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How to Provide a Baby With All the Vitamins and Minerals in the First Year of Life?

 June 10, 2022

By  Kyrie Mattos

Humans hardly “reserve” vitamins: only a small amount of some fat-soluble vitamins is stored in the body, but it lasts only for a short time – from 4 days to 6 weeks. That’s why their deficiency is so dangerous for newborns. Vitamins are necessary for growth, and a child needs them from the first day of life. But most vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body and mostly comes with food. Providing a baby with a balanced diet is the primary task of parents.

A newborn baby’s nutrition mostly begins with breast milk which helps the baby’s digestive system and ensures physical and mental development. If the newborn is formula-fed, there is nothing wrong with it. Of course, the best food for the baby is breast milk, but some women have to switch to formula feeding for various reasons. 

Let’s see what nutrients a baby needs during the first year of life and how they help the child’s body develop.

Minerals and their role in the baby’s body 

It is impossible to imagine the composition of milk formula without minerals. They are associated with many biochemical processes of the body. At the same time, their biological activity can be significantly influenced by other nutrients. Therefore, when choosing a milk formula, pay attention not only to the source of milk but also to the ratio of micronutrients. Quality baby food, such as HIPP formula, provides all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the healthy growth and development of your little one. 

What minerals do your baby need? 

  • Calcium

In addition to phosphorus, it is the main mineral of bones and teeth. Calcium metabolism depends on palmitic fatty acid and fat-soluble vitamin D, which the baby gets with breast milk or formula. If calcium is not absorbed properly and does not reach the bone tissue cells, there may be problems with the formation of the musculoskeletal system and teeth. Calcium also regulates nervous excitement. 

  • Iron

Its optimal amount prevents iron deficiency in infants. Excess iron affects the absorption of other elements and causes gastrointestinal side effects (constipation, diarrhea).

Modern infant formulas contain micronutrients such as iodine and selenium. Selenium has antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects.

Iodine is part of the thyroid hormones, and it is necessary for the proper mental and physical development of the baby.

  • Magnesium

It also takes part in the formation of bone tissue, but its main role is to prevent neurological disorders. If an infant lacks magnesium, he or she becomes tearful, has trouble falling asleep, and shudders in his or her sleep. Increased anxiety during feeding can lead to more frequent regurgitation. In addition, a lack of magnesium may have a delayed effect and have a negative impact on memory and concentration.

Only a doctor can tell whether the body has enough minerals or not by the symptoms and the level of minerals in the infant’s blood.

What vitamins should be in your baby’s diet? 

Vitamins are nutritious supplements that ensure the development and function of various organs and systems of infants, especially during intense growth. In infants, the main source of vitamins is breast milk or baby formula. First of all, the concentration of vitamins in breast milk depends on the nursing mother’s diet. The balance of vitamins in milk formula is determined by national and international standards. 

Solving the problem of a lack of certain nutrients is much easier with older children. Their diet is more diverse, and the doctor may prescribe a course of vitamin therapy when necessary. With babies under 12 months, the situation is a bit more complicated, so many new moms have a question: Should we give vitamins to newborns? It is important to note that if a child is breastfed, he or she already gets all the necessary nutrients, including vitamins, from breast milk. If there is a real need to prescribe vitamins for infants, only a doctor can determine what kind of medicine and what doses to give the child.

Vitamin C: Why does an infant’s body need it?

It is vital for children from birth as this vitamin strengthens the immune response and protects against infections, strengthens the walls of blood vessels, keeps gums healthy, and reduces bruising during falls and abrasions. Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin E. However, allergies to vitamin C are possible – due to an excess of it. 

Vitamin A for newborns: What are the benefits?

Vitamin A is essential for collagen production and helps maintain a healthy baby’s skin, making it soft and delicate. Vitamin A also strengthens the nervous and immune systems and visual function so that the baby is healthy and can see well. A lack of vitamin A can affect vision development and bone formation.

Vitamin E: Why is it good for a baby?

Vitamin E is involved in the maturation of visual function, the nervous and immune systems, as well as it has powerful antioxidant properties and protects cells from damage.

What do you know about Vitamin D? 

The primary role of this vitamin is to help in the absorption of phosphorus and calcium. In addition, it helps normalize heart function, supports immune cell activity, and is responsible for blood clotting. Vitamin D for infants is exceptional and is prescribed by pediatricians around the world as a daily food supplement for both breastfed and formula-fed infants. 

Despite the fact that breast milk contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals, the baby often does not get enough of them due to the nursing mother’s unbalanced, poor or low-calorie diet. Parents of formula-fed babies may be less concerned about the level of vitamins and minerals because milk formulas have a concentration calculated according to their age needs.

It can be said that baby food in the 1st year of life is the engine of positive changes occurring with the baby because a balanced diet helps him or her to develop harmoniously and gain new skills. It is important to provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients from the first hours of life.

Kyrie Mattos


BayCitizen.org

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