Nutrients Every Child Needs
Most young babies get all the vitamins and minerals they need from breast milk or ironfortified formula. The exception is vitamin D, which is recommended for babies who drink less than 32 ounces of formula per day and for breastfed babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU of vitamin D as a daily dose.
After six months and as your baby is transitioning to a diet of more solid food, it is important to have a variety of foods to ensure good nutrition. Healthy foods in addition to breast milk or formula can provide the following critical nutrients.
Iron helps to prevent anemia. Good sources: meats, legumes such as lentils and black beans, iron-fortified cereal and green leafy vegetables.
Calcium, for healthy bones and teeth is necessary for muscle and nerve function. Good sources: dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and soybeans.
DHA is a fatty acid believed to help development of the brain and eyes. Good sources: fatty fish and eggs.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for nervous system development and to prevent anemia. Good sources: meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy.
Vitamin C is important for bones, blood vessels and skin. Good sources: fruits and vegetables.
Some babies may need supplements due to medical conditions (premature birth, poor feeding) or family diet choices (vegan). Talk to your baby’s healthcare provider if you have concerns about your baby’s nutritional status. There are so many delicious ways to keep your baby healthy!