The Early Years: Baby Food’s starring role during this critical window of child development
Do you really know how much a baby grows during the first year of development? Forget everything you know about dieting, because babies are different! By the time most children are a year old, they’ve grown by 50%. By 2 years old, they’re 75% bigger. That’s a lot of growth, and that means toddlers and infants need food even more than teenagers!
But it’s more than just calories. Babies need the right nutritional components as well. Undernourishment can cause a lot of problems in a baby. They’ll grow less and could develop less intelligence since their bodies will throw what it can to survival first. That’s why it’s so important to give babies everything they need for the first few years so that they can develop to their full potential.
So where does this nutrition come from? The most important thing is breastmilk. Breastmilk is designed to give babies everything they need for at least the first six months of life. As long as you’re giving your child enough breastmilk and you’re eating a good diet you won’t have to worry about your child developing nutritional deficiencies.
After six months, most children will start to need more energy than just breastmilk will provide. Children can breastfeed for up to two years, but they will start to become curious about other foods, especially ones they see Mommy and Daddy eating! That’s the time to start trying things like cereals, Amara purees, and other age-appropriate foods. Check out our post on recommended foods for your child’s age for more information on what to feed them and when to start solids.
Importance of fruits and vegetables in baby diet
In the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS), Saavedra et al. (2013) they point out that fruit and vegetable consumption starts already during weaning time with low intakes. It is known that the taste and likes of foods are set in the early age of life. Infants and children who consume more fruits and vegetables early in their lives, will be more likely to consume fruits and vegetables as adults (Coulthard et al 2010). This is one of the many reasons why food is so important in your baby’s critical development. The choices you make for your baby now will affect the way your baby eats in the future. Make sure you try to eat as much vegetables and non-processed foods as possible.
At Amara, we recommend you should wait until six months before introducing other foods however you should always consult with your doctor or pediatrician. Make sure you speak to your doctor to when is the best time to feed your baby food solids. Some moms combine breastmilk and formula or just formula, everyone is different. When your doctor says your baby is ready to start solids, you can start with Amara’s introduction to solids baby food variety pack. Every recipe and ingredient has been picked by our PhD in nutrition to help your baby start learning different flavors and textures. Remember the importance of using Amara when you can’t make your own homemade baby food, to learn more about how Amara is different from traditional baby foods here.