Your baby is set to undergo a remarkable growth surge. In the first year of their lives they will triple their birth weight. To increase that amount they require lots in nutrients — much more than any other point in their lives.
Experts agree that breastfeeding milk is the ideal source of nutrients for babies in the first six months, however formula may be an alternative.
Nutrition and Your Growing Baby
Some of the essential nutrients needed by babies to grow and remain healthy include:
Fat. Produces energy, aids to develop the brain, helps keep hair and skin healthy and guards against infections.
Folate. Helps cells divide.
Proteins and carbs. They provide energy and fuel for growth.
Zinc. Aids cells to expand and heal themselves
Your baby also requires vitamin D like:
- Vitamin A. Maintains the your skin and hair vision and your immune system in good health.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Helps your body convert the energy from food to use.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). It helps the body convert food into energy and shields cells from damage.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin). Aids in turning food into energy, and also use proteins and fats.
- Vitamin B6. Maintains healthy the the brain as well as the immune system in good health.
- Vitamin B12. It helps keep nerves as well as blood vessels in good health, and also makes DNA, the genetic material found in every cell.
- Vitamin C. Helps fight infections, strengthens muscles and bones and helps heal wounds.
- Vitamin D. It helps the body absorb calcium from food and helps keep bone and teeth in good health. Breast-fed babies might require an D supplement.
- Vitamin E. Helps protect cells from damage and boosts the immune system.
- Vitamin K. It helps blood clot.
Nutrients in Formula
The majority of infant formulas are made with cow’s milk. They are enhanced to be as similar to breast milk as is possible and to provide babies with the nutrition they require to grow and remain healthy.
The majority of formulas made from cow’s milk contain:
- Carbohydrates, as a result of sugars in milk called “lactose”
- Minerals, for instance, calcium and zinc
- Vitamins, which include A, C, D E, as well as the B vitamins
Babies Who Need Special Nutrition
Babies born prematurely (before the age of 37 weeks) or have an infant’s birth weight that is low (less then 5 pounds 8 ounces) require specific nutritional supplements to assist to catch up with growth. Breast-fed babies could receive an extra fortifier in their milk, which includes:
- Extra calories
- Extra fat
Infants who aren’t breastfed require a formula designed for babies who are preterm. These formulas are high in calories. They also have additional protein, vitamins and minerals.
What to Avoid
One thing you should not to feed your baby during the first year is milk from cows that isn’t whole. It’s not a good source of iron, vitamins E as well as essential fatty acids to your child. Additionally, it has too much sodium, protein and potassium for your baby’s body to absorb, and could cause harm. Do not introduce cow’s milk until your child is one year old.
Also, you shouldn’t offer to your child homemade formula or even soymilk. These alternatives may not provide the nutrition balance that the baby requires right now.
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