Getting the Right Nutrition at the Right Age

Making sure your little one is getting the nutrition he/she needs is critical – especially when dealing with food allergies and GI issues. As your baby grows, nutritional needs change and different types of diets are required. Knowing what the different stages are is key so you can make sure your baby is happy and healthy.

0-6 months

If you’re breastfeeding a baby with allergies, be sure to:

  • Eat a healthy, 2,500 –2,800 calorie diet of fruits, vegetables and plenty of protein.
  • Check with your physician to see if you should be taking any supplements. Some women have difficulty getting essential vitamins like calcium, folic acid and zinc while breastfeeding.
  • Remove all allergens from your diet. Usually a milk protein is the culprit, so you you’ll need to remove all dairy products but watch out for items with hidden dairy like salad dressing and nutrition bars.

If you choose to feed your baby formula:

  • Consider an elemental formula like Neocate that is made up of individual amino acids and is easier for babies with allergies to digest.
  • Think about choosing a formula that contains DHA and ARA, two fatty acids that are important for infant eye and brain development (both naturally present in breast milk).

6-12 months

This is when you want to start introducing your baby to solid foods.

  • Start adding texture to your baby’s diet with an elemental semi-solid like Neocate Nutra. Mixed with water, it has a similar consistency to pudding. Once your baby begins to get used to the texture of the Nutra and to eating from a spoon, you can introduce pureed or strained fruits and vegetables like banana and carrots. You may want to even mix them into the Nutra. Definitely consult with the doctor about how to safely test new foods if your child has allergies.
  • Don’t wait too late to introduce solids. If you do, it can be difficult for your child to learn important oral skills like chewing.

1-3 years

By this time, your baby will probably have a few teeth and be ready to take on crunchier foods.

  • Cereals and raw fruits and vegetables cut into very small pieces are good at this age. But, again consult with the doctor about safely testing new foods.
  • The nutrient profile at this age is different than for an infant. If your little one is still on an amino acid-based formula, be sure to switch to one that is specifically formulated for kids over the age of one.

Hope you find these tips helpful. What have you done to make sure your kids are getting the right nutrition for their age?

Sarah O’Brien

Published: 02/18/2010
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