The First 6 Months Feeding Guide
Your baby is about to experience a tremendous growth spurt as they triple their birth weight in the first year. They require a lot of nutrients during this period, more than at any other time in their lives.
Breast milk is the optimal food for babies during the first six months, although formula can be a reasonable substitute. You can give your newborn her first foods after she has breastfed or between nursing sessions to keep her breastfeeding as long as possible.
Nutrition and Your Growing Baby
Here is a list of nutrients your baby need for proper growth:
Calcium: Babies need calcium for strong teeth and bones.
Folate: This vitamin is important for neural tube development and cell division.
Iron: Iron helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. It also builds blood cells and helps brain development.
Fats: It helps create energy, keep skin/hair healthy, protect against infection. It also plays an important role in brain development.
Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, bones, and other tissues.
Carbohydrates: It provides energy and fuel growth.
Zinc: This mineral helps heal, fight infection, and develop a baby’s brain.
The best way to ensure that your baby gets all these important nutrients is to breastfeed them as much as possible during the first six months. If you cannot or choose not to breastfeed, the formula will provide most of what your baby needs. However, you will need to ensure that they are getting enough iron and zinc, as these minerals are not as plentiful in the formula as in breast milk.
What are the Vitamins that Babies Need?
For proper growth, babies need the following vitamins:
Vitamin A: It keeps skin and eyes healthy and helps with growth.
Vitamin B1: It helps the baby turn food into energy.
Vitamin B2: Helps the baby turn food into energy and protect against cell damage.
Vitamin B6: It keeps the brain healthy and supports the immune system.
Vitamin B3: Use fats and energy to keep the baby healthy.
Vitamin B12: Keep blood cells and nerves healthy. It also makes DNA the genetic material in every cell.
Vitamin C: It helps the baby absorb iron and helps to keep the immune system strong. Also, it protects against infections, builds muscles and bones, and aids in the quick wound healing process.
Vitamin D: It helps the body absorb calcium from food and keep bones and teeth healthy.
Vitamin E: Strengthen the immune system.
Vitamin K: It helps the blood to clot.
Nutrients Present in Baby’s Formula
The majority of infant formulas today are based on cow’s milk. They’re fortified to the greatest extent feasible and taste exactly like breast milk. Most formulas extracted from cow milk contain carbohydrates (in the form of milk sugar), protein, iron, Vitamins (A, C, D, B, and E), calcium, and zinc.
Some formula companies even add more nutrients to make them the best alternative to breast milk:
Essential fatty acids: It contains ARA and DHA to increase baby vision and improve brain development. They are naturally present in breast milk if the mother is taking them in her own diet. Many formula companies add them. However, there is no solid proof that formulas with fatty acids offer real advantages.
Prebiotics: It helps support the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which is beneficial to overall health. Formulas with prebiotics can prevent babies from getting skin disease Eczema. However, it doesn’t help with colic and diarrhea.
Nucleotides: These are the building blocks of DNA and RNA and are added to some baby formulas. It also supports the baby’s immune system and helps digestive organs.
Nutrition Guide for the Early born babies
To help them catch up on growth, babies born early (before 37 weeks) or at a low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces) require specialized nutrition. Breast-fed infants can have a fortifier added to their diet, including extra fats, calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
If your baby can’t breastfeed, you will need a special preterm baby formula for them as they are high in calories. Moreover, they include extra minerals and vitamins to help your baby grow properly.
What to avoid in a baby’s diet until 6 months age?
There are a few things you should avoid feeding your baby as they can hamper their growth and development:
Honey: It can contain spores of a bacterium that can cause infant botulism, a serious illness.
Unpasteurized Milk: Contains harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, and other illnesses.
Whole cow milk: It’s high in fat and calories and can cause constipation and obesity. It’s better to give your baby low-fat or skimmed milk instead.
It is also important to consult with your pediatrician before making any changes to your baby’s diet. They will provide personalized advice based on your baby’s specific needs.
Need a proper Nutrition Guide for your Infant? Visit MyPedia Clinic in Dubai today
We provide complete health check-ups for your baby. At MyPedia Clinic, we have a team of nutritionists and dieticians who can guide you with the necessary diet for your child. So, if you are looking for baby nutritionist in Dubai, Mypedia is your go-to place. Visit us today!
Book an appointment online or give us a call at 055 931 1752.