It is important for children to eat healthily and have a balanced diet. This will help to form strong bones, teeth and muscles and help protect against illness. Also by introducing a variety of different foods early on can help to reduce the chances of them becoming fussy eaters at a later stage.

A good balanced diet should consist of a range of foods from the following groups:

Carbohydrates Foods from the carbohydrates group are key to providing your baby with energy and also to keep them healthy and active. It is advised that at least one portion of starchy carbohydrate is served with each meal; such as potatoes rice, pasta, bread, or cereal. Fruits and vegetables such as bananas, raisins, grapes, pears, sweet potatoes and corn are also a good source of carbohydrate.

Protein Protein is needed for growth development and the health of cells, tissues and organs. As babies grow so fast in the first few years it is essential to have protein in their diet. Animal protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt, whereas vegetable protein can be found in cereals, nuts, lentils, pasta, rice and root vegetables.

Milk and Dairy Milk and dairy foods are an essential source of calcium which is crucial for the growth of bones and teeth. Most babies will be getting their requirement from the milk they drink, however, eating yoghurts, cheese and having sauces made from milk is another good way of getting more dairy in to their diet.

Fruit and Vegetables Fruit and vegetables contain lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre and it is advised to try and have at least 5 servings or fruit of vegetables per day. It is good if you can introduce a variety of different fruit and vegetables and these can be either fresh, frozen, canned or dried.
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