The daily struggle of getting your little one to try new foods can be exhausting, and the worry about their nutrient intake only adds to the stress. Read on for advice on creating nutrient-rich menus that are both delicious and nutritious.


Let’s start by understanding the essential nutrients your baby needs and the foods that can deliver them:

Iron: This superhero nutrient supports your baby’s growth and brain development. Find it in foods like lean meats (chicken, mutton), cereals, lentils (masoor dal), and spinach.

Calcium: For strong bones and teeth, calcium is key. Milk and dairy products (paneer, yogurt) are fantastic sources, as are leafy greens (fenugreek, spinach).

Protein: The building blocks of growth can be found in lean meats, poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (salmon, mackerel), eggs, and legumes (rajma, chana).

Fiber: Keep digestion in check with fiber-rich foods like fruits (apples, pears), vegetables (carrots, broccoli), and whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread).

Vitamins and minerals: Fruits (oranges, mangoes) and vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers) offer a wealth of essential vitamins and minerals to support overall health.


Strategies for creating nutrient-rich meals:

Create balanced meals: Design meals that incorporate a variety of foods. For instance, prepare a wholesome meal with chicken curry, brown rice, and a side of mixed vegetables. This way, you cover multiple nutrient groups in one go.

Diversify your grains: Experiment with different grains to make meals more interesting. Swap white rice for millet or introduce ragi or whole wheat rotis to add variety.

Go green: Add leafy greens into dishes your child already enjoys. Spinach can be pureed and added to dal or blended into a flavorful palak paneer. Methi can be blended and made into a paratha. This way, you’ll boost your baby’s iron and calcium intake simultaneously.

Healthy snacking: Offer nutrient-rich snacks between meals. Consider yogurt with a drizzle of honey, or create a chaat with boiled chickpeas, diced cucumbers, and a dash of lemon and chaat masala.

Dry fruits: Dry fruits like almonds and walnuts are packed with nutrients. You can finely grind them and sprinkle them on various dishes, from halwas to desserts. Make sure to include raisins, dates, and apricots in your child’s diet by soaking them in water and blending them and adding them to curd, shira, or any sweet dish.

Yogurt-based dishes: We have a variety of yogurt-based dishes like raita and lassi. These not only enhance the flavor of the meal but also provide calcium and probiotics for good digestion.

In some exceptional cases where your child might have specific dietary restrictions or allergies, consulting a registered dietitian can be helpful as they will give you guidance. Remember to consider your child’s age and preferences when creating meals, and be patient as you introduce new foods.


With the right strategies, you can ensure your child gets the essential nutrients they need while savoring delicious meals. Keep in mind that every child is unique, and this journey of introducing new foods is a gradual process.