It is crucial to ensure your infant gets the nutrition they need for various reasons. For one, it is essential for their growth and development. Additionally, it can help prevent illnesses and diseases. Furthermore, due to some weather conditions (such as extremely cold and unsunny winters in Calgary), babies and infants might not get sufficient nutrients they need (such as vitamin D), so you must be aware of that, and take necessary steps to address the deficiency. Finally, it can improve the overall quality of life of your baby or infant.
Pregnant women and new mothers have a lot to think about regarding their infants’ health. Making sure your infant gets the nutrition they need is a top priority.
Here are twelve tips to help you ensure your infant is getting the nutrition they need:
1. Breastfeed, if possible: Breastmilk is a perfect food packed with nutrients essential for infants and easy to digest. If you cannot breastfeed, make sure to use infant formula designed to mimic the nutrient composition of breast milk.
2. Make sure your child is staying hydrated: Infants need a lot of fluids, especially if they are breastfeeding. Offer them water throughout the day in addition to breastmilk or formula.
3. Supplement with the formula: If you are not able to breastfeed, or if you are supplementing with formula, make sure to choose a high-quality formula that is designed for infants.
4. Pay attention to your child’s hunger cues: Don’t force them to eat if they’re not hungry. However, make sure they’re getting enough to eat overall. Infants should eat around 8-10 times per day.
5. Introduce solid foods around six months of age: Start with simple foods like pureed fruits and vegetables. Gradually add in more complex foods as your child gets older. Make sure to avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat.
6. Incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods: As your infant starts to eat solid foods, make sure to offer a variety of foods from different food groups that are high in nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This will help ensure that your baby is getting a variety and sufficient amounts of nutrients.
7. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. They can also be low in essential nutrients.
8. Limit sugary drinks: Sugary drinks, like fruit juice and soda, can provide your infant with empty calories. Stick to water and milk to help keep your infant hydrated and to give them the nutrients they need.
9. Avoid foods that are high in sodium: Too much sodium can be harmful to your infant’s health. Limit foods high in sodium, like processed foods and fast food.
10. Ensure your infant is getting enough iron: Iron is necessary for development. Make sure to include iron-rich foods in your infant’s diet, like dark leafy greens, lean meats, and beans.
11. Ensure your child is getting enough vitamins and minerals: This can be done by giving them a daily multivitamin. You can also give them specific supplements if they are deficient in a particular nutrient. For example, iron supplements are often recommended for infants.
12. Talk to your doctor: If you have any concerns about your infant’s nutrition, talk to your doctor. They can provide you with guidance and support.