One of the most important tasks of parents is to develop the habit of a healthy lifestyle in a baby. In particular, by providing it with a balanced diet using all food categories. Before starting complementary feeding, the only source of nutrients is either breast milk or infant formula. The transitional stage is from 1 to 3 years with a gradual approach to the diet of an adult. This age period is characterized by further development and improvement of all functions of the child’s body. So let’s find out what the important food categories should be on the kids’ menu.
Fats, Proteins, and Carbohydrates
Healthy fats contain essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which the body cannot synthesize on its own and must obtain from food. They are contained in most vegetable oils such as olive oil, grape seed oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, linseed oil, mustard oil, walnut oil, etc.
A kid’s immature organism needs to receive from 3 to 3.5 g for each kilogram of weight. Protein-rich foods are cheese, meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Carbohydrates, along with proteins and fats, are the main components of food. One of the main functions of carbohydrates is to provide the body with energy.
Even though you add certain products to the baby’s menu that saturate the body with the necessary elements, you should not completely exclude infant formula or breast milk from the diet. Bottle feeding must be continuous for at least up to two years old. For instance, organic baby formula that passed EU certification control has everything in the content so that your little one will have the essential trace elements at any stage of development.
Juices on the menu should be replaced with fruits because they will enrich the kid’s body with the necessary amount of fiber. Limit the juice intake to 120ml of 100% unsweetened juice once a day. To quench the thirst, a baby needs to drink water, especially between meals and snacks. However, the water intake shouldn’t be excessive during meals, because it leads to a quick feeling of satiety, but does not help digestion.
Sugar and its Substitutes
It’s better to exclude the products with added sugar or sweeteners from the kid’s menu. Also limit the intake of refined sugar, honey, syrups, and brown sugar. All of these products contain almost the same amount of calories and cause tooth decay.
Nowadays, sugar substitutes are contained in many processed products. And although they do not cause early caries in a child, they do not have any nutritional value, so it is worth limiting their amount in a baby’s diet. All of these sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar and can lead to a habit of eating only sweet food. In addition, some studies indicate that synthetic sugar substitutes accumulate in the basal ganglia of the brain and over the years can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.