Top 10 Foods That Promote Brain Growth in Children

July 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Baby Food



A healthy, balanced diet is not just good for kid’s bodies; it’s good for their brains, too. Growing bodies need many types of nutrients. The right foods can improve brain function, memory and concentration. Like the body the brain also absorbs nutrients from the food we eat. Although brain growth is well advanced by birth, your child’s brain continues to grow and develop long after. The brain cells need specific nutritional needs and missing out on a particular nutrient at the time when a part of the brain is growing can cause problems. Some of the brain foods aren’t kid’s favorites- yet if you are willing to be patient and offer them regularly they soon will be liking the food.

Vitamin nutrients are the intelligent nutrients that keep the brain in tune. They are key to building and rebuilding the brain. They mainly come from fruits, vegetables and whole foods and can be supplemented for optimum brain performance.

These foods can help kids stay sharp and affect how their brains develop well into the future.

  • WATER:  Water is an overlooked food. Children often run around in a state of relative dehydration. Dehydration, even a mild case, makes children listless, lethargic and irritable. Too little water creates false hunger in children, so they make poor food choices. Offer water at every meal, especially after an active day.
  • MILK: Fat free milk is well known as a great source of protein, vitamin D and phosphorus. Milk stimulates brain growth in children. It also boosts cognitive performance- either because it improves general nutrition or because it specifically promotes brain growth. Vitamin D insufficiency is a risk factor for variety disease- diabetes; cancer etc. vitamin D fortified milk may help children avoid developing such diseases.
  • OILY FISH:  Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are a great source of omega- 3 fatty acids and vitamins which protects the brain from declining mental skills and memory loss. The more omega-3s we can get to the brain, the better it will function and the better kids will be able to focus. Children who get more of theses fatty acids in their diet have sharper minds and do better at mental skills tests. 
  • EGGS: Eggs are well known as a great protein source- but the egg yolks are also packed with choline, which helps memory development. Choline is vital for the creation of memory stem cells, formed deep within our brains. The more cells we have, the better our memories.
  • VEGGIES: Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrot, spinach- vegetables with rich, deep color are the best sources of antioxidants that keep brain cells strong and healthy. Fruits and vegetables may play an important role in preventing the long term effects of oxidative stress on brain function.  Full of folate and vitamins, kale are linked to lower odds of getting dementia later in life. Kale is a super food, packed with antioxidants and other things that help new brain cells grow.
  • BERRIES: Strawberries and blueberries these two juicy favorites are ultra high in antioxidants. Children have showed improved memory with the extracts of blueberries and strawberries. The more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries. Berries boost high levels of antioxidants, especially in vitamin C, which will help prevent cancer. A diet rich in such brain foods boosts the cognitive functioning of children. The seeds from berries are also a good source of omega-3 fats.
  • SUGAR: Sugar is your brain’s super fuel. Too much fast sugar means a blood sugar high and hyper activity. The excess sugar in the blood gets dumped into storage as abdominal fat. Eating little and often helps keep your child’s energy and concentration even. Too much sugar may make your child hyperactive and he may find it hard to concentrate. Too little sugar may make the child tired, irritable and he may find it hard to concentrate. It’s better to know to give your child the “right types and right amount at the right time”.
  • OATS: Oats provide excellent energy or fuel for the brain that kids need first thing in the morning. Loaded with fiber, oats keep a child’s brain fed all morning at school. Oats are also a good source of vitamin E, Vitamin B, potassium and zinc which make our body and brain function at full capacity. Kids who eat oats do better memory related school tasks. Oats is one of the most familiar hot cereals for kids and a very nutritious grain for the brain.
  • AVOCADO: A real power- house food, full of that other essential fatty acids, omega-6, which is also key for brain development. Avocado is full of carbohydrates and fats as well as proteins needed for the crucial growth of a child. “Right fats can build a better brain”. Avocados are often called one of nature’s perfect foods because it contains everything a person need to survive. A wonderful “good fat” food for baby’s brain. Avocado makes a great first food for baby due to its texture and creaminess; an extra bonus is that avocado is full or good fats and has a high nutrient content.
  • PEANUTS: Peanuts are a great snack food being rich in protein, niacin, monounsaturated fats and folate.  Their high vitamin E content protects brain cell membranes.  Peanut and peanut butter are a good source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects nervous membranes-plus thiamine to help the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy.

