Top 10 foods for babies

Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, talks us through her best foods for babies

Weaning is such a wonderful time. You have in front of you a baby who is ready for food; who has an open mind and an open palate. You can introduce a wide and wonderful variety of flavours, textures and nutrition, shape your baby's tastes and help create a foundation of health that will last a lifetime.

Brown rice
Because brown rice is refined as little as possible, it carries all of the nutrients that nature meant you to eat - fibre, manganese, B vitamins, iron, essential fatty acids and more.

Try this recipe from Renée: Spinach bake

Quinoa
A little known grain that is gluten-free, tasty, easy to cook - and absolutely packed with protein.

Try this recipe from Renée: Toasted quinoa and vegetable salad

Butternut squash
I love butternut squash because it is naturally sweet, very easily digested, beautifully coloured and nutritionally a great addition to anyone’s diet.

Broccoli
Another great vegetable is broccoli. Often steamed to death or drowned in some unnecessary sauce, I love broccoli simply steamed. Broccoli has a noteworthy list of nutrients, one of them being an excellent source of calcium.

Try this recipe from Renée: Saucy steam-fry

Avocado
My other all-time favourite vegetable (although it’s really a fruit), is avocado. A great source of good fat, avocados are so packed with goodness that they can be thought of as a complete food.

Try this recipe from Renée: Guacamole

Apples
I’m a huge fan of apples. Sometimes forgotten about because they are so common, apples are well worth eating often. They have such a combination of nutrients that they benefit us in many ways.

Beans
Beans are great food and contain a wider variety of healthy nutrients than many foods, so they promote great health. Choose from black, white, red, yellow, green, mottled and more.

Sardines
My favourite fast food is sardines, straight out of the tin. If you give your baby fish - make it sardines, which are loaded with essential fatty acids, high in protein and combine calcium with vitamin D.

Oil
Once your baby starts weaning, make sure you give him or her some good-quality oil each day. Most people are lacking in essential fatty acids, which provide vital nutrients and aid brain and nerve development.

Try this recipe from Renée: Toasted quinoa and vegetable salad

Yoghurt
Plain, unsweetened, live yoghurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, but its main attribute is the live cultures that we need in our guts and to keep our immune systems strong.

Try these recipes from Renée: Spinach bake, Prawn pasta bake, Berry and oat porridge

So, there you have it, ten great foods to include in your baby’s diet each week.

Happy eating!

Read more from Renee in her book

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