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Introducing non-vegetarian food to infants

Introducing non-vegetarian food to infants

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During the initial months of infancy, a baby’s nutrient requirement increases. Both, macro and micronutrients are required in prescribed amounts for healthy growth.

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

During the stage of weaning, parents often try different food items to fulfil the nutritional needs of a growing child. Fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, dairy products serve as good sources of nutrients. It is recommended that plant food should be a priority when initiating complementary feeding.

Families whose staple diet consist of non-vegetarian foodstuff also consider including animal products in a child’s diet. Non-vegetarian foods are excellent sources of protein, fats, zinc, iron and vitamins. All these nutrients are absolutely crucial for an infant’s healthy development.

Non-vegetarian preparations can be introduced at the age of 7 months. Here, we discuss ways in which you can introduce non-vegetarian food items in child’s feeding regimen.

1. Start with Eggs

Eggs are good sources of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Boiled eggs, egg whites and egg yolk make excellent nutritious first foods.

2. Soups and Broths

Meat and poultry can be introduced in the form of soups and broths. It is easier for babies to consume and digest. You also don’t have to worry choking and gagging issues when meat is ground and cooked in a gravy. In addition to meat, include vegetables to increase the nutritive value of the preparation.

3. Purees work best.

Once the baby is accustomed to the taste of non-vegetarian food, you can make purees and serve them during mealtimes. Cook the meat thoroughly, and after it cools, grind the meat to make a puree. This makes it easier for babies to eat and digest.

4. Try several options

You have the opportunity now to introduce different types of animal products− fish, poultry, and red meat. The baby gets familiarised with different tastes and textures. The nutritional benefits of eating different food items are immense. For instance, chicken liver has ample Vitamin A and Iron. These nutrients play an important role in the development of organs and a strong immune system.

5. Frequency of Eating Animal Products

Keep in mind that non-vegetarian food is processed at a different rate than vegetarian items. Non-vegetarian food has high protein content. Serve meat preparations 2-3 times a week as this allows the baby’s developing digestive system to get accustomed to different kinds of food.

6. Cooking procedure

Ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly without any uncooked parts in it. It is best to serve homemade preparations to a baby. Avoid processed food altogether. Exposing the child to high amounts of preservatives is not a good idea.

Introducing different kinds of food is beneficial for a growing infant. It not only provides additional nutrients, it also initiates the development of the taste and flavours. Keep in mind that some food may cause an allergic reaction. Consult your paediatrician before introducing different kinds of foodstuff.


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