Proper Nutrition Starts At Babyhood
Babyhood is a crucial stage where the rate of growth in height and weight is at its top velocity. Feeding your baby wisely during this stage is essential for his proper growth and development. When a baby is well-nourished, he becomes sturdy, active and bright. Moms want their babies to reach their highest potential. A good nutrition is the first step in making your child grows to become a winner.
When a baby is in his first days in life, mother’s milk is sufficient enough for him to subsist. It provides all of his nutritional needs. It also has colostrum which is packed with white blood cells and antibodies that will defend him against infection. It also stimulates the production of his antibodies. As the baby grows and becomes more active, his nutritional need increases with his activities. The breastmilk is the perfect first drink a baby can have. You might be wondering what would be the perfect first solid food. Here are some good foods that will give your baby the proper nutrition his body needs:
Carbohydrates. It is the cheapest and readily available source of energy. You can get it from rice cereals. Rice cereals can easily be adjusted in its thinness and thickness. It is easily digested even by infants. It is less likely to trigger allergies. Rice cereals are good source of iron as reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rice cereals are available in many flavors to stimulate your baby’s palate. It easy to prepare by just adding milk and water. Breast milk is also a good alternative for mixing.
Vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are good source of vitamins and minerals. Starting your baby to eat these foods will make them familiar with the taste. During their toddle years, babies tend to refuse these foods because of the strong or bland taste. Make them get fond of fruits and vegetables early so it will be established in their diet. Your baby needs the fiber content found in these foods.
Protein. Breast milk is the primary source of baby protein needs. But, when the newborn grows a little older, he must seek other protein sources. Babies cannot live with breast milk forever. When he is nearing his first birthday, other protein source must be introduced. Six months is the best time to introduce protein alternative source to your baby. They develop less adverse reactions during this age. But, there is a red light in some protein sources like shellfish, chicken liver, unpasteurized cheese and most gluten-containing products.
Calcium. It is very important that your child gets the right amount of calcium. As his bone and muscle grow, calcium need is doubled since the time of his birth. In addition to breast milk, introduce cheddar cheese and flavored yogurt to add to his expanding menu.
Fat. Babies need all the cholesterol and essential fat for their calorie requirement. But, be careful of the fat source. Fat from breast milk is good but, too much fat from junk food will make your baby unbalanced and overweight.
Vitamin C. Citrus is not okay for babies as most doctors said. Orange juice will have to wait until the baby reached 8 months. Anyway, your baby can get his Vitamin C from mangoes, cantaloupe, peaches apricots and broccoli. Most baby food are fortified with vitamin C so, you need not to worry if he gets his vitamin C requirement.
Babies need to be educated about proper nutrition even though they are still young. As they grow, they will carry the healthy food choice they learned from you. If you have taught them well, you will find it easier to make them eat vegetables and fruits unlike most toddlers who are picky eaters. Start a proper diet during babyhood and they will continue on it even when they grow old.