Helpful hints on feeding your baby a healthy diet

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We all want what is best for our baby, including great health and one of the ways we can provide the platform for a healthy child is a healthy diet. This can be attained by setting the stage for healthy eating from the beginning.

You may start feeding your child solid foods from about 6 months old. At this stage your baby's digestive system is ready to take whole, unrefined grains. This means that you could start by making your own brown rice porridge.

Firstly, you'd need to buy some organic brown rice. The next step is to grind the rice in a blender/nut grinder for about 2 minutes. Then put about 1/4 of a cup of this ground rice into 2 cups of boiling water. Whisk it in with a whisk then turn the heat down low. Stir every couple of minutes and keep it cooking for 10 minutes. You may need to add more water in the process. By the end of 10 minutes, the mixture should look like a thick porridge. Again, adjust to the consistency your baby can eat.

The same can be done for oats and millet, and later other wholegrains such as quinoa, barley and amaranth 9available at health food stores, organic stores, your local co-op etc).

To this porridge you can add steamed and blended vegetables and fruit. Some vegetables suitable for a beginning eater include: sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, apple, pear, peach, asparagus. Also uncooked banana, tofu and avocado.

These vegetables and fruits can be made in large batches and frozen for up to 4 months, so all you would need to do is heat up these food cubes when it is meal time.

By mixing a variety of grains, fruits and vegetables your baby will get used to a variety of tastes, which will make it easier for them to eat healthy in the long run.

As your infant grows, other foods can be added to the list. From about 8 months onwards, they can even eat things like cooked lentils and beans which are a great source of protein for your growing baby. And of course red meat, fish and chicken if you choose. Cooked egg yolk is also a good source of protein for your baby.

It's amazing how some simple, home-made meals for your baby can not only save you money, but set the stage for a healthy diet and lifestyle in the future.

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