Parenthood is a new journey, and it can be very intimidating. There’s no set of rules to follow, and everyone seems to have a different opinion on important matters. Feeding your baby can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure which foods are suitable. How can you be sure your newborn is getting the nutrients it needs? These five tips will see you through the first 12 months of your baby’s life.
- Milk Is The Primary Source Of Nourishment Throughout The First Year
Milk is every baby’s first food, and it remains their primary source of nourishment for at least the first 12 months. Naturally, you will also introduce a variety of solid foods during that time, getting your baby’s palate accustomed to different tastes and textures. Tasting solid food is essential to ensure there’s a good balance of nutrient intake.
Mothers are always reminded that breast is best, but let’s be real here – it isn’t always possible. We are fortunate to live in a time of science and innovation, and we are now seeing the best baby formula varieties on the market becoming affordable and readily available.
- Rice Cereal Is Not Sufficient
It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it fills your baby’s tummy. In fact, many doctors even recommend adding rice cereal to a baby’s bottle from as young as three months in order to promote deeper sleep and more restful nights. However, rice cereal contains almost no nutrients.
That’s not to say you should avoid rice cereal completely. Instead, mix some fruit into it or serve it alongside vegetables. Rice cereal can help to fill your baby’s tummy when you accompany it with other nutrient-dense foods.
- Add The Rainbow To Your Baby’s Plate
There’s lots of talk in the health industry about eating the rainbow for good health. This involves eating green foods (like lettuce, spinach, and kale) alongside reds, blues, yellows, and browns (nuts, seeds, and mushrooms). The same principle applies to your baby’s plate.
You can make your own rainbow smoothie for your baby by mashing foods together. If you’re feeling adventurous, look into the baby-led -weaning method. This method enables a baby to eat wholefoods safely without giving up milk (despite the misleading term “weaning”).
- Watch Your Baby’s Iron Levels
Iron is one mineral you do need to keep an eye on. It plays a pivotal role in the production of red blood cells. If your baby becomes pale and seems tired and unmotivated to eat, it might be an iron deficiency. A red tongue, brittle nails, and general fatigue are also common symptoms.
You can have your baby’s iron levels checked with a pediatrician. The doctor can also prescribe an appropriate iron supplement if necessary. You can prevent iron deficiencies by introducing lots of dark green foods, like spinach and kale, into the diet.
- Expose Your Baby To Gentle Sunlight Daily
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is not stored in the body. It is only produced when your skin is exposed to sunshine, but it’s not something you can do without. Baby skin is delicate, so it is only recommended that they go into the early morning sunlight or late afternoon sunlight. Around 15 minutes twice per day is ideal.
When you are uncertain of anything related to your newborn baby’s health, always consult with a doctor. A mother’s instinct is also an important guiding factor. So, if you sense something is wrong, always have it investigated.