As babies grow, their nutritional needs change to support this growth and they begin to eat more food from a variety of food groups, according to Bright Futures Nutrition. This helps them reach the daily recommended allowances for the vitamins and minerals that contribute to normal growth and development. Pale skin, brittle hair and cracked lips all indicate that a baby isn't growing and may need medical intervention. Feeding a baby from all the parts of the food pyramid is important for optimal growth.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a variety of produce ensures that a baby is getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Jarred baby food is available in a wide range of choices that allow parents to give their baby many different fruits and vegetables, and this is the food group that you will use to introduce your infant to solids. Homemade baby food is another good way to feed a baby different varieties of produce. Choices that are high in nutrients include berries, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas and avocados. According to Earth's Best Organic, parents should introduce one new food at a time so they can watch for allergies.
Meats and Eggs
The meat and eggs food group contains options that provide protein for muscle growth and development. Younger babies should consume meats that are pureed, while babies around 9 months can begin to eat chopped egg yolks and meats, says KeepKidsHealthy.com. Babies under age 2 shouldn't eat egg whites due to allergy concerns. Good sources of protein for babies include chicken, fish, beef and egg yolks. Meat options are available in jarred baby food, and you can mix them with other foods for babies who dislike the strong taste of meat.
The dairy food group includes milk, cheese and yogurt. Dairy foods are a good source of calcium for building strong bones and teeth. It also supports good heart and nerve development. Babies under 1 year of age should still be getting their calcium from breast milk or formula but can eat diced cheese and yogurt as part of a meal or as a snack. After they are 1, babies can then drink cow's milk, according to KeepKidsHealthy.com.