08 July, 2011
High-Fat, Non-Dairy Foods for Babies
For an infant's first four to six months of life, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding only breast milk, and formula-fed babies should only receive formula until that age. Around 8 to 12 months, though, you can introduce pureed baby foods and tiny bits of table food. If your baby is lactose-intolerant or can't have dairy foods, there are plenty of food choices that contain healthy fats for growing babies.
Avocados are a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which also boost a baby's caloric intake. Try slicing an avocado in half and mashing it up, then offer it to baby with a spoon. When he's ready for table foods and to feed himself, cut small pieces of the avocado and offer them to your little one with lunch or dinner or as a snack.
Meat and Fish
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are also heart-healthy fats. The fish also flakes off into tiny pieces that are easy for baby to nibble or gum. Try baking salmon and offering your baby flakes and chopped-up small pieces of salmon. You can also prepare ground beef served in fine pieces for baby, as it's high in fat, protein and iron. Because ground beef can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat, serve it only occasionally.
Whether you're preparing baby's pasta or cooking a little meat, try a light coating of olive oil, canola oil or vegetable oils. These types of oils contain unsaturated, healthy fats to help baby grow without clogging his little arteries. Ground flaxseed is another source of omega-3 fatty acids, so try sprinkling it on baby's oatmeal or rice cereal for added healthy fat.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
Baby's first year is a busy one, and he needs extra fat as his body develops. It's important to establish healthy eating habits and feed baby healthy forms of fat instead of too many desserts or potato chips. Talk to your pediatrician about an appropriate amount of fat and calories for your baby and about concerns about lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy.
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