Dec 27, 2008

Healthy Diet For Infant below 12months

What is a healthy diet for infants from birth to twelve months?

  • A healthy diet for babies from birth to twelve months is one that helps infants stay healthy and grow well. During this time, babies learn to eat the kinds of food that will keep them healthy in the future. This is also a time when babies learn how to use eating utensils and cups. Feeding time is special time for parents and babies to get to know each other.

  • It is important that your baby gets the right kinds and amounts of food. Your baby will grow more quickly during the first year of life than at any other time. Your baby should gain about one ounce every day for the first six months. After that, he should gain about half an ounce every day until he is one year old.

What foods should I avoid feeding my baby from birth to twelve months?

  • Do not give your baby regular cow's milk, goat's milk, or evaporated milk until he is one year old. These types of milk do not have as much iron as your baby needs, and are harder for your baby to digest.

  • Do not give your baby low-iron formula unless your caregiver tells you to. This formula can cause your baby to have low iron in his blood. Your baby needs iron in his diet in order to grow well.

  • Do not give your baby fruit juice, soda, fruit drinks, tea, or any liquid other than breast milk or formula in a bottle. When your baby is ready to learn to drink from a cup, a small amount of fruit juice is okay. Other liquids such as soda, fruit drinks, and tea do not have enough nutrients to help your baby grow. Giving your baby sweet liquids in a bottle may also cause him to get cavities.

  • Do not give your baby milk that has not been pasteurized (pas-ter-EYE-zd). Pasteurized milk is best because it has been processed to kill germs.

  • Do not give your baby raw eggs, honey, or corn syrup. These foods contain germs that can make your baby sick.

  • Do not add baby cereal or other foods to your baby's bottle unless your caregiver tells you to. Adding cereal or other food to formula or breast milk may cause your baby to drink less formula or breast milk. It may also cause him to choke, or to gain weight too fast.

  • Do not give your baby foods that are hard for him to chew because they may cause him to choke. This includes hot dogs, grapes, raw fruits and vegetables, raisins, seeds, popcorn, and sticky foods such as peanut butter.

  • Do not offer your baby water in a bottle. Offering plain water may keep your baby from getting as much formula as he needs. Your baby will get plenty of liquid by drinking breast milk or formula. Babies usually do not need extra liquids, but may need them in hot weather, or if they have diarrhea (loose, watery stools). Ask your caregiver about the amount and type of liquids that are best to give to your baby.

  • Do not add salt or sugar to your baby's foods to make them taste better. Your baby does not prefer to have foods that are salty or sweet because all flavors are new to him.

What can my baby eat from birth to twelve months?

Birth to four months: Breast milk or formula is the only thing your baby needs to be healthy.

  • Breast milk: Breast milk is the best food for your baby. It has the best nutrition and helps to keep your baby from getting sick. Ask your caregiver for information about the other benefits of breast feeding.

    • You should breast feed your baby when he acts hungry. You will be able to tell if your baby is crying because he is hungry or for another reason. Your baby will usually want to eat every two to three hours when he is first born. Your baby does not need to be fed on a strict schedule because every baby is different. Your baby will need about eight to twelve feedings every 24 hours. If he sleeps for more than four hours at one time, wake him up to eat. Babies should breast feed for about 10 to 20 minutes or longer, on each breast. As your baby gets older, he will go longer between feedings. There may be times when he breast feeds more or less often than usual. Ask your caregiver for more information about breast feeding.

  • Formula: If breast feeding does not work for you, you may give your baby infant formula from a bottle. There are many different kinds of formulas that are healthy for your baby. You can buy formulas that are "ready-to-feed" and do not need any mixing. Other formulas may be in a concentrated liquid or powder form, and need water added to them. Be sure to follow the directions when mixing the formula so that your baby gets the right amount. Until your baby is four months old, it is best to boil water for one to two minutes before mixing it with formula so that your baby does not get sick.

    • Cow's milk formula: These formulas are made from cow's milk that has been changed so that it is safe for babies. Do not give your baby regular cow's milk. Vitamins and minerals are added to make sure babies get all the nutrients they need. Most babies can drink cow's milk formulas without a problem. Some babies cannot digest (break down) the protein in cow's milk. Because of this they may develop a rash, throw up, or have diarrhea.

    • Soy milk formula: Parents who want their baby to have a vegetarian (made from a plant source) formula may choose soy formula. This formula may also be given to babies who cannot digest cow's milk. Vitamins and minerals are added to the soy milk formula to make sure babies get the nutrients they need. Babies who have a reaction to the protein in cow's milk formula may also have a reaction to the protein in soy milk formula. Soy milk formulas may not be a good choice for babies that are premature (born early), or have trouble growing.

    • Other special formulas: Babies who have a reaction to the protein in cow's milk formula or soy formula can usually drink these formulas. The fat in these formulas is also easier to digest for some babies. Babies sometimes have a hard time learning to like the taste of these special formulas. They may also cost more money.

