Ensuring your baby is getting enough nutrients for healthy development can be overwhelming and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be.
Nutritionist, Michaela Sparrow, shares her favourite simple & affordable ingredients you can easily incorporate into your baby’s diet to support healthy growth, brain development, gut health and general nutrition.
Getting babies and young children to eat enough greens can be hard especially if they are not keen on many of the bitter vegetables. Sprouts are an amazing way to get plenty of greens into your baby’s diet without them even knowing. The key is to use a variety of different sprouts to ensure you are covering all their nutritional needs.
My favourite sprouts are lentil sprouts, chickpea sprouts & mungbean sprouts. Combining these three varieties will provide an amazing amount of nutrients, protein and fibre all so important for developing babies.
Why do I love this combo of sprouts for babies?
Rich in Vitamin C: Plays an important role in the development of bones and teeth and also supports a healthy immune system.
Rich in Iron: Needed for healthy brain development. A deficiency can lead to developmental delays and learning disorders.
Vitamin A: This Vitamin is essential to support the rapid growth that occurs in babies and to also support healthy mucous membrane development & immune function to fight infections.
High in Folate: Needed for healthy brain & nervous system development, it also plays a vital role in DNA/RNA production (the building blocks of our cells) and also in energy production.
High in Magnesium: A vital mineral that has over 300 functions in the body. Healthy levels are needed for good sleep, mood regulation, nervous system support, bowel regulation and also aids in the absorption of other nutrients like calcium & vitamin d.
They are also an ideal food to help protect your baby from all the chemicals and pollution that they are bound to be exposed to in their lives. Mash them through any meal you like, blend through a smoothie.
I really like a product called Crunchy Combo by Aussie Sprouts, it contains all of my favourite varieties of sprouts, is Australian owned and grown and found at most of the major supermarkets.
These are a great food to add into bubs diet. Rich in healthy fats (vital for healthy brain development) they are also high in fibre, folate (a crucial nutrient required during times of rapid growth such as solid eating babies), magnesium, vitamin c and more.
The great thing about avocados is they are so versatile, mash one with together with the rest of the ingredients I have recommended below so the most supercharged healthy meal your baby could eat.
Salmon has one of the highest sources of EPA & DHA (omega 3 fatty acids) which are essential for healthy brain, nerve & eye development. In fact studies have shown a long term deficiency of these nutrients can lead to anger, depression and inability to properly regulate emotions, so it is important you start early in ensuring that your baby is getting enough of the essential fatty acids for healthy brain and neurotransmitter health.
Hemp & Chia seeds
Both of these are super versatile and when combined together make an incredible superfood feast. Rich in all the nutrients needed for developing babies including b vitamins, zinc, iron, magnesium, fibre, fatty acids and more, they are an easy way to supercharge your babies nutrition.
Try making a chia pudding with hemp seeds. Tip: Always soak the chia seeds In water for at least 5 minutes before feeding so that they can be easily broken down in the digestive system.
By Michaela Sparrow: Naturopath, Nutritionist, Anti-Ageing Practitioner @thelongevityremedy
ZUCCHINI, SWEET CORN & ALFALFA MUFFINS
These delicious savoury muffins make great finger food for babies and toddlers and are a perfect addition to lunch boxes for both kids and adults.
They’re loaded with fibre and protein and are an excellent way to get some extra veggies into fussy eaters.
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
- 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 ½ large zucchinis)
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup Aussie Sprouts alfalfa
- 1/2 cup tinned sweet corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 1/4cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Grease muffin tray with butter or line with paper cases.
- Combine eggs and flour in a large bowl and give them a quick whisk to remove any lumps (don’t over whisk).
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour into the greased muffin tray, filling to 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown (10 minutes for mini muffins).
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
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