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Healthy diet for infants, toddlers

What is a healthy diet for a one year old child?
(October 22, 2010)

Diet For Infant

The human body is a complex organism that requires a wide variety of nutrients. These nutrients are used for the different processes that operate simultaneously within the body. During infancy, the body is developing and growing at a rapid pace. Development is happening in all parts of the body and this stage is crucial for the individual’s long term health. After full development, an adult may not suffer from long term effects of nutrition deficiency, if the deficiency is corrected at some point.

However, an infant suffering from nutritional deficiency may experience the effects of this deficiency throughout its life.

An infant’s nutrition would therefore be based on the infant’s diet that is vital for the entire duration of its life right through adulthood. Food is categorized as protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and fat. All these food items are important for the human body throughout its life. During infancy, the infant’s diet must contain the right amounts of these nutritional elements. There is no generalization that applies to all babies across the world. The toddler’s diet will be different depending on its requirements. Right from a young age, different individuals metabolize food in a different way. Therefore, the correct child diet is one that suits the requirements of the child exactly. The parents responsible for the health of the child must consult a child specialist as also should notice the various signs that are present in the child to determine the exact nutrition that is required at any given time.

The most ideal infant’s diet is one that is made up of mother’s milk. Mother’s milk is naturally rich in nutrients and also helps to boost the baby’s immune system. After childbirth, the mother is automatically ready to feed the baby unless there is some health problem associated with her body. Most babies will cry or indicate that they are hungry and this is a good time to feed them. The mother, at this point, should be eating healthy and should also be exercising so that her body is running efficiently. This will ensure that there are adequate nutrients present in her breast milk.

Up to the age of about six months, an baby's diet can be exclusively based on mother’s milk. Beyond that time, cereal can be added to the diet, keeping a tab to ensure that the child is not choking or suffering from lack of digestion. Babies can also be fed with soft or pureed fruits after 6 months of age. All other foods that would be consumed by adults can start at 8 months. These foods must be in small quantities and must be sufficiently softened and broken into small pieces suited for swallowing.

Some babies will react badly when the diet is changed from mother’s milk to include new food items. This is usually because the digestive system has not yet developed sufficiently to suit the addition of different foods. A parent should consult with the child health specialist at this stage to ensure that the reason for indigestion or diarrhea is not related to any illness or sickness and is purely due to the baby getting used to new foods.

Submitted by S M on October 22, 2010 at 04:45


When a child turns one, it is a fun time to feed the infant. Suddenly, you will discover that all the restrictions that applied before are lifted. Not only the child, but the person feeding the child will also begin to enjoy experimenting with various kinds of foods. The first change that occurs is that you can begin giving the child whole milk as opposed to formula or breast milk. It is avoidable to give children below the age of five reduced fat or skimmed milk, as they need a lot of calories at this stage of their lives. Most children are just learning to toddle and this requires a considerable amount of energy, especially considering that they are constantly falling and picking themselves off the floor. You can give children at this stage food that is rich in fats as they will require the energy. Avoid giving processed foods such as cakes, pastries and sweets. Also avoid feeding the child any kind of junk food. It is pointless to inculcate the habit of eating chips, cookies, drinking sodas and so on in children so young. Not only does it spoil their eating habits, it is also harmful for their health to a large degree.

Make sure the child is getting enough simple carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and vegetables. It is also essential to ensure that the child is getting protein, since muscles are developing at this point. Lots of cheese, yogurts, and soy products can be generously dispensed. It is also perfectly all right to give a child healthy quantities of butter and full fat cheeses. Meats given to children also need not be lean. You can also treat them with fried chicken and other such surprises. Remember, if you make the process of eating fun, both you and the child will not have to suffer. In addition to all of this, make sure that the child in consuming enough quantities of fiber to aid in healthy digestion. Fruits such as peaches, pears, apples, bananas, mangoes and plums will especially aid in this. You should also add raw vegetables to their diet to ensure they get enough minerals and vitamins.

Do keep in mind that at this age, children have a tendency to "graze", rather than sit down and eat proper meals. Do not worry that this will be a bad habit. It's a matter of time and understanding before they grasp that they should eat at proper times and in proper quantities. Meanwhile, encourage eating every three hours or so.

Submitted by M S on July 25, 2008 at 09:54


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