    • Feeding your baby: Your baby will want to eat every two to four hours. Feed your baby each time he lets you know he is hungry. At first, your baby will want only two to three ounces every few hours. He will slowly start to drink more formula and may want to eat less often. He may drink up to six or eight ounces every three or four hours, as he gets older. When he has a growth spurt, he will be hungry more often and may want to eat more often. Burping your baby in the middle of his feeding may help him to spit up less.

Four to six months:

  • Continue to breast feed your baby or feed him formula from a bottle. He may only want to breast feed or bottle feed every four to five hours. He may drink 30 to 40 ounces of breast milk or formula in an entire day.

  • Ask your caregiver about starting to give your baby solid foods from a spoon. At this age, you may begin giving your baby iron-fortified infant cereal two or three times each day. You may mix cereal with breast milk or formula. Avoid mixing cereal with other flavors such as juice or fruit. At first, your baby will not seem to know how to eat. Offer him one to three teaspoons of infant cereal at one feeding. Have your baby sit in a high chair to eat solid foods.

Six to nine months:

  • Continue to feed your baby breast milk or formula from a bottle four to five times each day, and infant cereal from a spoon three times each day. As your baby starts to eat solid foods, he may not want as much breast milk or formula as he did before. He may take 24 to 32 ounces of breast milk or formula each day.

  • Your baby is probably ready to start eating other types of foods such as strained fruits, vegetables, or meats, along with infant cereal. Your baby can eat cooked egg yolks, but should not be given egg whites because they are too hard to digest at this age.

  • The best time to give your baby a new food is when he is most hungry, such as in the morning. Give your baby only one new food each week to see how he handles the new food. Avoid giving your baby several different foods at the same time. If your baby has a reaction to a food, it will be hard to know which food caused the reaction. Avoid giving your baby fruit desserts because they have empty calories.

  • When your baby is able to use his fingers to pick up objects, he will learn to pick up foods and put them in his mouth. He will be want to try this when he sees you putting food in your mouth at meal times. Your baby may also be ready to learn to hold a cup and try to drink one or two ounces of fruit juice from it. A small amount of juice may be given to your child but is not needed for a healthy diet.

Nine to twelve months:

  • As your baby eats more solid food, he may only breast feed or take a bottle three or four times a day. He will be interested in eating solid foods in his high chair each time he sees you and other people in the family eat meals. Your baby may eat as much as six to nine tablespoons of soft foods and finger foods, four or five times each day. As more teeth come in, he will be able to chew soft foods. Some examples of soft foods are cooked vegetables, soft fresh fruits, breads, noodles, cheese, and soft meats.

What other diet guidelines should I know when feeding my baby?

  • Avoid propping your baby's bottle and letting him eat while you are doing other things. Hold your baby in your arms with his head higher than his body when you feed him. Never feed your baby while you are riding in a car or other moving vehicle. Your baby could choke while you are not watching. Being with your baby and holding him helps both of you bond with each other.

  • Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. The liquids that sit in his mouth while he is sleeping may cause cavities.

  • Heating your baby's milk or food in the microwave can be dangerous. The food may not heat evenly and have spots that are very hot. Your baby's face or mouth can be burned this way. Warm milk or baby foods by placing it in it's container, in a pot of warm water. If you need to warm food quickly, leave it in the microwave for only a few seconds, on a low setting. Shake or stir the food very well and check to make sure the food is not too hot before giving it to your baby.

  • When your baby lets you know he is done eating, never try to get him to eat a little more. Your baby knows when he has had enough to eat. Your baby will show you that he has had enough to eat by looking around at other things instead of watching you feed him. He may chew on the nipple rather than suck on it. He may also cry to get out of the high chair. Trying to get him to eat more than he needs may teach him to overeat. It may also cause him to gain weight too fast.

  • Some babies who are only being fed breast milk may need vitamin D supplements after two months of age. Talk with your caregiver about whether your baby needs vitamin D supplements.

Risks: Not feeding your baby enough foods or the right kinds of food can keep your baby from growing well, or make him very sick. Certain foods should not be offered to babies because babies may choke on them. Talk to your caregiver if you feel that your baby is not eating enough.


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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor am I a lawyer. I am not a scientist nor am I an expert. I am just a wife and a mother, who is putting her thoughts and findings in a blog. All of the posting on this website & my blogs were written by me for educational purposes and as my sentimental library, but are not meant to diagnose nor treat any medical disorders. Any other materials that I may have quote from other published materials are for educational purposes only and not for any other manipulative reasons. Anyway, whatever weird stuff that I published are the real stuff that I believe works for me. Tips and tricks that might work for me. You are free to put it in your head if you thinks its valuable, but if you think its rubbish... Please don't mock me. Do please shut your pie hole.
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