A healthy diet is the foundation of the healthy development of every child. Porridges for babies are the first step on the way to healthy growth and the introduction of necessary, useful and good foods, vital for the baby’s proper growth. Porridges for children offer a handful of imaginative and interesting recipes from all the necessary ingredients, and adults often enjoy them as well. They are easy to prepare and with little effort provide the baby with everything it needs.
There are good store-bought porridges on the market, many of which remind us of our own childhood or our children’s first bites, but porridges from mom’s kitchen are definitely an even better option.
When to introduce porridge into the baby’s diet?
The World Health Organization recommends that in the diet of newborn babies, the introduction of other important foods in addition to mother’s or formula milk begins after six months. At that age, you should start gradually accustoming the baby’s delicate organism to new food, which is important for proper and healthy development and which, of course, it will consume regularly during later life. Porridges are precisely the best form of supplementary feeding to the milk that the baby is still drinking and should represent a supplement of nutritional values in addition to milk itself.
At the age of six months, the baby’s organism begins to demand a larger amount of certain nutrients, especially vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, to a much greater extent than can be achieved during breastfeeding. Adding new foods to your baby’s diet requires commitment and extra attention. New tastes and substances are introduced gradually and with intervals, initially up to a week. In this way, it is possible to monitor how the baby reacts to certain foods, which is very important for detecting possible allergies.
How to properly prepare porridge for babies?
Porridge is the first “real” food that is introduced into the baby’s diet and represents a more complex and complete meal than mother’s or formula milk, and is introduced while the baby is still being breastfed, and is a form of supplementary feeding. Usually, the first porridges are prepared from fruits, vegetables or grains. It is important for parents to be well acquainted with the supplementary feeding calendar, that is, to know which foods are suitable for the baby’s age. In the beginning, only a small amount of food is introduced, a couple of teaspoons at a time, and it is slowly and gradually increased.
What foods to choose for preparing porridge for babies? First and foremost, food must be freshly prepared, not processed or reheated. That is why locally grown fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are recommended. The recommendation for preparing vegetables is not to cook them in water, but to steam them, while fresh foods are processed, i.e. chopped immediately before eating, so that they do not spoil or become contaminated. It is very important to choose healthy and high-quality fruits, and to mix the food finely and well so that it is easy to digest.
Recipes for preparing porridge for babies
Preparing porridge for babies does not require a lot of effort, but enough dedication and knowledge. It is important to start first with foods that have a mild taste and can be finely mashed into a delicious puree or porridge. It is not necessary to add any spices, salt or sugar and it is not recommended until the age of one year. The following are several recipes for fine homemade porridges from mom’s kitchen, which will surely satisfy even the pickiest of babies.
Milk banana porridge – Bananas, along with pears, apples and carrots, are one of the first important foods in a baby’s diet. They are introduced because they are very nutritious and easy to digest, and they can rarely cause allergies. Bananas are a rich source of essential potassium, protein and complex carbohydrates, vitamins and other minerals. Initially, they are used alone and in combination with mother’s or formula milk, and later with various cereals and other foods. For a simple first banana mash you need:
- One small ripe banana
- A spoonful of mother’s or formula milk
Peel and chop the banana, then mash or blend. Dilute with milk and feed the baby immediately. The nutrients from bananas, combined with the milk that the baby normally drinks, is an excellent source of useful ingredients and an excellent choice for some of the baby’s first meals.
Rice porridge with pear – Rice is the first cereal that is usually suggested to be introduced into the baby’s supplementary diet. Rice porridge is neither sweet nor salty and is highly recommended as a first independent meal, by soaking well-boiled rice in breast or formula milk. The rice porridge itself is the basis for all subsequent meals. New research has shown that the pear has a more neutral and gentle taste than other fruits, which is why it is recommended that it deserves first place when it comes to choosing a fruit for a baby’s first meal. It’s necessary:
- One pear
- Two spoons of rice
Cook the rice in a little water for ten minutes, and in the meantime wash, peel and clean the pear, then cut it into smaller pieces. Put the pieces of pear in the rice and cook together for about the same amount of belt. If necessary, add water, just enough so that the rice is completely cooked and absorbed. Less water helps to preserve as much of the nutrients from the food as possible. Cool and mix well and feed the baby immediately.
Carrot and potato porridge – Young carrots are also recommended in the preparation of various meals for very small babies. They are rich in nutrients and light. Potatoes are also a common nutritious item on a baby’s menu. For this simple porridge you need:
- Smaller potatoes
- Young carrots
Wash the potatoes, peel them, cut them and put them to cook, then when they are half cooked, add the cleaned and chopped carrots. Cook until the vegetables are completely soft. It is recommended that vegetables be cooked in a little water or steamed, in order to preserve their nutritional value. Finally, strain and mash or blend.