Recommended nutritional intake of a baby

Recommended nutritional intake of a baby

A balanced diet is important to ensure the proper growth of the baby. Good eating habits can be taught from childhood to prevent problems when the child is an adult: obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, among others.

The food in the child (when he already eats all kinds of food), must be varied, balanced and proportionate. You can eat anything but in moderation.

It is important to follow the pediatrician’s guidelines in the introduction of food. The rush is not good, since it is important to see how the baby tolerates the new foods. Introducing foods other than milk before time is harmful to the infant; his digestive system and his immune system is very immature and, the introduction of food when he is not supposed to, can cause digestive, nutritional and food allergy problems in the child.

Lactation

The ideal food in the first six months of the baby’s life is exclusive breastfeeding.

Both in breastfeeding and in artificial feeding (the first 4 -6 months of the baby’s life), you should not have too much concern about how balanced the diet should be because milk offers the infant all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need.

Always follow the pediatrician’s prescription regarding the type of milk and the amount per feeding that the baby should drink.

complementary feeding

It should start to be introduced from 4-6 months and should represent 50% of the total daily calories; the other 50% of calories are provided by milk (breast or formula). New foods should be introduced in increasing quantities and one at a time to assess possible allergies.

The amount of milk must be at least half a liter a day. Cow’s milk should not be given until 12 months. It is even recommended that an adapted milk formula (type 3 or growth) be used until 2 or 3 years of age.

To educate the palate of babies and promote healthy habits (for the prevention of diseases such as obesity, hypertension or dental caries) neither sugar nor salt should be added during the first year of life.

The food must be of good quality and, preferably, prepared at the moment. Fruits and vegetables must be well washed.

Meat and fish must be in good condition and always well cooked, not raw. It is advisable to buy fish frozen or put it in the freezer for 48 hours to eliminate anisakis (parasites that live in fish)

Drinks

It is very important, when solid foods have been introduced, to give water at meals and between meals. Do not offer sweet drinks to children (soft drinks, packaged juices…). The best drinks are water, natural juices and milk. Currently it seems that there may be a relationship between childhood obesity and the abuse of sweet drinks.

Baby food and homemade food

Although all commercial baby food companies make prepared food (jars), homemade food is the best option. Occasionally industrially prepared foods can be given: on trips, situations with little time to prepare the menu… It is a good alternative since they are subject to a very exhaustive control and with a strict quality control in raw materials.

vegetarian diets

Children who follow a strict vegetarian diet, without meat, milk or eggs, cause a deficit of B vitamins (mainly B12 and B2). In these cases supplements should be given.

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