Baby’s healthy smiles can be both heart-melting and soul-lifting for many mothers. From birth to 6 months, all babies should be exclusively breast fed. Therefore, mothers must have a balanced diet to obtain the nutrients essential for baby’s growth.

Your baby is about to go through an amazing growth spurt. Expect your baby to double their birth weight by about age 5 -6 months and triple their birth weight by a year of age. To grow that much, they need a lot of nutrients more than at any other time in their life. Some of the nutrients babies need to grow and stay healthy include;

Essential Fatty acids. These create energy, help the brain develop, keep skin and hair healthy, and protect against infections.

Folate. Helps cells divide.

Iron. Builds blood cells and helps the brain develop. Iron plays an important role in the delivery of oxygen to tissues throughout the body.

Protein and carbohydrates. They provide energy and fuel growth.

Zinc. Helps the cells grow and repair themselves.

Prebiotics and Probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that might help protect against the “bad” types of bacteria that cause infection. Prebiotics promote the growth of these good bacteria in the gut.

Your baby also needs vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin A. Keeps skin, hair, vision, and the immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Helps the body convert food into energy.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Helps the body convert food into energy, and protects cells from damage.
  • Vitamin B3. Helps the body convert food into energy and use fats and protein.
  • Vitamin B6. Keeps the brainand immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin B12. Keeps nerve and blood cellshealthy and makes DNA the genetic material in every cell. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia.
  • Vitamin C. Protects against infections, builds bones and muscles and helps wounds heal.
  • Vitamin D. Helps the body absorb calciumfrom food and keeps bones and teeth
  • Vitamin E. Protects cells from damage, and strengthens the immune system.
  • Vitamin K. Helps in the formation of blood clotting factors.

Some babies may need additional vitamins, such as:

  • Premature babies born weighing less than 3.3 pounds will likely need extra vitamins and minerals added directly to breast milk or formula.
  • Babies who are exclusively as well as partially breastfed are recommended to be given vitamin D and potentially iron.
  • Babies born to mothers who follow a strict vegan diet may need a B12 supplement.

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