Healthy Diets for Babies

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While it may seem easy to please the palate of a baby, it is important to remember that the food you feed this infant during his first year of life can have an effect on his development and, by connection, his future health. When selecting items to add to your infant’s diet, consider the potential health benefits of each. Ensure that you are making wise choices for your baby as he is not yet able to make them for himself.


Breast Milk

Many doctors urge mothers to give breastfeeding a go as breast milk is generally believed to be the best food for a baby. The breast milk you produce contains an assortment of compounds biologically designed to promote proper development. The chemicals contained in breast milk have been tied to an assortment of health benefits, including bolstered immunity. As the CDC reports, the choice to breastfeed has even been linked to a decreased risk of youth obesity, meaning that your decision to breastfeed may prevent your children from having to face the battle of the bulge.

Formula

Formula is generally accepted as the next best thing to breast milk This option may prove enticing to mothers who plan to return to work shortly after giving birth and don’t feel capable of handling the difficulties associated with breastfeeding. Formula feeding is also a good option for babies who have sensitive digestive systems, as the makeup of breast milk is, in part, controlled by what the mother eats. This means the breast milk will vary from day to day. Today’s baby formula is fortified with many compounds to make breast milk nutritious, including DHA, a brain and eye development-enhancing chemical.

Cereal

Many babies begin their love affair with food by downing some cereal. Baby rice cereal is a first food for babies because moms can control its thickness and the food is mild in flavor, decreasing the likelihood that it will cause stomach upset. You can safely begin feeding your infant some cereal once he is capable of sitting upright. Historically, some women have mixed cereal in with baby formula in bottles due to the belief that this addition keeps babies full longer and reduces the likelihood of middle-of-the-night waking. This belief has been largely disproven by research, and most pediatricians recommend that mothers not do this.

Strained Foods

After your baby masters cereal, he is likely ready to take on exotic challenges. Numerous companies make and distribute strained foods that you can safely give to your baby. These food lines include an assortment of options, ranging from vegetable to meats. When you begin to add these strained foods into your baby’s diet, do so carefully. Do not give your baby more than one new food a day, as you do not know how his immature body will react to each. By limiting your food introductions to one a day, you can easily determine if one of the new foods you have offered causes a problem or if, worse yet, he has an allergy.

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