Infant Nutrition Requires More Than Intuition

We mothers know that baby growth is particularly important in the early years. They have substantially higher dietary needs than adults due to their fist-sized tummies.

As mothers, we know that early newborn growth is crucial. Due to their fist-sized bellies, they need more food than adults. We use family recipes or our instincts to plan the baby's first diet.

For healthy newborn growth, we use intuitive nutrition—a well-planned, thoughtful diet and pattern. Despite diet fads, we don't know the appropriate combination of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for a baby's needs.

For baby meals, a mother considers family foods. She feeds the youngster pleasant, healthy food, thinking they're well-fed, although they may be malnourished. Indeed, intuitive feeding may not always provide the correct nutritional balance for a child's growth.

Clinical testing are needed to detect an imbalanced diet in children until it is severe. Symptomatic cases commonly tip. Nutrient deficiencies may influence newborn and child development. Lifelong health depends on infant nutrition.

Remember that optimal nutrition is scientific and goes beyond a child's bodily demands. Infancy is where 80% of brain development occurs, and what the newborn eats shapes its destiny.

The September 2016 WHO infant and small child feeding information sheet links undernutrition to 45% of child mortality. Globally, 156 million under-5s were stunted, 50 million wasting, and 42 million overweight or obese in 2015. Some countries have less than 25% of 6-23-month-olds

Because micronutrient inadequacy has no immediate repercussions, most parents don't supplement their babies. Mental growth is ignored while physical progress is measured. Brain growth requires vitamins. Parents must understand their child's nutritional demands because 80% of brain development is complete by age 2.

Urban children have more pediatric nutritional deficits, but there are strategies to prevent them. Considering that, supplemental feeding for children from 6 months onward should include vitamins and minerals-enriched meals, fortified grains/foods, iron/multi vitamin drops, and a variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs.

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