We are well into the adventure of solid food feeding with my sweet little one and I am pleased to say that he is VERY enthusiastic about eating. His excitement when I put him in his highchair is pretty infectious. 🙂
Being a dietitian, I of course put some thought into ensuring I offer highly nutritious foods for my baby to explore (and usually eat).
Food before one is just for fun. Where did that tagline even come from? Why would food suddenly become important after one but is not important before?
I’ve heard that a lot lately that “food before one is just for fun”. It IS true that most of the nutrition for babies under 1 year should come from breast milk or formula. However solid food does have an important role too. The reason why solid food is recommended to start at around 6 months is because of a increased need for iron. In fact, the most important nutrient for babies to get from their solid food is iron!
Did you know that a baby over the age of 6 months has a higher iron requirement than an adult man?
Whoa. A baby requires 11 mg of iron in a day. That’s a lot! That’s why you might hear that it is wise to start a baby with iron rich foods and ensure they are offered those foods daily.
- well-cooked, finely minced or shredded meat, poultry, or fish, including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, cod, and halibut
- mashed cooked egg, lentils, beans or cooked tofu
- iron-fortified infant cereal
Why so important?
A huge amount of brain development occurs during the first 2 years of life. Iron is vital in brain development by carrying oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency anemia is a real problem for babies with a recent study reporting iron deficiency anemia prevalence at between 12 and 64%. This can have life long effects on brain development and function.
For more information on foods high in iron check out: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/babys-first-foods
Anyway back to the recipe. These pancakes are a serious hit on our household. My little bean ate SIX of these pancakes the other day for lunch! Whoa. They are soft, warm, easy to hold and chew. For added iron I add in 2-3 tablespoons of iron fortified infant cereal. Some people aren’t huge fans of infant cereal. I get it, it’s not a natural food….it’s definitely a food product. However it is an easy way to get some iron into your baby so I do use it in addition to other foods naturally high in iron.
These baby cakes are delicious for adults too! I just swap out the infant cereal for some quick oats or oat flour and they are very yummy! Very easily doubled, tripled, etc.
1 banana, very ripe, mashed
2 large eggs, beaten
2-3 tablespoons iron fortified rice or oatmeal infant cereal (oatmeal or oat flour)
- Peel and mash banana in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Add in eggs and beat until well mixed.
- Sprinkle in infant cereal and mix.
- Preheat griddle or pan on medium heat, add oil or butter to grease the surface. Ladle about 1/4 cup amounts into pan and cook until bottom size is lightly browned. Flip and cook other side until done.
- Cool and cut into fingers or small pieces for your baby.