Feeding babies during the first year of life is the least complicated stage. They are breastfed most of the time, and the main purpose of the supplementary diet is to learn to eat solids and get acquainted with new tastes. This is an important stage in children’s nutrition as it greatly influences their dietary preferences.
How Long Should I Breastfeed?
There is confusion about the timing of breastfeeding. Major child health organizations, including WHO, UNICEF, and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), recommend exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months. This allows babies to maintain optimal growth, development, and health.
Often, feeding up to the age of 6 months is already quite a success. Few people know, however, that it is recommended to feed children with breast milk until at least 2 years of age. These health organizations recommend introducing complementary foods after six months of age while continuing breastfeeding until the age of 2 or more.
Breastfed Babies Are More Likely To Reach For New Dishes
There is an interesting and important difference between breast milk and baby formulas with the best infant formula ingredients. The taste of milk depends on the mom’s diet. In this way, the baby learns different tastes and easier and more willingly accepts new products into the diet. On the other hand, baby formulas may contain sweeteners to make babies like them more. Bottle-fed babies not only do not try different flavors but also get used to very sweet foods.
Feeding A Baby From 6 To 12 Months
Bearing in mind that it is best to breastfeed your baby until the age of two years, you should additionally introduce solid foods to its diet after the sixth month. When the baby is at the age of six to nine months, you can try to give it vegetables, fruits, porridges, vegetable purees, vegetable soups, ground seeds and nuts in minimum amounts.
When the baby is at the age of nine to twelve months, you can give it caloric sources of protein, preferably legumes (lentils, mung beans, green peas, and green beans). Ground meat is also recommended as a protein source.
Make sure to introduce new products to your baby very carefully and gradually. It is best to add one new product to the diet in 2-3 days. This way, you can observe the baby’s body’s reaction to it.
Vitamin Supplementation In The First Year Of Life
Due to a general lack of vitamin D in our bodies, babies should receive a vitamin D3 supplement. It is best to determine its amount with your doctor. Generally, however, a dosage of between 400 IU to 800 IU daily is recommended. For vegan-fed babies who do not take vitamin B12, vitamin B12 supplementation may also be required. These are two extremely important supplementations. However, before deciding to give your baby any supplements, you must check with the pediatrician.