Many parents are aware that babies have a very high need for calories for their small size. The majority of these needs are met by breast milk or formula, but at around 6 months of age complementary foods need to start being introduced as well to help them meet all their needs. All the way through two years, they have very high needs for calories and fat in order for them to achieve optimal development. Here are some ideas that can help you offer as many calories as you can to your baby.
What needs to be on your baby or toddler’s plate
I always recommend that up through 2 years of age you build your child’s plate by focusing on an iron-rich food, a high calorie food, and a fruit or veggie at every meal. Head here for more details on this. Simplifying building a plate using these guidelines can really help to make meals easier.
If you have a baby who is falling off of their growth curve and needs to gain weight, make sure you head here for some tips specific for weight gain.
What foods belong in the high-calorie foods category
You can look at this category two different ways. One, you can focus specifically on high-fat foods for babies like oils, butter, or avocados. Things that we all know have a very high fat content and therefore give you a lot of bang for your buck calorie-wise.
You can also think of the high-calorie category as a little bit more of a catch-all category. When you think about it, things like sweet potatoes, bread and tortillas, many grains, and even beans can be considered high-calorie. Essentially, they provide the bulk of many meals, and are what kids tend to gravitate towards. Many of these can be further optimized simply by adding some of the high-fat foods like oils and butters I mentioned above.
I tend to go for the second option, and focus on making sure I’ve got something along these lines on a plate, with an additional fat source added if I feel the need to offer more calories at a specific meal.
While this list is far from exhaustive, hopefully it will give you a good place to start when it comes to feeding your baby!
For a full run down of what should be on your baby’s plate, as well as how you should serve it to help foster a positive relationship with food, make sure you grab the Starting Solids course. It walks you through everything you need to know to get your baby started on their eating journey confidently! And if your baby or toddler is older and you still aren’t sure about the foods you should be serving them, grab the Grow Baby Grow Ebook for help with that!
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