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The Top brain development foods for a 6 month old baby

Top 5 Brain Development foods for a 6 month old baby​

brain-development-food-for-babies

Introduction

Your baby’s brain builds up over time: it starts during pregnancy and continues into adulthood.

And like a building, it needs a solid foundation.

The brain is made up of different areas that control everything we do, from listening to walking to solving problems and how we feel.

Each zone contains millions of brain cells or neurons.

These neurons communicate with each other by transmitting chemical messages in small spaces called synapses.

During the first 36 months of your child’s life, his brain grows and grows as he picks up everything around him and finds out how to think, react and solve important problems like “how” can I get this toy? and how can I get up … crawl … run away … run?

Activities such as reading aloud to your child, listening to music, building blocks, playing with them, and exploring their surroundings are factors that promote brain development.

However, this is not the only way to make your child’s brain development.

Eating well is also important.

Foods that contain antioxidants, choline, omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates are especially useful for improving brain health.

Brain Development foods for a 6 month old baby

These foods can help babies stay sharp and affect how their brains develop well into the future

Avocado

The creamy avocado is the first popular food.

Avocado is a nutrient-rich fruit with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Not only is it nutritious, but healthy fats contribute to the development of brain cells.

Cheese

Small soft cheeses are often introduced at different times, depending on the preparation of your baby, as they have a lighter flavor and a lighter texture.

For example, cottage cheese is also a simple offer as your baby could eat it as a snack or mix it with vegetables or fruit.

Apple

These nutritious fruits contain quercetin, which stimulates brain activity.

Apples are the first food and in the transition phase of your baby’s diet easy to offer.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a superfood for your baby’s brain.

It contains DHA, which supports the connection of neurons.

It also has anti-cancer properties, which makes it an excellent food for the baby’s brain.

Read more about Brocoli here

Fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are the building blocks of brain tissue.

Omega-3 fatty acids promote brain growth and function in babies.

Regular consumption of fish improves your child’s mental abilities.

Oatmeal

One study found that children who eat oatmeal at breakfast achieve much better results in spatial memory-related tasks.

Oatmeal is rich in Vitamin E, Zinc and B vitamins and provides children with a constant flow of energy due to their high fibre content.

Nuts

Nuts like walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are good food for the brain.

High levels of vitamin E in these foods limit cognitive degeneration.

Nuts also contain zinc, which promotes the development of memory and the brain.

These superfoods are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain development.

So you should keep it in your kitchen.

Vegetables

Vegetables with rich, deep colors are an excellent source of antioxidants.

Antioxidants help to keep the brain cells healthy.

The best vegetables for the brain are sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots.

Green leafy vegetables such as kale, chard, spinach, and kale are rich in folate, which keeps dementia at bay.

Kale contains sulforaphane and diindolylmethane, which promote the growth of brain cells.

Lentils

Lentils are available in a variety of shapes and form an extremely popular offering in the Eastern part of the world.

They are particularly nutritious because they contain fibre, iron ,and proteins.

They are soft and easy to cook (no soaking required) and can be easily mixed in the form of puree or soup.

They are also one of the lightest options that legumes and beans initially offer.

Some recipes for brain development foods for your baby

Here are some interesting recipes which will help in the development of the brain of your 3 to 12 months babies.

You can try them out.

Minty Peas ( for 3 to 6 months)

(Prep time: 05 min, Cooking time: 10 min, serve 1)

The nutritional value of peas is incredible, considering the small size of a pea skin.

This wonderful little vegetable is an excellent first “green” food for the baby because it is nutritious and for the most part enjoyable to eat.

brain-development-food-babies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
  • ½ medium summer squash roughly chopped
  • 2 mint leaves roughly chopped.

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of water over medium heat. Place the summer squash in a steam basket and place it on boiling water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then add peas and simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes. Steam water reserve. Allow cooling slightly.
  2. Place the summer squash, peas and mint leaves in a blender or food processor and purée for 1 minute or to the desired consistency. If the must is too thick, add 1/4 cup of the reserved steam water until it has the desired consistency.

