In fact, according to the World Health Organization, optimal nutrition during the first three years of life is important for its role in reducing the risk of chronic disease and promoting steady mental and physical development. When it comes to healthy infant nutrition, it is essential to ensure that nutritional needs are met with a variety of foods while regularly offering new and different flavors.
Consider these important nutrient sources recommended by the experts at Plum Organics.
Orange fruits and vegetables
Offering a combination of slightly sweet and savory flavors, orange fruits and vegetables, including butternut squash, pumpkin, carrot, and sweet potato, provide several important nutrients. They are excellent sources of beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for a strong immune system, healthy skin and optimal vision in dim light. In addition, these fruits and vegetables provide potassium which helps maintain the body’s water balance and which, in turn, is important for controlling blood pressure.
Meat, poultry, eggs, beans and legumes
This food group offers great-tasting flavors for baby to enjoy along with a host of important nutrients, including:
- Choline: plays an important role in metabolism and early brain development.
- Protein: essential for growth and development as well as for the optimal functioning of the body.
- Iron: supports brain development, immune function and overall growth. By the age of 6 months, babies’ iron stores accumulated in utero are usually depleted, so they should start consuming food sources of iron around this age. In fact, according to The Journal of Nutrition, 20% of babies between 6 and 12 months old are at risk for iron deficiency. During infancy, it is encouraged to offer babies foods like Plum Organics Carrot, Sweet Potato, Corn, Pea and Chicken Baby Food Pouches that help prioritize protein foods rich in iron and salty flavors.
- Zinc: supports immune function and overall growth. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, about half (54%) of United States infants fed human milk have insufficient zinc intake.
In addition to providing nutrients like protein and choline, fish (like salmon, arctic char, rainbow trout, and sardines) also offers exciting new flavors for babies. Additionally, fish contains DHA, an essential fatty acid important for eye and brain development in early childhood, as well as vitamin D, an essential nutrient that promotes healthy bones and teeth.
Broccoli, cauliflower and spinach
In addition to introducing slightly bitter flavors, vegetables like these also provide vitamin C, an essential antioxidant that is of particular importance during infancy as it helps the body better absorb non-heme iron from plant foods. When giving your baby iron-rich foods like beans, whole grains, nuts, or seeds in infant-safe forms, pair them with a vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable for optimal absorption. iron.
Amaranth, barley, quinoa and iron-fortified cereals provide nutty, slightly sweet and salty flavors as well as dietary benefits such as iron, zinc, protein and potassium, as well as dietary fiber which contribute to digestive health and the proper functioning of the intestines. Consider an option like Plum Organics Banana, Zucchini, and Amaranth Baby Food Pouches that make it easy to expose babies to the flavor and experience of nutrient-dense whole grains. This type of exposure helps increase the likelihood that they will continue to accept whole grains and benefit from the nutrients they offer as they grow into infancy.
Coconut cream and yogurt
Mild, slightly sweet flavors like coconut cream and full-fat Greek yogurt also provide essential fats for overall growth and neurological development. In addition, fat is an important source of energy for infants on the move.
To find more information and convenient foods that give infants the nutrients they need, visit plumorganics.com.
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