Needed for brain development and is also involved in various bodily functions such as transporting oxygen in the blood. Babies store iron while in the womb and usually have enough to get them through the first six months of life. But after that, human milk alone won’t provide an adequate source. Once you introduce solids around six months, choose first foods like rice cereals that are fortified with iron. Lean red meat is also a great source and can be pureed for babies around seven-nine months. Other useful foods include baked beans, green leafy vegetables and fish.
Essential for strong bones and teeth, calcium also helps with enzyme and muscle function, and blood clotting. Dairy food is the best source of calcium but some baby cereals are also fortified with calcium. According to the most recent Australian Nutrition Survey, 70 per cent of children don’t meet their recommended daily intake for calcium. Babies aged seven-12 months are estimated to need around 270mg of calcium a day if they’re breastfed and 350mg if they’re bottle fed, according to the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel. Milk, yoghurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, tofu, sardines and salmon are the best sources.
Helps cell growth and repair, and helps maintain a healthy immune system. Also necessary for brain cognition and development. Baby formula generally contains zinc and some cereals are fortified with it. Zinc is often found in the same foods that contain iron so if your baby is getting enough iron, they’re usually getting enough zinc too. Look for eggs, fish, milk and cheese.
Every cell that divides in a baby’s rapidly growing body requires B12, one of the eight B group vitamins. B12 is also essential for normal nerve cell function. It’s only found in products of animal origin so babies of vegans may need a supplement. Good sources include dairy products and eggs, while some soya formulas and cereals are fortified with the vitamin.
Babies need enough fat in their diet for proper growth and development but it’s important to make sure they’re getting the right types of fat and cholesterol. Australian guidelines recommend children under two have full-fat dairy products including milk and cheese. Avocado, mashed with cottage cheese is a sound meal that ticks several boxes including good fats, calcium and protein.
Source – www.bodyandsoul.com.au
Imagecredit – pininterest