    Tips: Sterilize the bowls and spoons used for feeding your baby in a vessel with hot water for five minutes and keep it immersed in the same vessel until use.

You can prepare this recipe using the following appliances/kitchen items
 

1.Digital Baby Food Maker Machine – 2-in-1 Steamer Cooker and Puree Blender Food Processor

2.Stainless Steel Steamer with Extendable Handle

 
 

Sweet Potato with Chives (4 to 6 months)

(Prep time: 05 min| Cooking time: 15 min| serve 1)

The nutritional value of sweet potatoes is incredible and its delicious taste is another wonderful option for a baby’s first meal.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene as well as in potassium.

They also contain a good amount of vitamin E, calcium and folic acid.

Ingredients

  • 1cup sweet potato
  • ¼ tablespoon chives finely chopped
  • ½ cup reserved steamer water breast milk or formula

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water and simmer over medium heat. Place the sweet potato in a steam basket over the boiling water, cover it and let it boil for 15 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add sweet potato and chives to a blender or food processor and reduce to a smooth puree. Add the liquid in 1/4 cup increments until the desired consistency is achieved.

Tips: Throw out what your baby doesn’t finish. Once her spoon has gone into her mouth and back into the remaining food, bacteria can grow.

Crunchy Apples Cinnamon Puree (4 to 6 months)

(Prep time: 05 min| Cooking time: 15 min| serve 1)

Apples are an excellent choice for one of the baby’s first foods. They are easy to prepare, easy to digest and rich in nutrients. Apples are also good when frozen, added to a Baby Safe Feeder and used as a teething reliever.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup breast milk or formula
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Put the apples, water, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan, cover and heat over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the apples are tender. Allow cooling slightly.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and mix for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth.
  3. Add the breast milk till desired consistency is achieved.

Tips: Make sure that there are no lumps and that the puree is completely smooth.

You can use the Baby Fruit Feeder Pacifier (2 Pack) to give this puree to your baby.

Kale and carrot puree (6 to 9months)

(Prep time: 10 min, Cooking time: 20 min, serve 1)

The health benefits of carrots for babies embrace the offer of essential vitamins and minerals.

The only reason why babies should be feed Kale is that it’s the most effective source of essential minerals for baby growth and development.

Kale has rich high amounts of calcium and magnesium, both of which are required for baby bone development.

brain-development

Ingredients

  • 1 whole medium carrot, peeled
  • 1 large handfuls fresh kale, washed

Instructions

  1. Cut carrots into strips or slices and wrap in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet and bake at 190 ° C for about half an hour or until the carrots are tender.
  2. Blend to the required consistency if needed add milk, formula or cooled boiled water.

Tips: Do steam or microwave vegetables and fruits to retain as many vitamins and minerals as possible, as opposed to boiling.

Blueberry, Quinoa, and Banana Puree (9 to 12 months)

(Prep time: 10 min, Cooking time: 20 min, serve 1)

Quinoa is rich in vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folate and vitamin E.

These are some of the most important vitamins needed for your baby’s development in different areas.

Blueberries are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre.

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup of quinoa
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ⅔ cup of water
  • 1 medium banana, chopped

Instructions

  1. Put the quinoa on a fine sieve and wash it in cold water.
  2. Add water and quinoa in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, cook over low heat and let simmer uncovered for 12 minutes until the quinoa is tender and soft.
  3. Blend quinoa with other ingredients until smooth.

Tips: Baby’s kidneys cannot tolerate salt and sodium. Do not add table salt to purees

Conclusion

From birth to five years of age, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life.

The early development of the brain has a lasting effect on a child’s ability to learn and be successful at school and in life.

The quality of a child’s first year of life, whether positive or negative, affects the development of his brain.

If you can breastfeed, breast milk is the best food you can give your baby in the first 6 months of life (and much more with supplemental nutrition).

Regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or taking baby food, consider eating time as brain development time: eye contact, smile and skin contact are positive experiences.

As your baby gets older, you should offer iron-rich foods and foods with a variety of nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables.

Buy foods such as wild salmon and other greasy fish, nuts, ground flaxseed and omega-3 enriched eggs.

Iron promotes the growth of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen to your baby’s brain.

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feeding

Best Blenders for Baby Food

The Best Blenders for Baby Food

best-blender-for-baby-food

Making good homemade baby food from natural and pure ingredients is very important, especially if you are just starting your baby on solid foods.

Solid foods can be tough on the fragile gums of your baby.

By using a blender for your baby’s food, it can be made into a sort of semi-solid paste which will be much easier for your baby to consume.

By using a blender you can get your baby off those expensive baby formulas.

However, you will need to look out for recipes to use so that your baby is properly nourished.

There are so many types and models of baby food makers in the market and it is difficult to choose from, especially when most parents don’t know much about making baby foods.

If you are looking for a quick and complete guide on the best baby food blenders, you have come to the right place.

We will brief you on the various types of Blenders available on the market along with their specifications and suggested way of using them.

This is ideal for new mothers who want to make sure that they give their babies the best food.

There are basically 2 types of baby food makers which are commonly used.

It is important that you understand the difference so you can see which works best for you

1.All in one Food Processor

These baby food makers take care of the chopping, crushing, cooking, and blending of the baby’s food in a single stage.

You just put the ingredients in the food processor and let it do everything once you have set it properly.

No need to transfer the cooked food from one bowl to another.

You can learn about the best baby food makers here.

Some models have a steamer and blender for baby food.

Some even come with storage cups and some even have a bottle warmer.

You can clean most of these in a dishwasher as the parts are dishwasher safe.

2. Blenders

This will only blend and convert the cooked food/ raw fruits into a smooth puree or a liquid, which will easily go down without any irritation to your baby.

It is a simpler gadget as compared to the food processor and has fewer parts to clean.

There are no hidden areas where bacteria can grow.

Further, you are not cooking in any plastic container when you use a blender, which prevents BPA from contaminating your baby’s food.

A good blender should have the following features

  1. It should be able to make good and consistent purees which are smooth, with various ingredients like apples, plums, beef, chicken, sweet potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables. However, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and cut the ingredient into smaller pieces and use enough liquids/water to blend the items properly.
  2. The gadget should be easy to use – easy to set up and easy to clean
  3. Safety features which include no sharp blades to cut you, no hidden spaces where bacteria can grow.

While choosing the blender for your baby food, you must look into the following considerations as well.

Blender Size

Get one which will fit into your kitchen comfortably. There should be enough counter space available to accommodate the one you buy comfortably.

Check the dimensions of the blender before you buy.

Portability

In case you need to travel a lot with your baby, you should go for the hand operated models.

However they do not grind the food finely and you need to start with smaller pieces of food

Blender processor

If you are chopping up raw foods, then you would need a larger processor.

 If you are using cooked food then a smaller processor capacity blender can be used to get the desired results

Advanced processing features

If you are looking to make your life simpler, you should go in for the Baby food processors, which although more expensive, allow you to process things the way you like them.

Especially if you are in the breast feeding stage, as you can also process the breast milk as well

Types of Blenders

There are a few different types of blenders which can be used in various applications

Immersion Blender

immersion-blender for baby food

It is a hand-held device which blends and grinds, consisting of rotating blades which cut and blend at the end of a shaft. It is also called “stick blender”, “hand blender”, hand-held mixer”

There is no designated container of jar into which you have to put in your ingredients.

You can immerse it in any container where you prepare food – a glass, a bowl or even a pot which is being cooked on your stove.

It can chop, grind, blend, puree and emulsify the food.

It saves you the effort of transferring your hot ingredients into a blender bowl and simplifies your cooking process.

You can get it in corded or cordless ( battery-operated ) models.

