What Is the Best Diet for Your Baby?

Posted by Dami 16/10/2018 0 Comment(s) Mother and Baby Care,

Making appropriate food choices for your baby during the first year of life is very important. More growth occurs during the first year than at any other time in your child's life. What a baby eats as an infant strongly affects his/her long-term body weight, health, metabolic programming, immune system, and overall aging later in life.

Many experts recommend breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for the first 6 months of life. It is also recommended that breastfeeding be continued even after you have added solid foods to your baby’s diet until your baby is 12months old. Breast milk is the optimal nutrient mix for infants. It’s full of good stuff like antibodies, antimicrobial factors, enzymes, and anti-inflammatory factors along with fatty acids (which promote optimal brain development).

However, there are some circumstances where exclusive breastfeeding may not be practicable, for example, you might not be able to breastfeed if you have a health problem, or are taking particular medications. In such situations, it is advisable you place your baby on infant formula diet. Infant formula also called infant milk or baby milk  is a manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants under 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder (mixed with water) or liquid (with or without additional water). Some good examples include Aptamil First Infant Milk and SMA PRO 1 First Infant Milk which are usually fortified with necessary nutrients like Iron and can serve as good substitutes to breast milk in situations where it is difficult to breastfeed your baby. These are very common among working class Mums who have resumed work after the first 6 months of putting to bed.

Weaning Your Baby from Breast-Milk

Infant formula can also be used when you want to wean your baby gradually from breast milk and introduce new foods to them. However, it is important you check if your baby is ready for solid food. Signs a baby may be ready to start solid foods include sitting up with minimal support, demonstrating good head control, reaching for food off other family members' plates, or refusing a bottle or breast by turning away. Most people in the medical community agree the best time to start your baby on solid foods is around 6 months old.

Other things to consider before starting your baby on new foods. These include:

  • · Give your baby one new food at a time, not mixtures. Give the new food for three to five days before adding another new food. This way you can tell what foods your baby may be allergic to or can't tolerate.
  • · Begin with small amounts of new solid foods - a teaspoon at first and slowly increase to a tablespoon.
  • · Begin with dry infant rice cereal first, mixed as directed, followed by vegetables, fruits, and then meats.
  • · Avoid using salt or sugar when making homemade infant foods. Canned foods may contain large amounts of salt and sugar and shouldn't be used for baby food. Always wash and peel fruits and vegetables and remove seeds or pits. Take special care with fruits and vegetables that come into contact with the ground. They may contain botulism spores that cause food poisoning.
  • · Infant cereals with iron should be given to your infant until your infant is age 18 months.
  • · Avoid honey in any form for your child's first year, as it can cause infant botulism.
  • · Avoid putting your baby in bed with a bottle propped in his or her mouth. Propping a bottle has been linked to an increased risk of ear infections. Once your baby's teeth are present, propping the bottle can also cause tooth decay. There is also a risk of choking.
  • · Help your baby to give up the bottle by his or her first birthday.
  • · Avoid the "clean plate syndrome." Forcing your child to eat all the food on his or her plate even when he or she isn't hungry isn't a good habit. It teaches your child to eat just because the food is there, not because he or she is hungry.

Leave a Comment