Essential nutrients for growing babies, infants and toddlers

New parents like us always have 4 W’s in mind when it comes to weaning and solid foods feeding.

What nutrients baby needs?

Below is the list of essential nutrients that are important in their growth and some examples of foods that contains of these nutrients.

NutrientsFunctionExample of foods that contains
ProteinHelps in body building and also cell tissues repairingMeat, fish, egg, tofu, beans, nuts, dairy products
CarbohydrateProvide energy for physical activiesRice, cereal, noodles, bread, pasta, oatmeal, potato
FatThis is important in brain development, building cell membranes and protect internal organsMeat, fish, whole-milk dairy products, cheese
CalciumAffecting in bone and teeth growing, maintaining nervous system function as wellMilk, soya, egg yolk, cheese, yogurt, tofu
IronAn oxygen-carrying component of blood as it produce red blood cells. Children need enough iron to expand blood volume during periods of rapid growth.Red Meat, whole grains, beans, nuts, spinach
Folic AcidAnother name for this is either folate or Vitamin B9, this is essential for human growth and proper brain function developmentBlack beans, spinach, whole grains cereal
FibreIt improves digestive system and bowel regularity, it helps preventing heart diseases and cancersCereals, beans, green leaf vegetables and fruits
Vitamin AVision protector, it keeps healthy skin and prevent infection tooPotato, carrots, apricots, animal liver
Vitamin CVitamin C works as antioxidant that helps the body in iron absorption. It helps to strengthen the immune system towards common coldBrocolli, kiwi, papaya, orange, strawberry, cauliflowers
Vitamin DIt helps to absorb calcium, maintaining bone and teeth healthFish, cod liver oil, egg, mushroom

 

When to start weaning?

Feeding solid foods to the baby is not simple as if you feed too early, it might make your baby get choke and even worse when eating become a phobia for them. If you start weaning too late, it might cause malnutrition as baby are unable to get enough daily nutrients. It is suggested that baby shall start weaning at about 6 months where they most probably will be teething at this stage. Beside teething, they are able to sit upright and ability of chewing and swallowing will developed better now.

Where to do weaning?

Weaning is as important as adult dining, so if you want your baby to grow up with proper eating habits then you shall treat weaning as normal adult dining. Do the weaning at the dining table and let your baby concentrated on the process.

Who shall do the feeding?

There is always a bond and trust between the baby and the carer, so the carer shall be able to comfort the baby on their first bites. However, I am proud to feed my son on our own as this should be a responsibility for a parent on every first trial of their kids. Every first trial or move from own baby is always a happy and unforgettable memories in all parents mind.

 

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