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Baby’s First Year: A Balanced Plate

By Lindsey Paris, Redhead Baby Mama

Baby’s First Year: A Balanced Plate
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Happy Birthday, Scarlett!! You’re one year old! I can NOT believe that my little baby has already hit such a major milestone. The little stinker is talking, crawling, standing and interacting with everything. Scarlett is finally using her big-girl sippy cup with each drink and tasting more foods with every meal. As I look back at her journey over the last six months, I’m astounded with our progress. From mastering nursing to her first bites followed by trying to keep more veggies in Scarlett’s diet, we’ve come a long way with no signs of slowing down.

I’ve been going through a few pages of Beech-Nut’s Guide to What Baby Eats Now to keep myself on track. I’m proud to realize that I’ve been naturally using some of Beech-Nut’s tips like blending up a food that was originally prepared for the family dinner, like roasted sweet potatoes with salt and pepper. Scarlett can enjoy some of these foods with the family at the table, and it saves on extra preparation. Of course, it also lets her try some flavors she hasn’t had before! I also keep Scarlett close to the kitchen in her high chair as I cook so she can experience the aromas. In a relatively short period she’s encountered cumin with our Mexican-inspired dishes, cinnamon with her Beech-Nut just apples, and paprika in my Southern chicken dishes.

baby’s first year nutrients

Scarlett has also been consuming the all-important carotenoids and beta-carotene (inflammation-fighting carotenoids) that gives the red and yellow colors to foods like tomatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes. That girl LOVES her orange foods! Since I learned from the Guide to What Baby Eats Now that carotenoids are better absorbed when eaten with fats, I’ve been serving up her favorite sweet potatoes with scrambled eggs or a personal favorite, tomatoes with avocados (or her beloved apple, raspberry and avocado puree). It’s been a personal goal of mine to expand Scarlett’s diet to include a wide array of nutrients and vegetables. She’s been doing an amazing job of trying new foods; it’s been worlds different from my first child. Red was a bit more picky, and I didn’t know as much as I do now about making sure to keep trying if they don’t love something at first.

nutrients for baby’s first year

This chart is just one page from Beech-Nut’s super helpful Guide to What Baby Eats Now for your baby’s first year. I’m so proud to say that my Scarlett has tried most of these foods, and has at least one from every category each week. I know that a baby’s diet is most balanced when they are in the “baby food” stage, and as we continue to transition her to table food, I want to make sure she’s getting proper nutrients.

So what is your baby eating right now? What is their favorite combination of flavors? Are they getting the nutrients they really need? I challenge you to take a look at your baby’s first year of foods!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Beech-Nut and originally appeared on Redhead Baby Mama. All opinions and thoughts expressed come from Lindsey.