Did you know that babies can benefit from superfoods, too? Just as full-grown adults can stay healthy and vibrant from eating a colorful, fresh food diet, our young infants and toddlers can reap the same rewards. Start your youngin’ off on the right foot in life with a superfood diet full of wholesome, natural ingredients. It doesn’t take any fancy equipment, expensive ingredients or specialty brand names to do it—just real fruits and vegetables and a strong hand to mash foods down. That’s it!
Here are six amazing superfoods that health professionals recommend you feed your growing babies after around 6 months old, and how to serve them for your little joy.
Avocados are full of healthy fats for babies, and they are soft enough to take at a very young age. Mash ripe avocados with cooked veggies for a wonderful baby food. They're also great with fruits, taking out a bit of the sweetness while rounding out the nutritional makeup; just mash gently with mango, applesauce or bananas.
Black beans and other legumes are actually very wholesome for infants and young children; just be sure to puree or mash them for babies. When old enough to take solids, gently mash beans into oatmeal or warm quinoa, along with some peas or squash for a hint of sweetness.
Blueberries are chockfull of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins to feed your growing infant. And when they’re out of season, you can always buy organic frozen blueberries, which are just as nutritious and delicious. Cook the berries down into a mash for young babies, mixing them with pureed spinach or greens for a superfood “smoothie”—and when old enough for solids, spoon warm berries into oatmeal and quinoa for breakfast.
Oats are a great whole grain choice for babies because they can cook down into pure mush, making them digestible and easy to get down for the little ones. Cook rolled oats down with whole milk until very smooth, and spoon in cooked and pureed fruits to serve. For older infants and young toddlers, spoon in chunks of warm fruit and a bit of whole, plain yogurt.
Squash & Sweet Potatoes
Colorful squash and root vegetables are full of antioxidants for young babies, and they cook into the most delicious, sweet mashes. Puree any of these veggies to make your own simple baby food, and when your baby is old enough to take solids, spoon it into pasta sauce -- or use in place of pasta sauce by pureeing cooked greens, squash and a bit of water together and serving over warm whole grains.
Yogurt can be served to infants as young as 6 months old; just check with your doctor first in case of any allergy complications. Integrating yogurt into your baby’s diet will give them a headstart on developing beneficial bacteria in the belly, growing a strong immune system early in life. Always opt for whole, organic yogurt, and add your own pureed or warm fruits.