A balanced diet is a key to your baby's healthy growth.

Breastfeeding your baby is the most fundamental step in feeding her tummy. However, after around six months you can start with outside food prepared at home. You have to carefully make her diet plan that will keep her strong and healthy. It is advisable to offer them food that is rich in iron content. A soup of beet root or green leafy vegetables is a good example of it. It also includes lentils, beans, and legumes. Iron helps for growth and development of a baby. Initially, these solid foods are to be given only once or twice. Gradually, you can increase the number of times you feed a baby. Always offer a baby with food from your family lunch and dinners. Let them experiment with the taste and food habits. They will themselves discover their choices. Try giving your baby with food that she can eat with her hands. Soft-cooked vegetable pieces or chopped soft fruits like a banana is a good example. If you are planning to give a cow milk to your baby, wait till she gets nine months or 1 yr older. Give only homogenized cow milk. (3,25 M.F.) Also, observe your child's hunger cues. You'll slowly start recognizing her consumption patterns.

The above guidelines are for newborns. However, as your child grows a bit older (let's say around two yrs), you have to make following changes in a diet:

+In your child's breakfast, you can add sliced banana, strawberries, cereals mixed with homogenized milk.

+You can offer a child with grated cheese and whole grain crackers to provide some extra nutrition.

+ While preparing his lunch plate, you can add some solid food like wheat chapati, cooked vegetables and a bit of rice.

+ A soup of mixed vegetables including spinach, tomatoes, carrot, and beet root is very nutritious as it contains a lot of iron that helps to increase the level of haemoglobin in baby's body.

+ If you are non-vegetarian, you can offer your baby with fish, meat, poultry, and eggs in small amounts as protein-fortified foods.

+Finger food (the one that can be picked up with fingers) is also given to the babies at this stage. It includes scrambled eggs, O-shaped cereals, nicely cooked spiral pasta.

+Yogurt, Soft-pasteurized and cottage cheese are some of the milk and dairy products you can offer your baby for giving the right amount of protein and calcium.

+ Beans and lentils are an excellent source of fibre and proteins. Your baby's developing body needs them in appropriate quantity. You can cook lentil and spinach stew for your child during lunch or dinner.

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