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Baby Foods: Rich in Calcium
Did you know the Calcium in your body not only strengthens your bones but keeps the pH level balanced, saves you from being prone to chronic diseases and does many wonders with your health? Well, Calcium is a vital element in the human body and it must be present inside in a balanced amount. What about the need of calcium in the diet of the babies below 1 year? Babies also require calcium for maximum growth, strong bones and a great metabolism.
List of Calcium Rich Baby Foods
Breastfeeding: The Best Food for Babies
Human milk is the best source of calcium for the babies below 1 year. Even the pediatricians suggest only breast milk for the newborns and the babies below 1 year as there is sufficient calcium in breast milk and least chances of contamination. Calcium shouldn’t be only mandatory for the babies but the new moms must consider including the calcium rich foods in their diet. For small babies, the need for calcium is lower and there is no requirement of introducing external source of calcium in their diet. In case, the mom is not able to breastfeed or facing troubles in breastfeeding in an adequate amount, the formula milk enriched with calcium can be tried.
6 months of Exclusive breastfeeding extended to 2 years along with Solids (after 6 months) is highly recommended. The mother should include calcium rich foods like Listed below for the baby so she doesn’t face any calcium deficiency. By default mothers body will first ensure the calcium contents are adequate in breast milk.
Raggi/Ragi/Finger Millet: Tasty and Healthy
It’s indeed a struggle to prepare healthy cum tasty food for babies. As a mom, you need to take care of the allergy, side effects and dietary needs according to your baby’s age. When it’s about including a safe external source of calcium in your baby’s diet, Raggi can be a great pick. Ragi is a high fiber content rich in calcium and Vitamin D. It combats with various health issues like anemia, high cholesterol level, insomnia, headache and weakness of bone. Its non-allergic nature is a bonanza.
More about Health Benefits of Raggi: Read Here
How to make a Raggi Porridge here: Read More
Almond: Yes, The Nuts
Almonds are synonymous to strength and it’s known to everyone. It is a big source of calcium. Almonds are perfectly okay for all age groups as it provides energy and reinforces the bones but when it comes to your baby’s diet, especially babies below 1 year old, there must be a control over the almond serving. The ‘king of nuts’ is full of nutrients but it contains Magnesium and Oxalate as well. A balanced amount of almonds in your baby’s diet will make him sharp, strong and active. Almonds have zero cholesterol and hence there is no health risk associated with it if a balanced amount is served every day. A selection of recipes can be prepared using the almond powder or paste. It’s better to soak the almonds in clean water overnight to make them soft and use as a paste or powder in the morning. The peels of almonds are hard to digest hence the method.
Fish: For healthy Bones and Brain
When you baby grows up a bit, say above 6 months, he needs his share of DHA. It can be provided through a range of dietary elements. Fishes are a great source of DHA and they boost your baby’s mental growth and calcium cravings. If you are ready to offer a non-veg diet to your baby and your baby is ready to eat solid food then weekly fish intake can be a boon to his health. Fishes usually contain around 20 mg of Calcium per 120g of serving. Salmons, Sardines and Anchovies are the suitable calcium-rich fishes for your baby. Stay away from mercury-rich fishes and shellfish.
If you are still wondering what types of fishes are good for your baby, you can explore the complete curated list of Safe Fish for Babies here.
Spinach: Go Green
Spinach is one of the most suggested green veggies for every age group. Including spinach in everyday dietary program can boost your baby’s health. If you are willing to take a break from the dairy products, spinach can be considered as a vital everyday nutrient offering leafy source. Spinach is a million dollar dietary element for all age groups. It not only contains a significant amount of calcium but a decent percentage of Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin C, A and K are also present in spinach offering various benefits to your baby. It’s true that you may need to provide multiple servings of spinach to fulfill your baby’s calcium requirement. Spinach is green, easy-to-cook, cheap and easily available in the market.
Calcium is majorly responsible for the teeth and bone health. There are other wonderful benefits of calcium as well like activation of food to energy converting enzymes, boosting the muscles and neuro-health and prevention from various health issues. But, the amount of calcium served matters a lot for various age groups. The recommended amount of calcium in the baby diet depends on the age. Here is a brief chart to help you understand the WHO recommended need of calcium with age.
How Much Calcium Does A Baby Need
|AGE||Amount of Calcium|
|For 0-6 months||300 mg/day|
|For 7-12 months||450 mg/day|
|For 1-3 years||500 mg/day|
|For 4-6 years||550 mg/day|
|For 7-9 years||700 mg/day|
|For 9-18 years||1000 mg/day|
When your baby grows, his digestive system becomes stronger and the increment in the calcium intake no more affects his health.
Calcium Rich Foods which are NOT good for Babies <1yr
Well, all calcium-rich foods are not a boon for your baby
It’s true that your baby needs calcium for a great bone health and mental growth but you can’t afford anything and everything for your baby that has calcium. Here are some calcium-rich dietary elements that should be avoided for the babies.
Animal Milk/Cow Milk: Hard to Digest
Breast milk and formula milk is more than enough for the babies below 1 year. They get all the essential nutrients like irons and vitamins from it. Mom’s milk or human milk is suitable for the fragile digestive system of the newborns and the babies below 1 year. Animal milk can be a great pick for the babies above 1 year and above but not for the babies that have not celebrated their first birthday yet. The concentration of protein and other nutrients in animal milk makes it difficult to digest by a small baby. In some cases, an irritation in the baby’s digestive system has also been seen due to the consumption of cow milk.
Soya Milk / Tofu: Common Allergen
Soya may be an energy and growth booster for the adults but the small babies below 1 year may not be able to avail it like adults. Soy or tofu usually contains phytic acid which affects the absorption of Magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and other elements in the body and restricts your baby’s growth. It is also an allergen element that must be avoided in the baby diet.
Cheese: Hard to Digest
Feeding small amount of cheese is perfectly okay but wait till your baby crosses the 10 month milestone. The babies below 10 months are usually not able to digest cheese properly and experience problems with their stool.
Sesame: Common Allergen
Sesame is an allergen food for babies. It’s suggested that if any skin or health issue is noticed in the baby after the introduction of a new dietary element, the parents must consult with the child specialist doctors. The sesame seeds often cause allergy in the babies below 1 year. Nowadays, the sesame seeds are immensely being used in a range of products like baby biscuits, salads and breads. The skin allergies are the best way to understand that your baby doesn’t deserve the sesame seeds of foods including sesame seeds yet.
Shellfish: Common Allergen
Shellfish are rich source of calcium specially the hard shell of these species of fish. But they are common allergen in babies too. So avoid feeding prawns, crab, clams to babies.
Baby food is not a rocket science but a wise selection of healthy foods for babies is very necessary to avoid allergies, constipation and loose motion kind of common food reactions. Hence select only safe to feed calcium rich foods to your baby.