6 Foods to Start Complementary Feeding

babel · November 1, 2022
This article has been written and endorsed by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias
In order to ensure the good development and growth of the youngest children, it's key to start complementary feeding correctly. Keep reading!

When the moment comes to start complementary feeding, this can be a critical time for many mothers and sometimes there are doubts about the best foods to offer the baby at this point. There are some guidance tables offered by some pediatricians, especially with the aim of avoiding potentially negative foods for the baby at the beginning of complementary feeding.

Before starting, it’s important to emphasize that experts recommend offering breast milk until the first year of life, as it’s the highest quality food for babies. During the first 6 months, breastfeeding should be exclusive, and thereafter, it should continue as the main food and be supplemented with solids in the diet to further increase the nutritional density.

Take note of our most recommended foods to start complementary feeding of your baby.

Foods to start complementary feeding

Here are the best foods to start this wonderful stage of your child’s life. They’re all fresh and good quality products, which manage to provide a good handful of essential nutrients for the small body.

1. Banana

Bananas are one of the best fruits to include at this time. They’re a product that provides calories and carbohydrates of high level, in addition to micronutrients necessary to ensure the growth and development of the infant.

Among them, we can highlight potassium, an important ion in cellular functioning, and fiber which favors the intestinal transit of the child. Therefore, constipation is avoided, which is so common at this time of dietary changes.

A baby eating soft foods with his hands.
Carrots are an ideal food to introduce in the diet of little ones. They’re rich, soft, nutritious and are well accepted by most infants.

2. Carrot

Carrots are one of the vegetables that contain the highest amount of vitamin A. We’re talking about a nutrient that participates in vision and that contributes to stimulating the endogenous synthesis of collagen, the most abundant protein in the human organism. And an even better fact is that it also offers an antioxidant effect.

3. Chicken

Chicken is one of the first meats that can be included in complementary feeding and it’s an exquisite source of proteins of high biological value. These nutrients contain all the essential amino acids and also give the food a good score in terms of digestibility.

Finally, proteins are key nutrients to maintain an adequate rate of growth and development in this important stage of life.

4. Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables are recommended in the context of almost any diet, as they provide a significant amount of phytochemicals with antioxidant capacity. These compounds neutralize the formation of free radicals and their subsequent accumulation in the body’s tissues. Thanks to this effect, the risk of developing chronic and complex diseases over the years is reduced.

5. Potato

Tubers can also be introduced early in complementary feeding. It’s best to prepare them cooked or steamed.

These foods are able to provide good quality complex carbohydrates and fiber. They also contain micronutrients such as vitamin C, which is necessary for the immune system to function efficiently.

6. Beans

Beans are one of the most common ingredients in baby food. They contain quality nutrients and also provide fiber. It’s a good idea to optimize their consumption during the first stages of life in order to obtain a healthy and efficient microbiota.

Pureed baby foods.
Baby purees must be elaborated in the most natural way possible, without the addition of condiments and maintaining the organoleptic properties of the ingredients.

Introduce quality foods to initiate the complementary feeding

As you’ve seen, it’s key to select correctly the foods that will be introduced into the diet to initiate the complementary feeding. Always opt for fresh products with a high content of essential nutrients. Similarly, avoid including added sugars, trans fats, or artificial additives in the diet. These elements can damage the functioning of the body over time.

Finally, remember that it’s vital to start promoting good lifestyle habits from the earliest stages of life. It’s not only enough to eat well, it’s also key to exercise regularly, get frequent sun exposure, and get adequate sleep every night. This is the only way to efficiently prevent the development of chronic and complex diseases over the years.

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