The cordless ones are easy to use but are heavier due to the batteries

The home models have an immersible shaft of around 6 inches.

Standard Immersion blender

  • Simple construction using low cost materials
  • Upto 2 speeds available
  • Good for simple blending tasks
  • Generally come with a mixing beaker

Stick Blenders with multiple attachments

These upgraded blenders have the following features

  • Attachements like beaker, blending jar, food chopper
  • Stronger motors for heavy duty work
  • Variable speeds for various different applications – they also have Turbo speed button
  • Made from high quality material in a compact design

Commercial heavy-duty blenders

These come with larger and longer shafts are available for professional chefs and Restaurants.

They have the following features

  • Shafts from 12” to 21”
  • High power motor
  • Variable speed controls
  • An extra handle for proper control
  • High quality material

Countertop Blenders

blender for baby food

These are largest and most commonly used blenders available in the market.

They are also called Jug or Jar blenders because of the container which is used for blending.

They are heavy gadgets which are placed on the counter and in one position.

They have powerful motors which can blend soft and hard ingredients as per your exact needs.

You can use them to blend small to large amounts of ingredients and are multi-purpose.

They have a motor base with controls and a jar is fitted on the top of this.

They are very easy to use because they have various settings to help you get the ideal end product.

Some models come with pre-programmed settings to make your job even more effortless.

Even a beginner can make an excellent smoothie with the press of a button.

Blenders for your house can be classified into 2 categories

1. Small Personal Blenders or Portable Blenders

They are small in size compared to Countertop blenders and are perfect for travelling and moving around. You can fix a great smoothie fast.

These come with cup and lid from which you can drink.

2. Blenders for Smoothies

They are used for making smoothies and crushing ice.

Although you can make smoothies with other blenders, this one makes them really smooth

These are normal blenders which can blend smoothies, frozen drinks, milkshakes and other blending of your food.

They offer larger blending capacities but the price is on the higher side

Conclusion

As you can see there are various types of blenders and before you buy one, it is important to understand the following points to make the process easy

  • What do you want to use the blender for?
  • How much can you spend?
  • How much space you have in the kitchen for the blender
  • What is the frequency of usage.

Avoid going for cheap models and they have low power and also will not be able to handle many ingredients.

Invest in a quality blender which has adequate power and should also last for a long time.

Categories
feeding

Best Baby formula for newborns

Best Baby Formula for Newborns

best baby formula for newborns

While it is advisable to breastfeed your newborn, many mothers are not in a position to breastfeed and have to supplement it partially or fully with baby formulas that provide nutrition to your baby.

But choosing which baby formula to give your newborn can be a tricky and difficult job as there are so many available in the market from a variety of manufacturers and suppliers – both online and from retail outlets.

If you are looking for a quick and complete guide on the Best Baby Formulas for newborns, you have come to the right place.

We will brief you on the various types of Baby formulas available on the market alongwith their specifications and suggested way or using them.

This is ideal for new mothers who want to make sure that they given their newborns the best nutrition which will suit them best.

The FDA ( Food and Drug Administration ) oversees all the Baby formulas manufactured and sold in the US and ensures that it meets with the specific nutritional requirements needed for newborns and infants.

So you can be confident that any formula will be safe and will contain the vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals to properly nourish your baby and ensure that they grow properly.

This guide will help you to understand the basic concepts about babies formulas.

How to choose a baby formula for your newborn

Ideally breast feeding is the optimum source of nutrition during the first one year.

But if you are not able to breastfeed and have no option but to use formulas, you must carefully choose the right one.

You should consult your paediatrician to check which formula is best for your child, as your baby should accept it and be comfortable.

 All formulas are designed to be as close to breast milk as possible, but the ingredients differ and you have to see what your child will accept.

However different formulas have varying effects on your child and your newborn can develop health problems if the correct formulas are not given.

Every baby is different so all formulas do not suit all babies.

