Infant & Newborn Nutrition
As a naturopathic mama, I needed to create a nutritional plan for my little one. Since birth, there are a couple things I’ve given her to ensure she has ALL the nutrients her little body needs to develop and grow.
Curious to see what a “naturopathic neonatal nutrition plan” includes?
Though breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for an infant, there are a few key things that babies need in addition to breastmilk at 6 months of age. There are 3 foods and nutrients most essential for a baby to be eating around 6 months of age.
Infancy is a period of rapid growth and development -- a baby needs adequate nutrition in order for their brain and nervous system to develop properly.
Iron is the most important nutrient for a young baby as a baby's stores tend to run out at 6 months of age. The iron a baby receives at birth is the only iron a baby will have until they start eating iron-rich foods. Unfortunately breastmilk and formula are not good sources of iron. Iron is crucial for healthy brain development in infants.
Protein is also important! Protein is important for many of the developing systems of the body, especially the neurological, immunological and gastrointestinal systems. It also contains zinc, an important mineral for various processes in the body like the immune system.
Lastly, omega 3 rich foods are important for a baby to eat to receive all the DHA their brain needs for learning and memory! Omega 3s are the only long chain fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Our body must get it through food in order to have enough. Most kids are not being fed wild salmon for dinner. But believe it or not, a 6 month old can safely eat salmon if offered appropriately!
Remember, it is important that you are using high quality foods and fish to nourish an infant. For example, tuna should never be fed to an infant despite its high omega 3 content.
It’s best to get help from a professional. Talk to your naturopath to ensure your little ones are getting all that they need!