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During pregnancy, women are advised to take prenatal vitamins and to eat certain foods that are loaded with nutrients because the fetus needs it in order to develop and grow properly. And, after birth, the nutritional needs of an infant does not change all that much. From the time the baby is a newborn until he or she is a year old, it is crucial that the baby consumes even of the important vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
Even if the mom is unable to breastfeed, formula nowadays will meet the nutritional needs of a baby. That rule has been enforced by the FDA regulations and requirements. If mom is breastfeeding, then she will have to continue to eat the foods as she was instructed to during her pregnancy in order to help the baby grow and develop. Listed below are the key nutrients that the little one will need and why from birth to a year old:
Take This Opportunity To Learn About The Nutritional Needs Of A Baby
The important nutrients that babies need to grow and remain healthy include:
● Folate – Just like mom was told to take folate or folic acid during pregnancy, this B-vitamin is crucial for babies to consume after birth because it helps with the division of cells.
● Omega 3 Fatty Acids – If there is not enough of these critical fats consumed, then the nutritional needs of the infant will not be met. These fatty acids promote brain growth and development. Additionally, it helps with healthy hormonal production.
● Calcium – This mineral helps the bones and teeth to strengthen and grow.
● Iron – This helps with brain development and blood cells. If babies are breastfed, then they will need iron supplements to prevent anemia- which can be very serious.
● Zinc – Cell growth is promoted by zinc, and it helps with repairing cells too.
● Protein and Carbohydrates – these will provide the fuel that is needed, and is one of the key nutritional needs of a baby.
● Vitamin A – It helps keep the hair, vision, and skin healthy.
● B-Vitamins – All of the B-vitamins are crucial for the baby because these will help strengthen the immune system, brain development, and will help keep glucose levels normal.
● Vitamin C – Helps repair tissue and is a building block for the immune system.
● Vitamin D – This vitamin is important for babies because it helps them absorb calcium so that their bones and teeth stay healthy. Breastfed babies will need Vitamin D supplements.
● Vitamin E – Provides protection to the cells from damage, and is an important immune system booster.
● Vitamin K – An important blood clotting agent for the baby.
Your baby will need these nutrients throughout life. However, the amount of these vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are needed will change throughout the baby’s life.
The Transition From Breast Milk Or Formula To Solids
The nutritional needs of the infant will change throughout the time he or she is born to a year old. That means for the first six months, the baby needs to only have infant formula or breast milk. And, in some cases, breastfed babies will need supplementation through formula or vitamins.
Once the baby turns 6 months old, solids can be introduced that are rich in the nutrients listed above. Babies will start eating cereal, which will be easy eaten. Once the baby is used to eating cereal, then he or she can start eating nutritious baby food which includes meats, fruits, and vegetables. In the meantime, the infant will still need to have breast milk or formula even while eating solids.
Once the infant turns a year old, then the formula can discontinue, and cow’s milk will be the replacement which is rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Some mothers choose to breastfeed their young toddlers until the age of two. However, these children need to consume solids so they are getting what they need. If you were unsure about what are the nutritional needs of an infant before, thanks to this guide- you are now knowledgeable!