Feeding Your Baby in the 1st year
Nutrition during the first year of your baby’s life is vital for proper growth and development. Feeding shall depend on your infant’s readiness, his developmental age, and more importantly your feeding skills and knowledge regarding food choice. In this article, we provide a list of Dos and Don’ts of nutrition advice for your baby in his 1st year.
1. 5 recommended foods for your baby in their 1st year
a/ Breastmilk or infant formula (0-12 months):
According to health experts, breast milk is inarguably the optimal nutritional choice for babies. Breast milk's components such as lactose, protein (whey and casein), and fat are easily digested by a newborn. Breast milk also contains many essential vitamins and minerals for newborns.
However, breastfeeding may not be possible for every mother. The mothers’ comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations will have a significant influence over their decision to breastfeed.
For moms who can't breastfeed or for those who decide not to, infant formula can be seen as a healthy alternative. Formula provides babies with the nutrients they require to develop.
b/ Infant cereal (4-12 months):
The truth about baby cereal really is… it’s not just plain rice. Because if it’s only made from rice, then there really isn’t any nutrition associated with it. As a result, it’s fortified with synthetic vitamins, such as ferrous sulfate (iron), folic acid (vitamin B9) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
c/ Juice or water (6-12 months):
Healthy babies usually require little or no extra water, except in very hot weather. For juice, it's best to wait until the baby reaches 6 months old before offering juice. But even then, pediatricians don't suggest giving babies juice that often, because it may add extra calories, lead to excess weight and tooth decay, or cause diarrhea.
d/ Fruit or vegetables (6-12 months):
Weaning with vegetables, especially 'green and bitter' ones, allows your baby to develop an eating habit for different flavours. This will eventually help them create a willingness to eat plenty of veg as they get older. Pretty much all vegetables and a few types of fruits make great weaning foods in the form of pureé, such as: spinach, carrot, avocado, pea, cauliflower, sweet potato, squash, brocolli.
e/ Meat or beans (6-12 months):
As baby grows, they will start to require an increased amount of iron which is essential for a normal development. Since the amount of iron inside breastmilk is not enough, hence an introduction of new source of iron from solid foods such as meats or beans.
2. 5 foods to avoid feeding your baby in their 1st year
Any form of honey (raw, baked, or cooked) should not be fed to children under below one year of age. Honey can harbor Clostridium botulinum, which can produce botulinum spores. These spores release toxins that can result in muscle weakness, poor sucking, a weak cry, constipation, and even paralysis in young infants. An infant's digestive system may not be strong enough to deal with these spores and toxins.
b/ Cow’s milk:
Certain enzymes and proteins in cow's milk may not be suitable for a child under one-year-old, and certain minerals in it can negatively affect your baby's kidneys. Besides, cow's milk doesn't contain all the proper nutrients that are necessary for a growing infant like breast milk or formula.
c/ Egg whites:
Pediatricians don’t recommend feeding egg products to a child under the age of one, to avoid potential allergic reaction in the future. Scientific research has proven that the proteins in eggs whites are likely to be the cause of allergic reactions, unlike the proteins in egg yolks. At five years old, a child’s immune system will be enhanced and hence minimizes the potential for an allergic reaction to egg whites.
Citrus fruits and juices contain high concentration of Vitamin C and acid, which can cause an upset stomach and/or heartburn in your baby.
Seafood, especially shellfish, can be another potential source of allergen for babies. Please consult with a certified pediatrician before feeding your baby any form of seafood, and make sure to not give any kind of shellfish (such as shrimp, clams, or crabmeat) to baby