Dietary Needs for Infants are discussed in this article. This will give you a guide on the proper diets for infants. We hope you find it helpful.
What Do Infants Need in their Diet
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Infancy covers the period from birth to one year. It is a period of rapid growth. Infants grow rapidly. A child’s birth weight is normally doubled in the sixth month.
He also grows in length. The different organs of the body for instance the brain and the nerves are developing. Hence, the child needs good food that can promote growth.
Poor nutrition in infancy can retard growth. Healthy infants are active. Except when asleep or sick, the infant normally kicks about using both hands and legs.
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Thus the infant needs energy foods both for his or her exercises and body processes. Infants are more liable than adults to many deficiency diseases. Therefore, they require a good supply of vitamins, espionage vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
The Dietary Needs Of Infants are discussed below:
1. Milk and milk preparations are adequate sources of nourishment for the first four to six months of life. Breast milk is the best for the infant.
A healthy infant needs about 160m/kg/day of breast milk but there are wide variations. Some children may need more or less than this quantity. Research shows that milk contains some amount of protest, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, and phosphorus.
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2. After about four months, an infant can be introduced to semi-solid food. The infant’s food must be balanced. This is because the body is built at this stage to absorb and digest semi-solid foods.
This is important to note that it is very dangerous for babies to be fed solid foods because their bodies can not absorb or digest these foods.
The energy needs carbohydrates of the infant can be supplied from special cereal preparations such as maize or millet porridge.
3. The protein requirement of the infant is high. The recommended dietary allowance of protein for the infant is 2.5gm per kg of body weight. Thus an infant that weighs 6 kg requires 6 x 2.5gms of protein = 15.00gms of protein.
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4. Infants need calcium for strong bones and teeth. They can obtain this from breast milk or formula through bottle feeding. They also need iron for the production of red blood cells and to prevent anemia. After the first six months of an infant’s life, he can be introduced to sources of iron such as liver, egg yolk, and so on.
5. vitamin supplements should be added to the infant’s food. Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C for infants.
6. when it is decided to wean an infant, that is, replacing feeding from the breast or the bottle by the use of unmodified cow’s milk and solid foods, foods such are cereal porridge example Guinea, maize, and millet should be given. Each should be supplemented with soybean milk or another alternative like cow’s milk.
Other foods include boiled vegetables, stewed fruits, minced meat, fish, and eggs. Hard particles in foods should be removed.
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In conclusion, in the latter half of infancy, milk should still form a major part of the diet. Initially, cooked baby foods or commercial preparations could be used, but as the child approaches the toddler age, he or she may start sharing more and more of the family meals.