 

Various types of baby formulas

There are three basic types of baby formulas which are based around their ingredients

Cow’s milk formula

This is made from Cow’s milk but the milk has been specially treated to make the milk protein more digestible and safe.

Milk sugar ( lactose) is added to make it like breast milk and the butterfat ( fat) is removed and replaced with other vegetable fats. This makes it easy for infants to digest and is the most commonly used type of formula available.

Most of the Cow’s milk-based formulas are iron-fortified to prevent anemia during infancy.

Iron is a mineral that is necessary for normal human growth and development. Some babies do not have enough iron to meet their needs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends that iron-fortified formula be used for all infants who are not fed on breast milk, or who are only partially given breast milk, at least till they are one year of age.

Soy based Formulas

These formulas based on the protein (soy) and carbohydrate (either glucose or sucrose) a vegan type ( for people who are strict vegetarian ) and it used only if your baby is allergic to protein which is found in cow’s milk or if the baby is lactose intolerant, which is the main ingredient of Cow’s milk formulas.

However please note that lactose-free cow’s milk based formulas are available.

Many infants may have brief periods when they are unable to digest lactose, especially after bouts of diarrhea.

However, this is generally a temporary problem and you do not require the change the diet of your baby. If the problem persists for longer periods, consult your pediatrician and he may suggest a lactose-free formula. Please remember that even a lactose-free formula will provide all the nutrition needed for your baby as does one that contains lactose.

If your child has an actual milk allergy, which causes colic, bloody stools, etc. then the allergy is to the protein in the cow’s milk formula. 

In such cases, Soy formula is the recommended alternative.

But unfortunately, almost 50% of babies who have milk allergy are also allergic to the protein in the Soy formula and they would require specialized formulas ( amino-based or elemental ) or breastfeeding.

Hydrolyzed Formulas

These are called “pre-digested” formulas as their protein content has already been broken down to smaller proteins, which can be more easily digested by an infant.

Infants who have a high risk of developing allergies and have not been sufficiently breastfed for around 4 to 6 months can develop skin problems like eczema.

This condition can be prevented or delayed by feeding them hydrolyzed or partially hydrolyzed ( hypoallergenic ) formulas.

Please remember that Hydrolyzed formulas are costlier than regular formulas.

Check with your pediatrician whether your child really needs such formulas.

Hypoallergenic Formulas

These formulas are suitable for almost the majority of babies who have food allergies which cause running nose, problems in the intestines, hives, etc.

You must also see if there is a family history of allergies.

Specialized formulas are for babies with special needs, such as high-risk allergies, premature babies and other specific conditions, etc.

You should consult your pediatrician and follow his guidance about feeding requirements since these are quite different from the regular formulas.

Different Forms of Baby formulas

Baby formulas are generally available in three forms

Powder form

Powdered baby formula is a dry powder that can be mixed easily in water.

It is the Cheapest priced option for you.

Easy to store as it requires less space and has the longest shelf life.

It is convenient to travel with as well.

Just mix it with water and shake properly and use it.

However, ensure that the powder is dissolved properly as these particles can block the opening of the bottle and create blockages during feeding.

You can Premix the bottles ahead of use,  but make sure that they are used within 24 hours of mixing if stored in a fridge. 

You can also pre-fill the bottles with the right measurements of powder when you are away from home. But add water only when you’re ready to use them.

Liquid Concentrate form

This can also be mixed with water and used.

They are just a liquid version of the powder type formulas – you just add water and do not have to worry about dissolving the powder.

However, they are a bit more expensive as they are heavier and cost more to ship and store.

It is also difficult to carry these liquid concentrate containers while moving away from home and awkward to use.

Ready-to-feed

These do not require mixing, as the name suggests and are ready to use, which makes them the most convenient for parents to use

They are available in single-use bottles and hence they are the most expensive options.

You could use limited amounts of Ready-to-feed formulas along with powder/liquid concentrate forms for late night/early morning feeds or when you are traveling.



You can read more about the various ingredients of baby formulas as recommended by FDA here