- Breastmilk – is the natural and perfect first food for your baby. It has the correct proportions and amounts of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals to meet the baby needs for the first six months of life.
- Cereals- lugaw is the first semi-solid food given to the baby. After 8 months, move to thicker lugaw to soft cooked rice. By ten months, your baby may share the family rice. Make lugaw a delicious food for your baby by adding breastmilk or formula. Eggyolk and dilis powder may be also added to lugaw.
- Rootcrops like kamote and potato – serve this energy and fiber rich foods to your baby. Mash it and enrich with milk.
- Fruits like mango, papaya, banana (especially ripe latundan at first) provide a variety of nutrients for good health. Mango and papaya are good sources of vitamin C which your baby needs to keep gums healthy, prevent easy bruising, and help the body fight infection.
- Yellow vegetables like carrots and squash – are rich sources of beta-carotene for your baby’s clear eyesight, smooth and healthy skin, glossy hair, good growth, and resistance to infections. Green leafy vegetables like kamote tops, kangkong, petsay, and malunggay are common sources of b-carotene. These foods also contain minerals like iron for healthy blood and calcium for strong bone and teeth, and fiber.
- Egg – is packed with protein, which builds and repairs muscles, and vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. One-half cooked eggyolk is usually given when your baby is seven months old. Because of allergy-producing qualities of eggwhite you should wait to give it to your baby when he/she is 11 months old.
- Legumes/beans – are relatively cheap sources of protein and are good sources of B-complex vitamins and iron. Prepare mashed beans for your 10-11 month-old baby e.g. when you are serving munggo gisado to your family. Set aside a small amount of unseasoned munggo, mash it and enrich it with milk.
- Meat/Fish/Poultry – an excellent source of protein for growth and repair of body tissues, highly absorbable iron for healthy blood, as well as vitamins and other minerals, such as zinc for immunity. At six months, introduce foods with a “chewier” texture like minced or finely chopped meat, fish, and poultry.
- Other Foods like custards, simple puddings, plain gulaman or jello for extra fiber. Biskotso, biscuits or any crisp toast is also good when your baby starts teething.
- Water and beverages – Your baby can begin learning to drink from a cup around six to seven months, water and juice are acceptable choices. Put an ounce of water or 3-4 ounces of natural or fortified juice in the cup. Feeding juice in bottles or putting your baby to bed with bottles can contribute to early childhood tooth decay. Fruit juice should be served as part of a meal or snack, not “sipped” throughout the day. Your baby does not digest juice well and may have diarrhea from drinking too much of it.
Fats and oils may be incorporated to the prepared diet by adding them to the rice gruel or mashed vegetables or serve in either sautéed or fried dishes for your baby after six months of age. By 12 months, your child can already eat the family diet. Soft foods and processed foods fortified with vitamins and minerals are appropriate.
For more information on food and nutrition, you may write or call: The Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Tagig, Metro Manila, Tel./Fax: 8372934, 8373164; E-mail: [email protected] ; FNRI-DOST website: http// [email protected]