Non-Vegetarian Food : Good or Bad For The Baby
Many celebrities are nowadays promoting a healthy lifestyle by going vegan or vegetarian and after looking at them many of their followers are also doing the same, and there is nothing wrong in that we appreciate their food choices at least somebody is giving a thought to animal cruelty.
But this notion of non-vegetarian food being bad puts parents in the dilemma of whether they should feed meat/fish to their children or not. They have so many queries regarding healthy food for children and for the right reasons because nobody wants to interfere with the process of a child’s growth and development with silly diets.
So let’s discuss today what non-vegetarian food is good for babies and if yes, what is the right age and how to introduce it to them?
Of course yes, Because Vit. B12 is present only in non-veg foods so its adequate intake is not an issue for people who eat non-veg diets.
According to experts, the baby’s digestive system is ready for solids as well as non-veg foods around 6-7 months. However, it is good to wean babies on plant foods first, and then slowly start introducing non-vegetarian foods too in small quantities so that they will get time to adapt to their new diet.
Steps for the initial introduction of non-veg. foods into baby’s diet
A- Soups and purees
Initially to help them acquire a taste of these foods chicken soup can be prepared along with other vegetables. That way they will get used to the taste and then you can proceed with purees and stuff. Purees are not a choking hazard for babies and are easy to swallow and digest.
B- Small quantity-
Introducing small amounts of chicken liver into a baby’s diet is a good idea as it is rich in Vitamin A, and an important vitamin for good eyesight, immunity and development of the body’s organs.
C- Balanced diet
Meat should be only a small part of your baby’s diet and they should have enough carbs and veggies too in their diet, you can give meat twice a week and then gradually to one meal a day.
D- Avoid raw and processed meat
Feeding raw meat to a baby is very dangerous as it can lead to infections like salmonella or some other dangerous diseases so always cook your meat properly and hygienically. Also never give them processed foods like sausage and salami and hams as they are rich in nitrates and contain carcinogenic compounds.
Some precautionary measures to keep in mind –
- Baby’s kidneys are not well developed to absorb a large number of proteins so meat should only be a small part of their diet, not the complete diet.
- Don’t feed them too much liver as it can cause vit. A toxicity will lead to poor absorption of vit. D resulting in bone damage.
- Some babies can have an allergic reaction to meat or fish so always consult your doctor if you are in doubt.
- If the baby’s diet lacks fibre it can lead to constipation and irritated baby.
- After feeding meat/fish don’t give milk immediately to the baby otherwise it will lead to digestive issues.
Although animal-based foods are a very good source of nutrition, that doesn’t mean that you should forcefully feed them to your baby. Always keep in mind that if your baby is not relishing these foods don’t feed it to them.
And if your religious, psychological or traditional values are not allowing you then don’t feed these foods to your baby.
As there are so many plant-based foods also with high nutritional value like cottage cheese, lentils, soy products, and many more which are very good for babies and will meet their growing nutritional needs.
It is best to always consult your doctor before introducing any new food to your baby.
Ruchi is a 24×7 on duty mom to a 1 year old apart from that she also juggles her time to manage her freelancing job and her daily chores.
she was always passionate about writing and being a mom gave her so many experiences to write about.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.