Importance of Good Nutrition for Babies

Aug 25, 2022 | Fertility, IVF

For the baby to grow healthily, it is necessary that his or her diet be balanced.
Nutrition plays a key role in the baby’s development even before the mother becomes pregnant since the nutritional status of the mother is a determining factor for the intrauterine development and health of her baby.

After birth, breastfeeding is another decisive moment for the baby’s nutrition. What the mother eats also determines the nutritional status of both mother and baby.
After 6 months, with the introduction of the first solid foods, a new stage begins. It is now up to parents to teach their children good eating habits, opting for healthy foods and restricting those that bring no nutritional benefit such as foods rich in sugar or fats.

The first years of life are fundamental for children to form and refine their gastronomic sense, and they are dependent on their caregivers to try new flavors and nutritionally rich and balanced options.
The first 1,000 days of life begin at conception and end when the child is 2 years old.

Correct nutrition during the early stage of life influences the child’s psychomotor development but is also a protective factor against obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal diseases, allergies, and more.

In addition, the first two years of life are decisive for the acquisition of healthy eating habits that will influence the child’s future nutritional choices and the existence of diseases, both in early childhood and youth and later in adulthood.

Baby Nutrition

Until six months of age, the Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics recommend that the baby receives only breast milk.

There are babies who need to take formula to supplement their diet. Even so, during this period it is not advisable to offer any other solid or liquid food to the child.
At six months we have an incredible phase, the baby awakens to a new world, full of flavors, textures, colors, and smells never experienced before. All this adaptation is done gradually and at the child’s pace.

According to the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics, families that eat together tend to have a healthier diet and eat better. Meals, after all, should be much more than a moment of nutrition. They need to be, on the contrary, a space for experimentation and emotional connection.
After 6 months of age, milk becomes insufficient to meet the needs for energy, protein, iron, zinc, and some fat-soluble vitamins.

The food should be offered in pureed form, and the consistency should be progressively increased according to the baby’s development. The food should be given with a spoon. A bottle should not be used to offer foods other than milk or water.

Fod Nutrition

 

Soup: Your baby’s first soup should be a simple, consistent puree, starting with 2-3 vegetables, including a green leafy vegetable, and introducing a different vegetable every 3-4 days.

 

Porridge: Porridge can be introduced from 4 months of age. It should be given by spoon. 

Meat: It can be introduced after 5-6 months, in small quantities. Prefer white meat at first, then red meat.

Fish: Fish should be introduced around 5-6 months of age. Prefer lean fish initially and later, from 10-11 months, introduce others, such as salmon, grouper, croaker. 

Fruit: Fruit should be fresh, and preferably offered raw and grated, at the end of the meal or with yogurt. 

Yogurt: From 8 months of age, yogurt can be started as a substitute for a dairy meal. It should be plain, unflavored yogurt, without added sugar. 

Egg: Egg yolk should be introduced from 9 months of age in a soup meal as a substitute for meat or fish. You should start by adding half a yolk to the soup once a week, and only then add the whole yolk. The whole egg can be introduced after the introduction of the whole yolk.

 

 

Should we give the baby water?

The baby who is fed exclusively on breast milk until 6 months, does not need to drink water, because milk provides the amount of water needed to hydrate the baby. Giving water to a baby under 6 months of age who is exclusively breastfed may increase the risk of diarrhea or vomiting.
The baby who is fed with infant formula should start drinking water as soon as he or she starts this type of diet, as this can prevent kidney overload and constipation in the baby.
As adults, we know how much water we need to drink daily. A child’s body, however, has different needs. We recommend that you offer water during meals, and also in between meals. Also, keep a glass of water within your child’s reach so that she can get it herself when she feels thirsty. Don’t forget to increase the amount of water on warmer days.

Child’s daily meals

 

Breakfast: milk, with bread or cereal and fruit (should be done within the first hour after the child wakes up)

Mid-morning: small meal (avoid more than 3 hours without eating), for example bread and a piece of fruit

Main meals: seasonal vegetable soup, meat and fish (<50g/day), eggs (3 per week instead of meat or fish) use salt and sugar as little as possible (forbidden in the 1st year of life) water is the most adequate drink dessert should preferably be fruit

Mid-afternoon: snack with milk or dairy products and bread

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