• Unified Brain Health Care

Starting Solids for your Baby- Focus on The Most Important Foods

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Ms. Deepika T., Clinical Nutritionist, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Specialist, Unified Brain Health Care


Nutritional requirements increase by manifold when babies reach six months of age. Focusing on essential nutrients is crucial as you begin the exciting process of starting solid foods. Growth spurt is rapid during infancy and so nutrient-dense foods to support your baby’s growth and brain development is important. The right balance of these crucial nutrients, appropriate for your babies needs are listed below


1. Energy: Infants during 6-12 months of age require 670 kcals/day. Of the energy supplied 50 percent is used for basal energy, 25 percent for activity and 25 percent for growth. Extremely active children may utilize more energy and hence there will not be weight gain unless additional calories are given. After six months of age, only 60 percent of energy requirement is met by breast milk and for the rest supplementary foods have to be given.

Where to find it?

Try to include whole grain cereals like rice, ragi, whole wheat, oats etc. at every meal for your baby, which helps to raise the calorie content of the meal.


2. Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3 is essential for the growing brain and is responsible for vision and development of the eye. This nutrient is essential as your baby’s body can't make it and it can be obtained only through food.

Where to find it?

Include oily fish, nuts & seeds once or twice a week in your baby's weaning diet.


3, Calcium: This nutrient is crucial to help them build strong bones and teeth.

Where to find it?

Dairy foods like milk , curd and yogurt are an excellent source of calcium. It is recommended that you include at least one serving of dairy product every day in your little one’s diet.


4. Iron: Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiency seen in babies and toddlers . This is linked with sensory and cognitive impairments. Generally infants are born with iron stores sufficient to last for four to five months. The needs greatly increase as the child grows. So iron-rich foods need to be introduced early in your baby’s weaning journey.

Where to find it?

Green leafy vegetables, sprouts, egg yolk, chicken are the best sources of iron during the weaning phase .


5. Vitamin A: Vitamin A, plays a key role in your baby’s body to build their immune system. In addition, it is also essential for healthy skin and vision.

Where to find it?

Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes and other orange colored fruits and vegetables which contain carotene that converts to vitamin A.


6. Vitamin C: This vitamin is really important for your baby’s general health and wellbeing. They help in boosting the immune system and play a major role in iron absorption, so serve iron rich foods along with foods rich in vitamin C.

Where to find it?

Vitamin C is predominantly found in citrus foods like orange, lime, gooseberry, guava, strawberry, capsicum etc. Including more variety of fruits and vegetables is the best way to meet this nutrient in your baby’s diet.


Contact Us for help in doing the weaning journey for your baby right. Consult with our Infant and Young Child Feeding specialist if you have concerns about your child's mealtimes.

Unified Brain Health Care is one of a kind Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in Chennai for adults and children offering in person and online therapy in Cognitive Rehabilitation, Clinical Psychology, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Clinical Nutrition, Career Counselling, Fitness Coaching and Educational Intervention. We also offer help for PCOS, care during pregnancy, post-pregnancy care for new moms, infant and early childhood stimulation, care for caregivers and promote holistic brain health.