The tradition of feeding breast milk or formula until the baby is 6 months old is a well-known and most appropriate diet plan. However, once the babies pass the mark of 6 months, it is equally important to introduce them to other nutrients, which are not available solely from breast milk or formula.
Solid foods such as mashed fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, and soups are fed to babies once they start growing older than 6 months. However, you should not feed these foods haphazardly, but in a systematic manner. The need for nutrients in your baby increases substantially with growing age. Choosing an appropriate baby diet chart plan becomes utmost necessary for the parents.
Do consider these factors while you are creating a diet chart for your baby.
First, a diet chart for babies will be highly dependent on their age. With the increasing age, the food habits, quantum of intake, and types of nutrients required also vary. So one must be very careful and frequently update the diet chart with the growing baby.
A balanced diet chart is most preferred for every growing child. A child needs specific proportions of essential nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, fat, and iron in its daily diet, to ensure the best physical as well as mental development.
Allergies likes and dislikes
Right from the age when your child first starts consuming solid foods, you must keep a note of the allergies, likes and dislikes within each food group. You must ensure that your child’s diet plan has food items that do not cause an allergy or discomfort. It is most advisable to consult nutritionist or food expert and discuss the allergies or discomforts well in advance, before administering the diet plan to your child.
In India, where many food groups consist of important items that are seasonal or region-specific, one must ensure that these items are readily available in local or easily-accessible markets before you include it in your baby’s diet chart. Substituting these foods with the ones available locally or conveniently, while retaining its nutritional value in the substitute, is also a favorable option.
Scheduling / Balancing Meals
One of the most important aspects of designing or selecting a baby diet chart plan is deciding the intervals of food intake. A daily diet chart may include breakfast, mid-morning meal, lunch, evening, and dinner meals. This routine is ideal for a child of any age to follow. However, parents should ensure that the baby or the child consumes daily nutrition, which is carefully divided into these 5-6 meals. In case both you and your spouse are working you can ensure with the help of caretaker that your baby’s getting their timely food intake.
Now that you are aware of these factors, take the next step, and choose the right diet chart plan for your baby!