Proper nutrition with carefully chosen products is one of many factors that affect our health. Since parents want only the best for their little ones, baby nutrition is a very popular topic. This article’s goal is to help understand baby nutrition and the right baby food to give during the first year.
According to the current WHO recommendations, the baby should be exclusively breastfed for up to six months. Breastfeeding is a natural and therefore the best diet that assures harmonious development.
Breastfeeding brings many benefits for both the baby and the mother. The advantages for the baby include a lower risk of otitis media, asthma, atopic dermatitis, obesity, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, increased cholesterol levels, as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, certain cancers, and type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Benefits for the mother include reducing the risk of postpartum bleeding, faster postpartum uterine involution, faster return to pre-pregnancy weight, and reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
Artificial feeding involves using baby formulas based on modified cow’s or goat’s milk. Modifications to the composition of cow/goat milk concern both the quantity and quality of individual nutrients and the purpose of the modification is to make such milk similar to human breast milk as much as possible.
Infant baby formula marked with the number 1 is intended for infant nutrition from birth to 4-6 months. Baby formula marked with a number 2 is a follow-on formula for babies, generally used after six months.
The choice of baby formula should be made after the consultation with a doctor, who will evaluate the baby’s health and specific nutritional needs.
Complementary foods, i.e. other than breast milk or baby formula, should be introduced around the 6th month. Initially, it is worth offering a baby one dairy-free meal a day. A new product should be introduced every few days in small amounts, carefully observing the baby so that if symptoms of food allergy occur, the allergenic factor can be identified.
It is recommended to start expanding the diet by giving the child a single-ingredient vegetable puree or a vegetable cut into small pieces that the baby can hold in its hand. After introducing vegetables, offer your baby fruits and different kinds of organic baby cereal.
According to doctors and nutritionists, the order in which new foods are introduced does not matter, but the importance of starting to expand the diet with vegetables helps develop proper eating habits in the baby. Strongly allergenic products, such as nuts, chocolate, citrus, or seafood, should not be given before the child is 1 year old.