A child’s nourishment during the first years of life can affect the ability to learn, communicate, socialize and adapt to new environments and people.  Making sure that your child gets those particular nutrients needed during the first years of life will help to ensure the brain growths and develop optimally. You will have to pay attention to make sure your child gets a good source of the brain nutrients.



Best 8 Weaning Foods for your Baby

November 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Baby Food

best-weaning-foods-for-babyIt is generally observed that mothers are eager and enthusiastic to start giving their babies foods other than breast milk. When the time approaches to make the change, she keeps guessing as to “what food will be ideal for my baby”?.

Listed below are the best 8 weaning foods for your baby. These foods will be easy for your baby’s little tummy and is the best weaning option.

Important Weaning Foods for your Baby


Preferably start with fresh and clear fruit juices, ensure filtering. Select fruits that is available all through the year. Apple is the best choice. Peel an apple, cut it into small pieces and  boil it in a pan. When cooked mash the apple with a flat spoon or your hand and use a strainer for filtering. Collect the juice in a container. Feed spoonfuls of the clear apple juice to your baby in the beginning.

Also read: Tender Coconut water is better than Baby’s Formula Milk

Remembering the popular saying,”An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Dal pani:

You can soak mung dhal/ split Green gram in water for 3 hrs. Drain the water, wash and cook in double the quantity of water. When the dal has cooked and turns soft, drain the cooked dhal thru’ a strainer and when lukewarm offer few spoonfuls at a time.

You can start with these liquids till the baby is six months old. Offer the below foods when the baby is over six months.


If your baby enjoys having fruit juice shift to apple puree. Peel the apple, cut into small pieces and cook in a shallow pan. Mash it with a flat ladle when hot. When it cools serve your hungry baby. You can try the same recipe with a pear also.

An over ripe banana can be mashed and fed without any lumps. Feed your baby and he is definitely gonna enjoy. You can serve orange juice too after filtering.

Gradually alternate with papaya, mango and chickoo (sapota). Always remember to introduce one fruit at a time to avoid indigestion.

Related reading: Feeding Ripe Mango will Protect your Baby from Summer heat


best-weaning-foods-for-babyVegetables like carrot, potato, tomatoes are a good start. Make sure the veggies are washed properly, peeled and then cooked. Carrots and potatoes can be hand mashed and fed with a little salt, Tomato should be peeled and filtered. Spinach can be started after about 2 weeks. Wash the leaves in running water. Chop the leaves, cook along with other vegetables. Mix with ghee, salt and serve. Bottle gourd, Pumpkin, Yellow cucumber can be slowly included in the menu.

Also read: Recipes for Baby food


Boil the vegetables in a pressure cooker. Mash them and strain the contents to remove larger pieces and avoid choking. Add a pinch of salt. Introduce clear vegetable soups when the baby is 8 months old. Include carrots, beetroots, tomatoes, beans gradually.

Also read: Wheat flour porridge

Cooked foods:

You can start a wholesome meal with cooked rice and split green gram / moong dhal. Take equal amounts of rice and mung dhal. Heat the mung dhal and keep aside. Wash rice and dhal and cook in pressure cooker with a little turmeric and salt. Season with jeera in desi ghee. You can add vegetables and spinach leaves pressure cook along with rice and dhal and serve the baby.

Related reading: Your Baby’s First Taste of Solids

The above mentioned weaning foods will ensure your baby is getting the required nutrition and baby is healthy in all seasons.

Also read: What to feed when my child has watery motions – Diarrhea

Take care of your little one. Best wishes!!

Feeding Ripe Mango will Protect your Baby from Summer heat

April 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Baby Food, Baby Tips

Ripe Mango Protect Baby from Summer heatMango is popularly known as the King of fruits. Mango is one of the exotic fruits in the world with several health benefits. Mangoes are easily digestible and the important health benefits from mangoes for babies include protection of eyesight, fights microbial infections, improvement in brain development and many more.

Can mangoes be fed to children?

This is a question young parents have these days whether mangoes can be served to babies. Yes, mango can be served to babies. Pediatricians also recommend introducing fruits such as mango, apple, avocado, banana, etc and vegetables such as carrot, peas, green beans which are pureed.

Why opt Mango fruit?

Mango is an exotic and seasoned fruit. Mangoes contain several health benefits that your baby needs for developing a strong body and mind.

