Nutrition for Infants and Toddlers

This post is generously sponsored by Golden Horses Health Sanctuary

Topic of the month : Pediatric Nutrition
Topic of the week : Nutrition for Infants and Toddlers

Feeding your infants
Birth to 6 months
Babies get all the nutrients they need from breast milk/infant formula.

By 4 to 6 months
Babies continue to get most of their nutrients from breast milk/infant formula. Iron-fortified infant cereal like rice and barley or pureed meats helps to replenish iron reserves.

6 to 12 months

Feeding your toddlers and preschoolers

Food Allergies

  • Food allergies in children are relatively rare –only about four in 100 children.
  • Most children outgrow food allergies, especially to milk, eggs and soy. Food allergies are much less common in adults than children.
  • Eight foods cause 90% of food allergies in children: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (pecans, walnuts), fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.
  • Four food groups cause almost all allergies in adults: fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts.
  • Two ways of reducing a child’s risk of developing food allergies are:
    1. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 months decreases the incidence of atopic
      dermatitis, cow’s milk allergy and wheezing in early life when compared with feeding
      infants cow’s milk-based formula. The use of soy-based infant formula does not appear
      to play a role in allergy prevention.
    2. Introduce solid foods only from 4 to 6 months of age. There is insufficient evidence to
      recommend avoiding specific foods (including fish, eggs or peanuts) during pregnancy,
      breastfeeding or beyond 4 to 6 months of age to protect against the development of
      food allergies.

Breastfeeding benefit (Source: New Straits Times, 24th June 2011)

Breastfeeding mothers should be applauded for their decision to breastfeed. Although overtall awareness of the importance of breastfeeding has increased, there is still a long wat to go to reach the objective. More efforts should be made to encourage mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months.

Milk production increases with the decrease in the level of progesterone, i.e. 30 to 40 hours after delivery. During this period, the body releases prolactin and oxytocin (milk producing hormones). milk production is also stimulated by the suckling of the infant. The production of milk requires a high level of prolactin, however it could slow down in cases of improper breastfeeding. There are cases in which the milk produced is not secreted, even though the prolactin level remains high.

Normally, babies breastfeed only three times within 24 to 48 hours after birthd. The frequency increases on day fivev and decreases on day seven or eight.

In order to encourage breastfeeding, mothers should refrain from placing a pacifier in the mouth of their babies as it hinders the breastfeeding process. It is interesting to note that mother’s milk is the purest and most sterile milk for babies. Poisoning is highly unlikely even if the mother is infected with a disease. Breast milk could be given as frequently as possible and as long as the baby needs it. Factors like confusion, fear, pain, embarrassment and anxiety could hinder the production of milk.

Women should totally avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during and after their pregnancies. Breast feeding is not merely about mutually exclusive benefits for mother and baby, as it has considerable impact on society. mothers must understand that babies have the right to receive nothing but the best source of nutrition. Any other food apart from breast milk is not encouraged, except under certain circumstances.

“Mothers should refrain from placing pacifier in the mouth of their babies as it hinders the breastfeeding process.”

“It is interesting to note that mother’s milk is the purest and most sterile milk for babies. Poisoning is highly unlikely even if the mother is infected with a disease.”

“Breast milk could be given as frequently as possible and as long as the baby needs it.”

“Factors like confusion, fear, pain, embarrassment and anxiety could hinder the production of milk.”

Benefits to the baby:

  • Mother’s milk contains protein, far and the easily digestible omega 3 fatty acid essential for the brain development of the baby.
  • The milk contains antibodies which protect the baby against infection, gaatrointestinal disease, respiration difficulty and ear infection.
  • It could also reduce the rish of diabetes and cancer amont children.
  • Children who are breastfeed develop resistance to allergy.
  • Breast milk also reduces the rish of gastro-enteritis amont premature babies.
  • Breast milk is known to reduce the rish of caries, sight and speech related problems and is known to strengthen the jaw.
  • Breastfeeding prevents sudden death syndraome in the baby.
  • Breast milk is known to reduce the rish of heart attack in adulthood.
  • Breastfed infants are not prone to diarrhoea, thus reducing medical expenses.
  • Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mother and baby.

Benefits to the mother:

  • Protection from breast and cervical cancer.
  • Naturally reduces weight especially around the waist as the oxytocin hormone helps to shrink the uterus faster.
  • This process helps to shorten the puerpurium flow period.
  • Hastens post delivery wound recovery.
  • Reduces the rish of osteoporoses and heart problem.
  • Cost effective alternative to infant formula.

Benefits to the society:

  • New parents could spend their time effectively with their family and the community.
  • Reduces treatment, medical and lab test costs.
  • Conserves the environment by reducing pollution and unnecessary wastage.
  • Children with fewer health complaints indirectly help the parents become more productive at work.
Advertisements

About minesgreencircle

Founded in 2008, the Mines Green Circle is the special Green Environmental Unit of Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotel for “Better Environment, Better Health”. It advocates green practices amongst the personnel of the Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotels as well as its guests.

Posted on January 31, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: