Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby during the first 6 months of life. It provides ample energy, protein, as well as micronutrients like minerals and vitamins that your baby needs to stay healthy. But soon after the 6 month mark, nutrient needs increase significantly, and breast milk alone is insufficient.
As a result, it has to be complemented with nutritious complementary foods which fulfil both, energy and nutrient needs. The complementary foods you feed your child should contain the right amount of vitamins for their growth and health.
After the age of 6 months, babies need around 300 mg of Vitamin A per day. It is important to ensure that there is sufficient Vitamin A in their food as it plays a role in functions like visual development and immune system functioning, protecting them from infections like measles and diarrhea.
Sources: Colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and papaya.
Vitamin C is especially important after 6 months, when the infant needs around 25 mg per day, and iron needs increase significantly. It helps absorb iron, heal tissues, and protect against infections.
Sources: A variety of fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, red bell peppers, apples, berries, melons, cabbage, tomatoes, fortified foods and juices.
Your baby needs around 5 mcg of Vitamin D between birth and 5 years of age, to support the growth of bones and teeth occurring at a rapid rate.
Sources: Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. Food sources include fortified foods like cereals and juices. When your infant is older, around the age of 9-12 months, you can also introduce eggs and fatty fish based on your doctor’s recommendations.
The increased nutrient needs during this age are accompanied by the small appetite of your infant, as a result of which complementary foods need to be nutrient-dense, like fortified cereal, which can give your little one optimal nutrition to support the rapid growth and development.
Disclaimer: All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.