Fruits such as mangoes contain high amount of vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. It would be an understatement to say that vitamins and minerals are essential for your baby. In fact, underestimating their role in baby’s growth can result in deficiencies later on.

Health benefits of Mango for babies

Easily digestible: Mango fruit puree is easily digestible, especially for infants. Feeding babies with mangoes is also advantageous because, mangoes contain enzymes and biochemicals such as esters, terpenes and aldehydes which promote digestion.

Boost eyesight: New born babies eyesight is not as much developed as adult humans. Sight efficiency develops during the course of babies growth in the subsequent months. During this time, good supply of vitamin A is needed for proper and quick development of eye sight. Ripe mango can be a very good choice because it is high in vitamin A.

Fights microbial infections: Eating mango fruit promotes epithelial function in the body and thereby the attack of microbes is reduced to a significant extent. The microbes that normally attack babies can causes common colds, rhinitis, sinusitis, etc.

Read: How to keep your Baby Healthy during Weather changes?

Strengthens immunity: Infants and children have a weak immune system and is in the  developing stage. In this duration any food fed that promotes the immune function is a huge welcome. Mangoes strengthens immune system in your baby. The high carotene and beta-carotene content present in mangoes promotes the immune system and makes it stronger.

Enables brain development: Brain development is critical for babies as body development. By consuming mangoes Brain functioning improves for babies. Mangoes are rich in vitamin B-6 which helps in improved brain functioning. Apart from vitamin B-6, mangoes contain glutamine acid and it is known to improve memory and concentration.

Protection against sunstroke: Another key benefit of mangoes during summer is their protection against sunstroke and hot winds. Unripe mangoes can either be cooked in hot ashes or steam boiled and the pulp obtained can be made into a squash mixed with sugar and water. This juice taken during hot summers can protect against dehydration and sunstroke. This is fit to be given for toddlers who are up and running all day during summers.

Refer: Quick tips to make Healthy and Refreshing Green Mango Drink at home

Recipe For Mango puree

Ripe Mango Protect Baby from Summer heatWash mango in water and peel the skin. Cut the mango pulp and mash it thoroughly or grind in mixer for 1 to 2 mins until soft. Sieve thru’ strainer and feed your baby. Half cup will be sufficient.Serve with a baby spoon.

As your baby grows you can combine banana, milk ,yogurt, sweet potato, melons and bring in variety for your baby.

Further read: Recipes for baby food and Wheat flour porridge

Watch outs while feeding mangoes

Baby’s age: Make sure to feed mango puree to babies who are at least 6 months of age and those for whom solid or semi solid food has already started. Mango puree is easily digestible for infants.

Texture of mango fruit: The texture of the mango fruit is very important. The mashed mango puree must not contain any fibers which will be difficult for the baby to swallow. Filter the mango puree thoroughly.

Unripe mango-do not feed: Unripe mango is not to be fed to infants. Unripe mango could be sour and babies might dislike it and may poop all that had been fed earlier. Unripe mangoes can be indigestible to many infants.

Watch out for allergies: Mango being a tropical fruit might be allergic to few people. Consult the pediatrician and take advice if there is history of food allergies in your family.

Mango is a seasonal fruit. Ensure your family gets the maximum benefit by eating mango in right quantities. Feeding Ripe Mango will Protect your Baby from Summer heat. Your baby’s gonna love the mango puree that is great for growth and brain development.

Leave your opinion and views in the comments section.

Your Baby’s First Taste of Solids

February 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Food, Baby Tips

As your baby is growing up you need to introduce suitable food at the right time in addition to mother’s milk to provide required nutrition to keep your baby bubbly and active. The systematic process of change in food is known as weaning.

first taste to solid foodIt is recommended to start with semi solid foods after baby is 4 months old. Depending upon the baby’s health and nutritional needs,  doctor may suggest to begin at 6 months also. Consult your Pediatrician prior to making any change.

