Infant Nutrition – The Benefits Of Breast Feeding

the nutrients and minerals

Infant nutrition is simply the description of a baby’s dietary requirements at the time of his/her birth. A normally developing baby requires a well-balanced and nutritionally adequate diet to grow healthily. Often times a mother will try to give her child whatever she can because breast milk offers the best nutrients for these sensitive early years. Unfortunately, modern farming methods often strip away the nutrients and minerals found naturally in breast milk. Today’s standard infant foods often lack the needed vitamins and minerals.

When babies reach one year of age they typically have a few more calories than during the entire first year of life. One year old children may only have a couple of hundred calories in one day compared to a one year old who has probably grown several pounds. This is primarily due to muscle development and increased body weight. Thus, it is important for infants and toddlers to receive a proper amount of nourishment from the beginning.

breast milk and formula

Many people believe that breast milk and formula are the only foods suitable for infants under one year of age. However, there are many different options available for healthy infant nutrition. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products are all good choices. Some people even suggest giving infants solids like small pieces of raw meat or pureed fruits and vegetables.

There are some infants who are lactose intolerant. Unfortunately, the majority of formula manufacturers do not produce a product designed for lactose intolerant mothers. Fortunately, many mothers who are not allergic to cow’s milk still produce successful and beneficial breast milk substitute baby formulas. Formula makers recognize these types of mothers as ideal models for infant nutrition.

less additives and unhealthy fats in their formulas

In addition to cow’s milk, formulas for infants can be provided with soy, rice, or goat’s milk. If you decide to feed your baby with a soy formula, be sure to check with the brand you purchase. Many soy formulas do not have the protein levels found in breast milk and will not meet dietary requirements for infants. On the other hand, rice and goat’s milk are great alternatives to help infants receive a sufficient amount of nutrients. If you are interested in using rice and/or goat’s milk, look for organic brands that are more likely to have less additives and unhealthy fats in their formulas.

Finally, babies require a variety of vitamins and minerals to ensure adequate levels of everything needed for healthy growth. Babies who receive adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals through infant nutrition receive a wide range of essential nutrients that can lead to overall healthy development and maintenance. Breastfeeding an infant may be one of the most important choices you make for your child. When feeding infants solid foods, remember to provide them with a wide variety of healthy, complete foods to insure a long and healthy life.

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