The baby’s first year of life is the most critical time for further healthy growth. During this time, the baby grows intensively, the immune and digestive systems, intellect, vision, and hearing are actively developing. Great importance for all these processes is the nutritional value of the food that the baby receives. A balanced diet in the 1st year of life is the engine of positive changes occurring with the baby. It is vital to provide the child with all the necessary nutrients from the first hours of life.
A newborn baby’s nutrition begins with breast milk. From the first days of life, breast milk helps the baby’s digestive system and ensures its best physical and intellectual development. These properties of breast milk are an essential part of the development of the child’s brain and the healthy growth of its muscles and bones. Breast milk contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the antioxidant lutein, and many other substances your baby needs in the first months after birth.
Some Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are not synthesized in the body and can only be obtained with food. The same applies to lutein, which a baby gets exclusively from breast milk in the first six months.
If breast milk is not enough for some reason, parents have to make sure that baby formula for babies under one year old contains all the essential nutrients. The breast milk oligosaccharides in the composition will provide immunity strengthening and protection against infections. To find the first baby formula that is similar in composition and properties to breast milk and suitable for your baby, visit your pediatrician.
Many families use formula feeding or mixed feeding for their babies. It is proven that babies on formula feeding, even from the first days of life, are developing and growing in the same way as babies who have been breastfed for six months or longer.
Whatever the reason for switching to formula, only a professional – a pediatrician can help choose the right food. The pediatrician will take into account all the peculiarities of the baby, especially when it comes to a newborn. Baby formula is necessary if the baby has allergies or intolerance to breast milk. Reasons for withdrawal of breastfeeding also include taking medications by a woman, infectious diseases in the mother, psychological problems, low baby weight, the need for additional milk (when there is not enough breast milk).
The wide range of baby food offers various baby formulas to meet individual babies’ needs: from the first days after birth up to six months. These Pre formulas are as close as possible to breast milk. Next comes formula for babies from six months to twelve months onwards. And the third stage is nutrition for babies over twelve months. The main component of the formulas is a protein produced on the basis of cow’s or goat’s milk.
There are standard formulas that are suitable for infants without digestive issues. The doctor will help you choose the baby formula ideal for your little one and also give recommendations on introducing it.
There are also specialized baby formulas:
- Anti-reflux formula (when the baby regurgitates too often after feeding);
- Hypoallergenic formula (if the baby has an allergic reaction to certain food ingredients);
- Lactose-free formula (for babies with lactose intolerance);
- Soy-based formula (this type of formula is based on soy protein and is gluten-free, making this food suitable for babies with celiac disease. It also contains all the necessary fats, minerals, and vitamins).
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Complementary foods in baby’s diet
Despite all the health benefits of breast milk, after a while, there is a need to introduce nutrients into the baby’s diet, the intake of which only with breast milk or infant formula in the first year of life is not enough.
For further growth and development, your baby needs an additional source of healthy substances. This is connected with the expansion of the diet – the introduction of complementary food. Usually, it should begin in 4-6 months, depending on the developmental characteristics. At this time, the child’s gastrointestinal tract becomes more mature and the central nervous system more developed, making the baby ready for the perception of new food. The late introduction of complementary foods may lead to a lack of micronutrients and other nutrients and a delay in forming essential food skills: chewing and swallowing thick food.
A balanced baby’s diet should consist of porridges, vegetable and fruit purees, and meat purees.
To find out at what age certain foods should be introduced into your child’s diet, visit your doctor. Usually, the expansion of the diet begins with porridges or mashed vegetables, followed by the introduction of fruit, also in the form of purees. It is recommended to start complementary feeding with porridge if the baby has problems with weight gain. If a baby is frequently constipated, vegetable purees are first introduced into his or her diet.
The advantage of cereal porridge is that a baby gets enough energy for motor activity due to complex carbohydrates: turning over, crawling, and later walking. In addition, porridge is rich in vitamins (B vitamins), dietary fiber, and minerals (zinc and magnesium), which are necessary for a baby.
The introduction of vegetables into the diet provides babies with vitamins A, B, and C, various trace elements, and fiber. Vitamin A promotes vision, and vitamin C helps absorb iron and strengthens the immune system. Fiber also helps the baby’s digestion. If you are looking for a wide range of infant formulas please check the MyOrganicCompany store, their team of experts will help you choose the right product for your baby.
Fruit purees and juices provide your baby with vitamins, natural sugars, and dietary fiber, necessary for the digestive system and overall health.
Your baby needs protein for muscle growth and iron, vitamins, and zinc, all of which are found in meat.
In the first year of life, nutrition is very important to maximize a child’s potential, healthy growth, and intellectual development. So parents should pay more attention to developing healthy eating habits in babies for their further harmonious growth!