Nutrition is one of the main determinants of human health. According to the WHO, health depends only 15% on genetic factors, and 70% is determined by lifestyle and nutrition. Food provides the energy necessary for vital processes in the body. The baby’s immune system develops in the first year, mainly depending on proper nutrition.
And the first 1,000 days of life are critical when nutrition and other aspects determine the baby’s further development.
There are quite a few ways to plan a baby’s diet properly. The nutrition of a child under 12 months differs significantly from the regular menu for an adult. But usually, this age becomes a kind of boundary when parents begin to quickly expand the list of foods that have previously been made.
Breastfeeding and the mother’s diet
Proper nutrition for babies becomes the basis for growth and development. Breastfeeding refers to natural feeding options because its composition can partially change and provide the baby with the needed nutrients.
Doctors are still arguing about the necessity for lactation and the feeding period. However, physicians agree that breastfeeding for up to two years may be acceptable for the most part. But in a particular situation, parents decide for themselves.
Breastfeeding a baby for up to 1 month is recommended because the milk contains all the mother’s antibodies that help the body resist infections. This becomes a kind of protection for the baby. A needed amount of food for a newborn is an individual question, which should preferably be discussed with the pediatrician.
The child’s food from 0 to 1 year should consist mainly of milk, but you need to keep in mind the basic rules:
- Parents should follow the feeding schedule, and if there are no medical conditions – the baby is attached to the breast on demand;
- Feeding a newborn by month is built depending on the intensity of weight gain;
- Parents should gradually accustom your baby to eating on a schedule – every 3-4 hours;
- A nursing mother should observe her diet and drink plenty of fluids. It is desirable to exclude spicy foods, chocolate candy, citrus fruits and vegetables, soda, and coffee from her menu. Sometimes you can eat them but in small quantities.
Mixed and formula feeding
A child’s diet under one year of age may involve a mixed type of feeding. It is an alternation in a certain proportion of feeding with breast milk and formula. The minimum amount of milk in this type of feeding should be 50% of the total amount.
Mixed feeding for a newborn is usually chosen when lactation is weak. That is, breast milk can not fully cover the baby’s needs in nutrients. In this case, the formula is used as a supplement.
Another possible option for feeding babies is complete formula feeding. Traditionally it is used for the lack of lactation. Then milk formula becomes a full-fledged replacement for breast milk. The pediatrician can help parents choose the right formula for the balanced nutrition of a newborn.
Formulas are designed according to the basic infant’s needs. Hipp formula is organic baby milk with a composition close to the composition of breast milk. Thus, food for children under 12 months is saturated with the right amount of trace elements and beneficial substances. But in this case, you need to immediately set a feeding schedule because the formula milk has to be given at a particular time.
The WHO recommends continuing to breastfeed at the slightest opportunity, as breast milk will always be the healthiest and most nutritious for your baby.
The first solid foods
Feeding a child under the age of 1 year involves the introduction of fruits and vegetables primarily. But it is not recommended to give babies their raw pieces. For example, it could be fruit puree and juice.
Choose them depending on the needs of the body. For example, for children who are overweight, suggest trying carrot puree. You can buy them ready-made or make them yourself.
Infant nutrition from 17 to 24 weeks
Sometimes complementary feeding begins as early as the 17th week of life, i.e., at 4 months. The reasons for this are:
- Underweight or overweight;
- Digestive disorders;
- Iron deficiency anemia.
The child’s body may already be ready to start eating new food at this age. But in classic situations at this time, feeding babies is mainly represented by breast milk, formula, and mixed-feeding options.
Usually, complementary feeding begins when the child is able to sit up independently. So for convenience, it is worth buying a high chair for feeding from birth, where it is convenient to feed your baby and play games.
Feeding babies from 25 weeks
For formula-fed babies, it is necessary to monitor the change of formula constantly because they are designed for a particular age. At the same time, it is not advisable to change the brand to avoid stomach upsets.
After the 29th week, the introduction of multicomponent purees of vegetables and lean meat begins. At seven months of age, the infant’s food does not need to be mushy: it is enough to mash with a fork.
With the 33rd week begins the introduction of food with a fish base. And it is quite a good thing because the baby gets iodine and amino acids. But even here, you can not yet use large pieces of food, which can get into the respiratory tract.
Feeding babies from 37 weeks
Food for babies up to 12 months gradually grows in portion size but is not served in whole pieces.
From ten months of age, the diet is quite rich, so it is desirable to make at least an approximate food schedule so that it is equally helpful to saturate the body with different nutrients.
A baby’s diet at one year is already quite large. This includes potatoes, eggs, vegetables and fruits, lean meat, or even cookies. It is desirable to interest the babies in the new food and not force them. For example, you can serve it on a plate in an artful way or teach it to eat – your spoon in your hands can help with this.
At one year old, eating habits are formed, so you need to introduce healthy foods and accustom your child to them.