Five Essential Nutrients Your Baby Needs

A baby can be a picky eater and might not like to eat or drink certain foods, and this can hamper their development if certain nutrients are not taken in. In order to keep your baby growing and developing properly, you need to know that there are five nutrients you should be giving to them to maintain proper health and development. If you have a baby and you are trying to figure out what nutrients are essential to their development, you should know that there are five that are essential.

The first essential nutrient for your baby is iron. Iron is a critical nutrient that is responsible for proper brain development and if your baby does not get enough of the iron they could lack important motor skills. When a baby is born, they usually have enough iron in their bodies to last them until about four months of age, unless they are a premature baby. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the baby will store the iron in their body, so it is important if you have a premature baby that you give them a supplement of iron starting after birth. You can get iron in baby formula which you should be supplementing along with breast milk since breast milk does not contain the iron. Once your baby reaches 6 months of age, you should start giving them iron-fortified baby cereal and just two servings of this will make sure they get their recommended daily dose of 11 milligrams of iron. When you move onto more solid foods for your baby, keep in mind ground beef and turkey are high in iron along with other poultry items and fish. You should check with your doctor to make sure your baby is getting enough iron whether they are a newborn or 8 months old.

Calcium is another essential nutrient that you baby is going to need. Calcium is essential for proper bone growth and development of bone mass. Breast milk, whole milk, and formula all contain the right amounts of calcium your baby will need. You can get calcium in solid foods such as yogurt, cheese, orange juice, and oatmeal which you can give to your baby once the time is right to introduce more solid foods. If you start your baby off with the proper amounts of calcium now, as your baby gets older the bones will develop strong and be dense which is what you want. All of your baby formula brands come with a large amount of calcium, so if you do not choose to breast feed which is a great source of calcium there are plenty of other options.

Zinc is also a nutrient that is essential for your baby, and is essential for brain cognition as well as development. Zinc is a nutrient that helps cells grow and repair while also maintaining a proper immune system function. If your baby becomes depleted in zinc, they can have growth impairments as well as have a weakened immune system which can cause them to catch illnesses and become sick. Baby formula is a great source of zinc, which is not found in breast milk. If you are breast feeding it is important you supplement your own milk with baby formula to ensure your baby is getting the essential zinc nutrients. Once your baby is old enough for solid foods, you can introduce fortified cereals, turkey, eggs, fish, whole milk, and cheese into their diet to ensure that they are getting the proper amounts of zinc. Iron and zinc are pretty much found in the same foods and liquids so if you know your baby is getting enough iron then your baby is probably getting the recommended amount of zinc.

Vitamins A, E, D, and K are also essential nutrients that your baby will need and is essential for a healthy baby. Vitamin D helps calcium be absorbed into the body and helps facilitate bone growth while E vitamins provide antioxidant powers that help cell growth and nervous system development. Vitamin A is essential for vision and healthy skin and K vitamins are essential in helping the blood clot properly. Vitamin K is delivered to your baby in a shot when they are first born, and infant formula gets your baby proper vitamin A, D, and E amounts. If you breast feed your baby you should give them a supplement of D vitamins to make sure they get the right amount. Once your baby becomes old enough to get more solid foods, they will get enough of these vitamins as long as they eat enough fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat. If you are concerned about your baby and the intake of these vitamins, you can consult your doctor.

Vitamins C and B are also essential for your baby to get and vitamin C helps improve iron absorption while B vitamins are important for your immune system and nervous system. Vitamin C and B are found in many foods such as meat, poultry, vegetables, and whole grains so you should give your baby a variety of foods once solids are introduced. You can also get these vitamins in breast milk and baby formula if your baby is too young for solid foods. If you are looking to get your baby essential vitamin B then you should give them many different fruits and vegetables and also a supplement if you are concerned whether they are getting enough of the vitamin. If you are unsure whether or not your baby is getting enough of Vitamin C and B, ask your doctor about the recommended doses and foods.