nutrients and adding something sweet like banana can help your baby become accustomed to the earthy taste they might dislike at first. Squash is another exceptional addition to your baby’s diet, its full of vitamin A which is proven to aid in the development of vision and bone growth and helps protect the body from infections. Vitamin A also promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body, particularly those in the hair, nails, and skin.

Next on the menu… Protein! Lentils are a great source of protein and iron, easy to make, and small like peas making them simple for your baby to consume. Salmon is another great source of protein and contains an Omega 3 Fatty Acid called Docosahexaenoic Acid, also known as DHA. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain. Mashing cooked, flaked salmon into a puree, or breading it and making your very own salmon nuggets is a perfect way to aid in your baby’s brain development. If your family is open to the consumption of beef, this is another way to supply your baby with not only protein but also Zinc. More than 70 enzymes depend on zinc to provide regular digestion and metabolism, children who don't get enough zinc risk having stunted growth. Lastly, eggs, once a controversial food for babies has recently been shown to be safe for babies as well as supply them with nearly six grams of protein per egg, along with healthy fats and choline which is essential for eye health. Eggs can easily be administered to babies through cutting an omelet or hard-boiled egg and serving it to your baby as finger food. Or if you’re really feeling fancy, you can blend a scrambled egg with veggie puree, which they will love.

Although your bundle of joy may be reluctant to nutritious, solid foods at first it is imperative to supply them with the building blocks that will assure proper function and development at this crucial time in their life. And you never know, through keeping your baby open to a wide array of nutritious food, you might be soon watching them in Food Network’s Kid’s Cook-Off.