Every parent wants their child to be healthy and intelligent. Brain development is influenced by various factors, including genetic traits and daily nutritional intake. S
tarting at the age of six months, you can introduce complementary feeding or solid foods (known as MPASI) to ensure your baby’s nutritional needs are met. By this age, the baby’s digestive system and development are more developed.
Even though the baby’s digestive system is more mature, it’s essential to provide solid foods thoughtfully. Pay close attention to the nutritional content of these foods. Here are several nutrient-rich MPASI options that can stimulate your baby’s brain development.
Many pediatricians recommend introducing solid foods gradually to support a baby’s growth and development. As a first step, you can offer soft-textured foods like porridge with added fermented milk or yogurt.
Yogurt is rich in nutrients such as calcium, protein, and healthy fats. These nutrients can promote the growth of brain cells. Additionally, yogurt can be used as a probiotic to strengthen a baby’s microbiome.
Yogurt’s soft texture is suitable for babies aged six months and older, but it’s best to introduce it gradually. For example, start with one serving per day and increase to two servings as your baby grows.
2. Papaya Porridge
Papaya is an excellent choice for MPASI due to its high content of the enzyme papain, which aids digestion in your baby’s stomach. Besides papain, papaya is rich in folic acid and iron, which support brain development. It also helps maintain your baby’s bone health with the supply of nutrients like zinc and calcium.
You can create a nutritious papaya porridge to ensure your baby receives all these essential nutrients.
3. Avocado Porridge
Have you considered introducing avocados to your baby’s diet as solid food? If not, it’s a good time to start. Avocados are packed with nutrients that promote brain development, including minerals, healthy fats, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
The healthy fats in avocados are essential for your baby’s growth, particularly for brain cell development. The soft texture of avocados makes it easy for babies to eat.
Cheese offers various health benefits for both babies and adults. One of these benefits is its role in promoting the development of nerve and brain cell fibers. This is due to its content of fatty acids, linolenic, and linoleic acids.
You can introduce small, soft cheese portions to your baby when they are ready for various food textures. Alternatively, you can blend cheese with pureed fruits or vegetables for safety.
Eggs are an affordable and nutritious option for supporting your baby’s development. They contain many crucial nutrients that aid in brain development, especially choline and DHA.
6. Pear and Apple Porridge
Similar to adults, babies can become bored with a repetitive diet. You can introduce variety by incorporating apples and pears into your baby’s meals. These fruits provide essential nutrients for brain development, such as water, amino acids, and minerals. However, it’s best to introduce these fruits when your baby is seven months or older, as they usually become more receptive to different tastes at this age.
7. Steamed Rice with Fish
As your baby grows, you can progress to more diverse textures in their complementary feeding. After introducing various pureed foods made from milk, vegetables, or fruits, you can transition to rice with fish.
Fish and seafood, containing DHA, folic acid, fats, proteins, and high mineral content, can significantly enhance your baby’s intelligence and overall development. Start with one serving of rice and fish per day, and increase to two servings daily when your baby reaches seven months or older.
Making fish porridge is a simple process: boil rice and the chosen fish, and blend it into a smooth consistency for your baby.
8. Green Vegetable Porridge
Besides the options mentioned above, you can incorporate various green vegetables into your baby’s diet. Green vegetables offer essential nutrients for your baby’s development, including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These antioxidants help protect your baby’s health from air pollution and free radicals, which babies often encounter during outdoor activities.
Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cabbage are particularly high in natural fiber, which is beneficial for your baby’s digestion.
Creating green vegetable porridge is straightforward. First, steam the vegetables and then blend them until smooth. For extra taste and nutrition, you can add steamed and pureed carrots.
Lentils are legumes with a soft texture that can be used to prepare complementary feeding for your baby. Unlike most legumes, lentils don’t require soaking or boiling before preparation. This makes lentils a convenient option for baby food.
Lentils contain essential nutrients, such as fiber, protein, and iron, that are beneficial for your baby’s brain development.
With these nutritious MPASI options for babies aged six months and older, you can support both their nutritional needs and brain development. By offering a variety of nutrient-rich foods, you can enhance your baby’s intelligence. Good luck in trying these options!