Superfoods for Babies: 6 Months and Older

First Foods: Fruits

Apple puree is very easy to digest, so it makes great baby food. The BRAT diet (that is, banana, rice, apples, and toast) is popular with doctors for the relief of diarrhea. Pectin, the soluble fiber in apples, also helps fight against constipation.

Papaya flesh is easy to swallow, so it makes ideal weaning food. It is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, and 3 ounces of papaya will provide a young child's daily requirement of vitamin C. Papaya is also high in soluble fiber, which is important for normal bowel function. Papaya also contains enzymes that aid digestion.

Pears are one of the least allergenic foods, so they make great weaning food.

Bananas are full of slow-release sugars, which provide sustained energy. They make perfect portable baby food, as they come in their own easy-to-peel packaging. They are also good for the treatment of diarrhea and constipation.

Apricots are a good source of beta-carotene and also contain fiber. They're also a good source of iron and potassium.

Cantaloupe is the most nutritious variety of melon. It is very sweet and rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Blueberries are rich in vitamin C and also contain beta-carotene. The blue pigment anthocyanin in the skin of the blueberries helps protect us against cancer. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits.

Peaches provide a good source of vitamin C, and the soft flesh is easy to digest.

Rice and Meat

Baby rice should be the first cereal you introduce because it does not contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye that can cause food allergy if introduced before 6 months. Baby rice is easily digested and has a milky taste that helps to ease your baby's transition from a purely milk-based diet to solids. It is a good thickener for runny purees like pear, peach, and plum.

Red meat provides the best source of iron for your baby. It is important to introduce iron-rich foods, as a baby's iron reserves inherited from his mother start to run out at 6 months. Breast milk does not contain adequate amounts of iron.

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