Ten Tips For becoming Your Family's Nutritionist - Article Three.
Following are the next three tips.
You as parents have a nutritional window of opportunity in your child's first few years to shape their tastes into lifelong healthy eating habits. Here are the first five of ten tips that will give your infant a smart nutritional start.
7. Mind Your Minerals.
To understand how your baby can become iron deficient, let's follow this interesting mineral through the body. During baby's life in the womb the mother gives him a lot of extra iron, which is stored in the tissues of his body and in the hemoglobin or red blood cells. (While term babies are born with a large supply of reserve iron stored in their bodies, premature infants need iron supplements beginning at birth. As old red blood cells are used up and disposed of by the body, much of the iron is recycled into new blood cells. As the iron in the blood is used up, the iron stores in the body portion out enough iron to keep baby's blood hemoglobin normal. If no dietary iron were to come in, these stores would be used by the six months. This is the nutritional rationale for giving babies iron-rich milk, either breast milk or iron-fortified formula, beginning at birth, or at least within the first few months. Here are some guidelines for avoiding iron deficiency.
Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. The special iron in your milk has a high bioavailability, so 50 to7 percent of it is absorbed, but only 4 to 10 percent of iron in other foods, such as iron-fortified cereals and formulas, gets into your baby's blood. In studies breastfed infants had a higher hemoglobin value at four to six months than infants who were fed an iron-fortified formula.
Avoid cow's milk for infants; limit it for toddlers. Cow's milk (which is very low in iron) should not be given as a beverage to infants under one year of age. Besides being a poor source of dietary iron, excessive cow's milk can irritate the lining of your infant's intestines, causing tiny losses of iron over a long period of time, further contributing to iron-deficiency anemia. Also limit your toddler's cow's milk consumption to no more than twenty-four ounces (710 milliliters) a day.
If formula feeding, use iron-fortified formula. Give your bottle-fed infant iron-fortified formula, preferably beginning at birth, but at least by four months of age. Continue iron-fortified formula for at least one year, or until your infant has adequate alternative dietary sources of iron.
Combine foods wisely. Some foods help and others hinder iron absorption. Feeding solids just before or right after breastfeeding can diminish absorption of the valuable iron in breast milk. For this reason, if your baby is iron deficient, space the feeding of solid foods and breastfeeding by at least twenty minutes. Here are some iron helpers: Vitamin C-containing foods (fruits and juice) are iron enhances, meaning they increase the iron absorption from other foods. Orange juice with a meal can double the amount of iron absorbed from the food. Drinking milk with a meal can decrease the amount of iron absorbed from other foods. Nutritionists believe that animal protein foods contain a "meat factor" that improves the absorption of vegetable iron eaten at the same time as meat. The best co-helpers are meat and vitamin C-containing foods eaten together at the same meal, for example, spaghetti with meat and tomato sauce, hamburgers and coleslaw, or a turkey sandwich and orange juice. Another good combination is fruit and iron-fortified cereal.
Best Iron Sources For Babies
* breast milk
Iron requirements: Babies and children need around one milligram of iron per pound (0.5 milligram per kilogram) of body weight per day. If your doctor finds your baby iron deficient, baby will need around 6 milligrams of iron per pound every day for several months.
9. Make Every Calorie Count
Top Nutrient-rich Foods
The Ten Tips for Becoming your Family's Nutritionist will follow with Article four.
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