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What is a Meal Plan? Why it Matters?

What is a Meal Plan? Why it Matters?

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A meal plan is a systematic approach towards ensuring a regular intake of nutrients needed by infants in the age bracket of 6 to 24 months. This is the transition stage for the infant becoming a toddler. Therefore, this phase right up to 24 months is crucial from the point of view of developing cognitive, emotional and social skills of your little one.

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

How is a Meal Plan structured?

A meal plan is usually structured to include all the essential nutrients in appropriate quantities spread across Breakfast, Pre Lunch, Lunch, Mid Afternoon and Dinner.  

A meal plan can be organized depending on different stages of baby growth such as 0-6 months, 6 months, 6-8 months, 8-12 months, and 1 to 5 years. Breast milk is a constant that stays for 1 year. 6 month onwards, the food given to a new-born baby should be coarsely pureed or mashed. This pureed combination must be enriched with iron-fortified cereal, mashed fruits, namely, banana, kiwi, apple and full-fat yoghurt. Cooked chicken and cooked pumpkin with hummus dip and steamed carrot may also be introduced.

6-8 month onwards, the food given to a new-born baby is lumpy and finely chopped. The ingredient mix mainly consists of banana, cooked apple and pear, roughly mashed carrot, zucchini, spinach, and wholemeal toast fingers and cheese.

8-12 month onwards, baby food consists of fresh fruit platter with thin slices of apple, orange, seedless grapes, and pieces of banana, thin slices of pear and kiwi fruit. Steamed carrot sticks, and thin slices of capsicum are good alternatives.

While making an organized meal plan, breast milk remains a constant in the diet plan. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breast milk as a must for infants in the first 6 months post birth. Solid foods should be introduced slowly and steadily into the child’s diet after the first 6 months until the age of one year.

Therefore, a meal plan is a crucial step in organizing the pieces of a nutrient jigsaw. If the newbie parents follow the meal plan diligently, then the positive results will show until your little bundle of joy reaches 24 months of age.  

 

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