As parents, learning about kid’s nutrition is the first step toward starting your infant on a healthy diet. It is important to understand what essential foods are beneficial to your kid at each stage of their growth and development.
The early stages
During the early stages of your baby’s development, breast milk or formula or a combination of the two is the best food source for your baby in terms of getting all the nutrients they need.
When your kid makes a start on solids, breast milk and formula still remain the main food source as your baby becomes more familiar with new tastes and begins to master the art of chewing.
It’s a good time for parents to learn more about nutrition as your baby becomes less reliant on breast milk or formula and draws more nutrition from solid foods.
Nutritional needs for growing infants
Provide a balance in nutrition for your bub by having a good mix of foods such as breakfast cereals and porridge, mashed or pureed fruit and vegetables. This will make sure they have a healthy supply of iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins C and A. A good way to ensure a balanced diet is to go through the food groups and introduce a variety to your kid as he gets accustomed to solid foods.
Although dairy products are a great source of calcium and other nutrients, it’s best not to include cow’s milk in your kid’s diet until after 12 months as babies are still reliant on breast milk or formula for much of their nutrients. Other types of dairy products on the other hand, such as yoghurts and cheeses can be introduced as early as 7 to 8 months.
Along with lollies and chocolates other sugary foods can lead to tooth decay, so try and limit your kid’s sugar intake and opt for water instead of fruit juice. Some fruit juices can cause tummy upsets in young children.
Although it was once thought that foods high in sugar content were responsible for aggressive behaviour in kid’s, food additives are more likely to be the culprit. Take a look at our information on food additives to see how you can minimise the additives in your bub’s diet.
Got a picky eater on your hands?
If you find yourself up against a picky eater and you’re worried your kid isn’t getting enough nutrients, see our quick tips on how to assess your child’s eating. Encourage your kid’s to choose the recipe and involve them in the preparing and serving of the meals. They are more likely to eat a food they’ve chosen or we’re actively involved in the creation process. See our recipe finder for great for meal ideas for kid’s of all ages.
Talk to our kid’s nutrition experts
If you’re keen to learn more about kid’s nutrition, see the resources and courses available under further studies.
For more information see Baby Care