As a parent, you’re doing every single thing to protect and care for your little ones. Sometimes, it can get overwhelming. We understand this and that’s why we’re supporting you as you need it, especially when you need nutrition-related guidance or actionable tips and recipes. While you can use Slurrp It Up as a ready reckoner, remember to trust your parental instinct and your baby’s cues.
As your baby grows and develops, a balanced diet becomes very important. Let’s delve into more detail today.
What Is a Balanced Meal?
A balanced meal includes a mix of different food groups that provide essential nutrients for overall health. It typically consists of:
A balanced meal helps maintain energy levels, support growth, and provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Why Balanced Meals Are Important for Your Baby
A balanced meal provides your baby with all the necessary nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. A single food type cannot provide all the essential nutrients, and that's why it's important to provide multiple foods that contain these nutrients.
What Are Macro and Micro Nutrients? Why Do They Matter?
Macronutrients are the nutrients that our body needs in large quantities to function properly. These nutrients make up the majority of your baby's diet and are essential for growth and development.
This category is broken down into three segments: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
1. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, and can be found in foods like bread, pasta, and rice.
2. Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and can be found in foods like meat, fish, and beans.
3. Fats are important for insulation and protection of our vital organs, and can be found in foods like nuts, seeds, and oils.
Micronutrients are the nutrients that our body needs in smaller amounts, but are still very important for maintaining good health. These include vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
1. Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of many of our body's systems, such as the immune system, and can be found in foods like fruits and vegetables.
2. Minerals are important for building strong bones, and can be found in foods like dairy products and leafy greens.
(We will explore these key nutrients in detail next week onwards.)
How to Plan a Balanced Meal for Your Baby?
Include foods that offer iron, protein, and fat – alongside a fruit or veggie. Sometimes, this can be incorporated into a one-pot meal; e.g., a veggie khichdi with ghee. Or you can offer these as separate foods; e.g, idli + sambhar + ghee-roasted sweet potato. Iron-rich foods are usually also protein-rich, making planning easier.