The correct feeding of a baby is the key to its growth and to prevent the appearance of diseases. Depending on the stage of growth, you must take into account different considerations regarding the nutrition of a baby.
We tell you the most important keys to ensure that children have a correct diet and, therefore, are well nourished. From the first stage of lactation to the introduction of solid foods, we explain what foods will help you keep them healthy and why reviewing their nutritional qualities.
Keys to the correct nutrition of a baby
Breast milk, essential for infants
During the first 4 months of life, babies eat mainly breast milk. It is the most recommended food during this period, since it has a large number of nutrients and immunological advantages, in addition to having a composition that adapts to the digestive limitations of the baby.
In fact, breast milk can vary its composition depending on the needs of the infant. It changes as the child grows and develops.
Food preparations for infants, the alternative to breast milk
In the case that the mother cannot breastfeed or decides not to breastfeed, the alternative is formula milk. These types of products are subjected to an exhaustive scrutiny to ensure that the milk contains all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that the baby needs.
It is very important to check that the formula milk we give the baby does not contain an excessive amount of sugar.
Solid food to acquire extra nutrients
From about 6 months, solid foods can already be included as a complement to breast milk or formula milk. When the child reaches this age, the reserves of nutrients, such as iron begin to run out. Therefore, to ensure the proper nutrition of a baby, we need extra power supplies.
Because the immune system is still in the process of development, there are certain foods that we must avoid, as they can cause allergies or expose the baby to certain bacteria. This is the case of foods that contain gluten, eggs, fish and shellfish (which are at risk of allergy) and certain types of cheese (which may contain bacteria harmful to the child).
Taste the food of dad and mom
When the baby is already getting used to solid food and is even experimenting with new textures and flavors, we can encourage them to eat our own food. Be careful, it is important that you have neither sugar nor salt.
At this point, it is crucial to be aware that we are an example for our children. If we prepare healthy foods for us, we will be instilling healthy habits for children. They will adopt our same attitudes towards food.
Nutritional supplements for children who eat little
Sometimes young children eat little and it may be lack of appetite or some kind of discomfort. In these cases, we must consult with a specialist the reasons why the child does not want to eat.
To help with these problems of nutrition of a baby, we can resort to food supplements for children. For example, the nutritional supplement Vitafos Junior can help to meet the needs of children from 1 year, providing the vitamins and minerals that are missing.
Many small children ages 1 to 3 eat more calories than they need, which is a risk of obesity. Therefore, it is necessary to plan balanced meals.
What is recommended by nutritionists and pediatricians for the nutrition of a baby is the following:
- Breakfast should represent 25% of the total food intake, consisting of porridge, milk with cereals or fruit.
- The food would take 30%, where purées of vegetables, pasta, rice, stews, meat and fish can be included.
- During the afternoon, the snack represents another 15% of the intake and we can include fruits, ham, yogurt or sandwiches.
- Finally, 30% of food will be given at dinner, where we would give preference to vegetables, cereals and fruits.
Limit the intake of added sugar and saturated fats
Related to the previous point, to ensure a healthy diet, we must try to limit the intake of added sugars and saturated fats.
What foods should we reduce?
- Sweets. As an alternative we recommend unsalted nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc. and also dried fruit such as raisins, dried figs, etc.
- Sugary drinks such as colas, oranges, juices, etc. Instead, water is the healthiest.
- Pastries and industrial products in particular, should be replaced by sandwiches or fruit.
- Fast food because it has a high level of saturated fat.
- Prepared and processed meat products, with a higher level of fats as well. For example, sausages, pâtés, sausages, etc.
As we can see, in order to achieve adequate child nutrition in our children, we should not only look at what children should eat but also what they should not eat.
As children grow, they acquire their own eating behavior. The act of eating is not only a nutritious process but also a source of pleasure, a way of relating to others, a form of social identification. Therefore, they are likely to acquire not-so-healthy eating habits.
Parents can avoid bad habits, through a correct food education. It is necessary to take advantage of all the nutritious foods of our diet and to encourage the smallest of the house to eat and enjoy the fruit, vegetables, legumes and fish.
Do you have questions? Do you want to give some advice on the nutrition of a baby? We will be happy to read your comments. And do not forget to consult any questions with your pediatrician.