A child in the infant stage requires a regular supply of nutrients necessary for proper growth of body organs. One of the popular sources of nutrients is breast milk. However, breast milk has to be supplemented with other sources at a later stage. Other popular options for infant nutrition include vitamins, proteins and antioxidants. Apart from growth, infant nutrition is responsible for how active an infant will be throughout their lifetime. Below is an infant nutrition guide suitable for all expectant mothers.
It is the most important aspect of infant nutrition. Infants should be breastfed for at least six months. Breast milk protects the infant from infections and diseases. It provides a reliable supply of vitamins, essential nutrients and minerals that boost the immune system of the infant. Additional benefits of breastfeeding are as outlined below:
· It limits the chances of obesity development in the infant.
· It eliminates the chances of water-bound contamination.
· It improves the overall health of the mother.
There is no substitute to breastfeeding. Therefore, mothers are advised to avoid bottle-feeding their babies at a young stage. Bottle-feeding distorts the emotional bond between the mother and infant. It should only be used in unavoidable circumstances where the mother is not allowed to breastfeed due to health concerns.
Ideally, a child should start feeding on external sources of nutrients once they are about six months old. Different views and ideas exist over what infants should feed on. However, it is important to ensure a balance in all the vital nutrients necessary for the growth of the infant. Foods should incorporate nutrients such as:
Calcium is beneficial in the formation and strengthening of the baby’s teeth and bones. It can be derived from dairy products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt.
They supply the infant with enough energy to run around. Feed your child with whole grain carbs that contain high fiber. Carbohydrates stimulate the digestive system of the child and make them feel satisfied more quickly.
The development of new tissues and cells is reliant on protein. Food sources such as legumes, fortified milk, yoghurt and eggs are good options for infant nutrition.
Infants require a minimum supplement of 400 IU Vitamin D each day. Vitamin D contributes to proper growth and boosts the immune system. Good sources of Vitamin D include cow milk and soy.
It can be obtained by feeding your infant on eggs, cereals and dairy products.
Apart from breast milk, an infant requires a supplementary supply of iron each day. Iron fortified cereals are among the popular choices to go for.
Infant nutrition and allergies
Special care should be taken while feeding an infant. They should not be fed with allergic foods. In order to reduce the risks associated with allergies, parents should:
· Use familiar infant formula.
· Breastfeed the child for about 4 to 6 months before introducing solid food
Overall, remember that good infant nutrition is what makes a difference between successful and unsuccessful motherhood. It is never too late to start your infant nutrition schedule. Try these tips today and observe the difference in the health of your children.