Baby nutrition is also an important tool in child care. The growing body of the babies needs the best nutrition in order to achieve maximum growth and development. Nutrition is the sole source of support for their developing bodies. Without proper nutrition, children and babies frequently suffer from malnutrition and growth deficits such as stunted growth, vitamin deficiencies and poor cognitive development.
More than anyone else, children and babies need the right nutrition in order to support the body’s need for growth. Here are some of the important hints on how to provide the best nutrition for babies.
1. Practice breastfeeding
As advertisements show, there’s nothing better than breast milk for babies. Breast milk contains all the proper nutrients for babies. Breast milk also contains antibodies that help them prevent certain types of illness. Aside from this, breast milk is sterile and safe so there’s no need to worry on gastroenteritis that can be taken from formula milk because of unsafe preparation. Breast milk is always fresh and clean (except if the mother suffers from (AIDS). In addition, breastfeeding also promotes mother and child bonding, thereby promoting emotional and mental health aside from physical growth. In order to provide the best milk for babies, lactating mothers should also consume nutritious foods high in vitamins and minerals. In cases that mothers cannot breastfeed for some reason (although mothers should not make alibis in order not to breast feed), babies can get nutrition from formula milk that should be carefully chosen.
2. Introduce solid foods at the right age
Solid foods can be started as early as 4 months. It is important to introduce solid foods on eat a time in order to determine food allergies. For instance, caregivers can give specific foods for one week followed by another food on the following week and so on. Cereals are the first food to be introduced, followed by mashed fruits, mashed vegetables, and minced meat last.
3. Choose age appropriate foods
Giving children age appropriate foods not only improves nutrition, but also promotes safety. For instance, never give hotdogs to infants and toddlers because of risk for choking. Hard candies and gums should also be avoided in little children because they tend to swallow it making it a choking hazard. Infants and toddlers need bite-sized and soft foods.
4. Provide proteins in the diet
Proteins are especially needed by children for growth. Proteins are needed for the utilization of growth hormone to support the longitudinal growth of bones. Proteins are generally needed for the growth of the major organs in the body. Provide proteins in the form of fish, chicken, pork, legumes and nuts.