  • Go slow… when you start new food.
  • Pick a time of the day when the baby is active. You need to ensure that the baby is hungry, there is a good time gap for the next frequency of meal. If the baby is fed with formula or breast milk and the gap is less she will refuse to taste even.
  • Make the baby sit in a comfortable position i.e in your lap or the baby chair, with good support.
  • Normally the baby’s first food is a cereal cooked along with formula or milk. Initially the baby is given very little quantity and gradually based on acceptance level and appetite the quantity is increased.
  • You can start with vegetable soups.
  • When a baby is on breast milk additional water will not be required. If the baby is on formula milk additional water should be given in small quantities. Try to slowly stop the baby having from a milk bottle as the upper and lower teeth will be protruding forward as baby grows.
  • You can give fruit juices, filter all fibrous material and seeds as it may choke and baby will vomit what she had previously also. It is painful to see the little one cough and the eyes become watery.
  • Burp the baby after feeds . A good practice for ensuring baby food will not be wasted.
  • Keep a towel handy for cleaning all spills. The baby’s lips should be wiped with wet cloth to avoid darkening. The baby should be wet sponged after meals. If baby is not cleaned, the food substances will dry up and could be chance for attracting insects. In India we observe a trail of ants on the baby’s cot due to the sweet smell.
  • first taste to solid foodDip all baby clothes in Dettol antiseptic liquid (follow label instructions for dilution). This will prevent rashes and foul smell from the clothes.
  • Preferably dry baby clothes in sunlight.
  • While feeding the baby be close by , do not leave the baby unattended.

General watch outs based on my experience:

  • When you are planning to go out with the baby take extra set of diapers, towel, formula milk, water, poly bags to dump in soiled items.
  • If weather is cold ensure baby is nicely tucked in warm clothes. Cover ear, head, legs and hands as baby will catch cold if exposed to cold
  • If you are out on a hot day, be extremely careful of the scorching heat. Use an umbrella or a nice sunlight protection.
  • Ensure medication of baby is kept in a cool place, away from sunlight. Ensure proper labeling.
  • I’ve observed mothers carrying small babies and sipping hot tea, the baby will be attracted to the cup or coffee mug in your hand and will want to grab it. Accidently  it may spill also. Beware of such incidents.
  • Do not carry baby in the midst of your home chores. For example if you are chopping onion and carry the baby with the same hands, gradually baby will develop a nausea feeling to the smell. I know children who have grown up and detest onions in the food they eat.

Bringing up a baby is a huge responsibility and you can manage it wonderfully with the support of your family.

Wheat flour porridge

February 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Food, Baby Tips

Wheat flour porridge

baby recipe foodPorridge is a healthy diet for small babies. As they are not onto regular food wheat flour porridge is ideal for digestion. It is also said that wheat flour porridge removes excess phlegm accumulated for the baby. It is a light meal and delicious too due to its sweetness. You can avoid sugar if baby takes it plain. Add a pinch of salt.

I  recommend sugar as it tastes good with wheat flour. Try this out.

Ingredients :

  • 2 teaspoons of ghee
  • 5 teaspoons of wheat flour
  • Pinch of elaichi powder ( cardamon)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk

Procedure :

  1. Heat ghee in a kadai. Reduce the flame.
  2. On a low flame add wheat flour and roast well till you get the smell of cooked atta.
  3. Mix in elaichi powder and sugar.
  4. Take ½ cup milk and mix the atta . Ensure there are no lumps and the powder is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Boil the remaining milk and gradually add the atta mixture to it.
  6. Keep stirring continuously, till the mixture is cooked and pasty. Watch out for any lumpy formation.

Feed the baby when warm enough that the baby can take into his mouth. If your baby has a liking to this meal you can prepare the same with Rava also.

Gradually you can add mashed banana / mashed apple / cheeku ( sapota) and make the meal more enjoyable. The baby will be delighted with new and tasty food.

Mixed vegetable soup

baby food recipeSoup is a favorite drink among little children and your baby may long to have a cup of the mixed vegetable soup. This is a combination of pulses and fresh vegetables. Baby is getting introduced to new flavours, changes of taste – bland, sweet, salty, sour, spicy too. The changes in diet also changes the stool condition.

Baby may have constipation at times and then you can go in for liquid food to soothe the baby. Hope this baby food recipe will be baby’s best choice.

Ingredients :

  • 2 teaspoons of moong dal(split Green gram with outer cover stripped)
  • Few pieces of carrot, potato, cabbage, bottle gourd and mint leaves
  • 2 pinches of salt and 2 cups of water

Procedure :

  1. Wash Moong dal . To this add pieces of carrot, potato, cabbage, bottle gourd and mint leaves (washed prior to chopping)
  2. Add 2 cups of water, salt and pressure cook till dal and vegetables are done.
  3. Now strain this using a strainer. You can make the soup thick by mashing the veggies or serve it as liquid only.

