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What You Need to Know about Infant/toddler Nutrition


Making sure an infant or toddler is properly nourished is extremely important – during these vital stages of child development, the bodies and brains of young children are still growing and developing. Without the right infant/toddler nutrition, children will not become their best and healthiest selves. Like adults, babies and small children require specific minerals, vitamins, and caloric intakes to support their growth and general well-being; however, due to their small size and their rapid growth, infants and toddlers must be fed in just the right way. For example, infants do best on mother’s milk (breast milk) during the first months of life; however, not every woman is able or willing to nurse her child.


When breast milk isn’t an option, infant formulas from reputable companies or pharmacies will be an excellent option. While these formula mixtures lack the powerful antibodies found in breast milk (which are purported to contribute to better intelligence and more robust health), they are nonetheless good choices for infants, because they provide a range of nutrients that are essential to infant health. A licensed medical doctor will know exactly what to recommend for a baby. Infant formula will be a baby’s sole form of nutrition during the first months of life, so choosing the right brand and type of baby formula is very important. In some cases, infants may have allergic reactions to certain types of formula (due to dairy allergies or other food allergies); babies should be taken to the doctor if any adverse symptoms occur. Typically, children do not have allergic reactions to breast milk.


Older infants will graduate to solid foods at about six months of age; typical food at this important stage of development includes Pablum-type cereals that are made just for babies. These fine-milled products should not be confused with grain-based cereals for adults. Gradually, other foods should be introduced in accordance with an infant’s age and rate of growth; other examples of good, nutrient-rich foods for babies include pure, unsweetened apple juices, fruits and vegetables (blended smooth at home, or sold in baby food jars), and pureed meats and pastas. Usually, government health agencies offer lots of free information about how to feed your baby during infancy and into the toddler phase. Of course, a doctor is also a great resource for this sort of vital data.


Over time, your infant or toddler will develop pronounced likes and dislikes for certain food tastes and textures. Usually, (perhaps due to tender childhood taste buds), babies and young children prefer blander foods or sweeter flavors. While sweet tastes will almost always appeal, they should be limited to fruits and other naturally sweet foods. Never give your child sugar water (in a bottle or toddler “sippy” cup); these types of no-nutrient drinks offer no benefits to your child, and they may cause dental caries (serious tooth decay) that significantly impair a child’s health. Proper oral care is very important when babies or toddlers are developing – the health of teeth and gums impacts overall health, and an unhealthy mouth may contribute to a less-robust immune system.


Many mothers rely on their doctors to provide guidance regarding nutrition for infants during their babies’ first months of life – as babies grow into toddlers, they will still require regular care from a doctor, who may monitor their diets and suggest improvements as needed.


Disclaimer - The medical data and advice provided here is not a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor. Therefore, this website and its operators cannot take responsibility for results based on information provided here. Always see a doctor if you need professional medical advice.For serious health matters, visit a hospital emergency room or a health care clinic.