Brimming with vitamin C, fiber and calcium, broccoli is another good first food for your child. Usually, it should be introduced around the age of 8 to 10 months.
Vitamin C gives a boost to your baby’s developing immune system. The calcium in broccol helps foster good eyesight and ward off cell damage. The fiber in it ensures good digestion. It also has several B vitamins that aid in improving the functioning of the nervous system.
Other key nutrients in broccoli are iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and folic acid.
Plus, the unique flavor of broccoli can help expand your baby’s taste palate.
- Steamed and pureed broccoli is good for younger babies.
- For older babies, steamed broccoli florets work as great finger food.
Once your baby reaches 6 to 8 months of age, you can introduce parsnips in his or her diet. In fact, it is often overlooked as a great food for babies. Related to carrots, the sweet and slightly nutty flavor of parsnips is sure to please their tiny taste buds.
This root vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, fiber and protein. While vitamin C is needed for building immunity, the calcium promotes healthy bones and teeth. The protein in it supports the health of the body’s cells.
- Simply peel, slice and steam parsnips in the required amount of water until they are tender and mushy. Chop or mash the steamed parsnips, depending upon your baby’s preference.
- You can also serve steamed parsnips as a finger food.
Note: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is important to wait until your baby is at least 3 months old before offering foods with naturally occurring nitrates, such as carrots, spinach, beets, squash, broccoli, and green beans as it may cause a type of anemia called methemoglobinemia in young infants. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and parsnips also contain nitrate
Certain foods to avoid during your baby’s first year:
- Do not substitute cow’s milk as a replacement for breast milk or formula. Cow’s milk is harder for your baby to digest.
- Avoid giving any sticky or hard foods, as they can cause your baby to choke.
- Whole nuts are also not safe for babies under 2 years of age.
- For children below 1 year of age, honey is not recommended as it can cause infant botulism.
- Do not feed your baby unpasteurized cheese, as it increases the risk of food poisoning in young babies.
- Do not give shellfish like shrimp, lobster, crab and scallops to babies below 1 year of age.
- Also, fish that are high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish or king mackerel, are not recommended.