If your baby has enjoyed it , then next time you can try using fresh sweet corn or tomato too.

Recipes for Baby food

February 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Food, Baby Tips

Your child is four months old and is crying often as she craves for more . Only Breast feeding will not be sufficient now. It’s time you introduce semi solid food like porridge made out of wheat, rice etc. This process of change in food is known as weaning.

You have to be extremely cautious to observe the baby’s response to a different food. For example if you introduce wheat then you need to watch out for the changes in baby’s skin, stools to understand if the baby’s digestion is OK. In few cases, the baby may be prone to allergy of wheat or any particular vegetable then the problems will be severe.

Indians usually start semi solid food after a ceremony of Annaprasana.  Annaprasana is conducted usually when the baby is six months to one year old . The ceremony is conducted in a temple or at home by the priest . Annaprasana means change from liquid to solid food. Odd month is selected for a girl child i.e 7th or 9th month and an even month for a male child i.e 6th or 8th month. An auspicious date and time is selected for the occasion. The ceremony is attended by relatives and friends.The baby is dressed in traditional clothes.

There are fun games associated with this ceremony. Items like books, jewels, pen, clay and food items are arranged on a plate or banana leaf and placed in front of the child. Each item has a significance and symbolizes learning, wealth, wisdom, property and a love for food. The gathering encourages the child to pick an item. Based on the item the child picks, the profession is decided. For example if the child picks a pen he becomes a writer or officer in the future. These are typically fun games now.

Consult your pediatrician prior to making the changes. Introduce one food after another with a gap of 2 to 3 days. Few recipes from my collection are mentioned for the benefit of new moms.

 baby food recipeRice and Moong dhal khichdi

You need to do pre-work for this baby food recipe.

  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Moong dhal (split Green gram with outer cover stripped) : ½ cup

Fry Moong dhal on a low flame. When hot remove from flame. Ensure the dhal does not become deep brown. Leave it for cooling.

Wash rice and moong dhal , drain water completely. Spread the washed rice and moong dhal onto a clean cotton cloth and place it for drying under hot sun. Do not plan this activity on a cloudy day.

Repeat drying in hot sun for 2 to 3 days. Powder the grains coarsely and transfer it into a dry air tight container.


  • 2 spoons of the grain powdered
  • 1 glass water
  • Pinch of salt

Cook the khichdi 30 mins prior to the baby’s meal time. Take 2 spoons of the powder and mix it in 1 glass water. Ensure there are no lumps. Place the vessel for boiling on a low flame. Add a pinch of salt to this. It will take approximately 8 to10 mins for cooking. When cooked and soft put off the flame. Leave it for cooling. Initially you can serve in liquid consistency. After the seventh month you can make this thick consistency .

You can add ¼ tsp ghee when the porridge is hot . Serve it with a spoon. You will notice the baby is refusing and pushing out of his month. After a few fussy attempts the baby will start to enjoy the meal. It also depends upon baby’s appetite too. If there is a gap of 2 hrs from the last feed , baby will consume the entire quantity.

baby food recipesYou need to keep a bib and soft towel handy. Clean baby thoroughly after feed to avoid sticky feeling and also food smell. As it is filling the baby will go for a nice sleep.

Week by week gradually increase the quantity of powder too. You can introduce vegetables like carrot, potato, green leaf- spinach, bottle gourd etc while cooking. Grate the vegetables and mash it thoroughly prior to feeding . The baby should not choke due to bigger particles.

If you are a non vegetarian and your baby is settled with weaning ,  you can add approximately 2 spoons of mashed chicken , scrambled egg or soft mashed portions of fish.

If baby is having watery motions, vomiting, crying too much you need to consult the doctor. Sometimes baby may have colic pain due to indigestion. Do not delay as situation can worsen and baby will become weak.

Variations along with rice will be thuvar dhal. You can directly add rice and dhal and cook into a cooker . If baby likes sweet food cook it with little quantity of sugar or jaggery too. Your baby will enjoy the change and appreciates mom’s dishes with a big smile. … Hope you got the message ‘ Thank you’

My eyes are brimming with tears of joy remembering the very old times.

Wishing you good luck…enjoy your baby growing and adapting to small changes in life.