Babies need plenty of different types of nutrients to grow and develop properly, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting enough from the food you’re providing. Here are six tips for ensuring that your baby is getting the nutrition they need.
Formula Feeding And Breastfeeding
Breast milk and infant formula are the two main options for feeding your baby. Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding as much as is practical and possible, but some mothers can’t or don’t breastfeed their babies. There are lots of reasons why a woman might not be able to breastfeed her baby, such as an insufficient milk supply. If you’re bottle-feeding your baby with formula, speak to your doctor about how much of it should ideally contain nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphorus, fat, etc. Most of the time, a good goat milk infant formula can work wonders and be just as good as breast milk. Many people think that formula feeding is bad when on the contrary it is just as healthy as breastfeeding. Many parents can blend the formula with breast milk to even further increase the nutritional value of the infant’s diet.
Calories, Macro, and Micronutrients
Healthy babies need sufficient calories to continue developing at a healthy rate. A lack of calories could stunt growth or cause developmental problems later on. Your pediatrician will be able to tell you what the recommended number of calories per day is for your baby based on their weight and age. Make sure that your baby is getting that daily quota by choosing foods with enough calories, like sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, apple slices, etc.
Protein is necessary for strong muscle development and it helps ensure that your baby’s stomach can grow at a healthy rate. It also helps develop your baby’s organs and tissues. Make sure that you’re giving your baby plenty of high-protein foods. Some of the best options are chicken, eggs, yogurt, quinoa, peas, etc.
Calcium and Iron
Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones in babies as well as proper muscle function. When your baby is getting enough calcium from their diet it can help reduce the risk of them developing tooth decay later on in life. You don’t want your baby to develop weak bones, so make sure you’re giving them foods with calcium. Some of the best sources are milk products like yogurt and cheese, dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, nuts like almonds and pistachios, etc. Iron is necessary for your baby’s blood production, but not in large amounts. Iron deficiency can lead to dangerously reduced oxygen levels that deprive organs and tissues of enough nutrients. It also prevents strong red blood cell production, which can cause your baby to become tired quickly. When your baby doesn’t have enough iron they might become pale because their bodies are not getting enough oxygen.
Vitamins, like A, C, and E
Vitamins like A, C, and E are necessary to promote strong immune systems as well as healthy vision. They also help with the growth of organs and tissue. Vitamin D is also important for strong bones and teeth as it helps your baby absorb calcium properly. If there’s not enough vitamin D in their diet, they might develop muscle aches and pains. Vitamin A is also necessary for your baby’s skin health as well as their immune system.
Whole grains contain a lot more nutrients than refined grains do. Refined grains have been processed so much that they’ve lost much of their nutritional content in the process. When you give whole grain items to your baby instead of refined ones, you make sure that they’re getting all the fiber and nutrients that the grain originally contained before it was ground into flour or meal form. Some great whole grain options for babies include brown rice, baby oatmeal, and whole-wheat toast. Also, make sure to remove any inedible parts.
Give Your Baby Variety Of Different Foods
Just like adults need a wide variety of different foods to get all the different nutrients they need, so do babies. A varied diet with lots of different nutrients will help your baby develop and grow properly and help prevent them from becoming picky eaters later on in life. Always be sure to give them a mixed bag of food options with plenty of fruits and vegetables included in addition to their main meals. If you’re worried about whether or not your baby is getting enough nutrition, always consult with your pediatrician before changing their diet.
Be Mindful About How Much Sugar You Feed Your Child
How much sugar the baby gets from other sources can also have a big effect on their overall health. For example, some parents give their babies fruit juice because they think that it’s a healthy alternative to soda. However, one 8-ounce cup of apple juice contains just as much sugar as a 12-ounce can of soda does and has no nutritional value whatsoever. So when you’re choosing between beverages for your baby, always go with water instead of fruit juice or soda if possible. Beware, a sweet snack every day or too often could lead to tooth decay and cavities later on.
Don’t Give Your Baby Too Much Salt Or Salty Foods
Just like with sugar, you also want to be careful about how much salt your baby is getting from their diet. In addition to processed foods and convenience snacks, babies often get a lot of salt from the rest of their food. Salt has been shown to increase blood pressure in infants potentially leading them to suffer from heart problems later on in life. While it’s impossible to completely avoid giving your baby salt altogether because it exists naturally in many types of food, always try to keep the amount you give them limited as much as possible. You can also give them low-sodium versions of common foods.
There are several simple things that parents can do to ensure that their baby is getting all the nutrients they need from their diet. You may have to make some sacrifices when it comes to convenience and expense, but in the end, your baby’s health will be well worth it.