Hey! Thanks for passing by. I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding weaning and the nutritional requirement of 6 months old baby. For you to understand the baby’s needs, you need to understand what is happening in their little body. At 6 months, the baby’s digestive system is well developed and can easily digest soft foods. Secondly, breastmilk is not enough. As the baby grows, the more the nutrients they require for their growth and development. Third, the natural iron stored in the body is running out hence need to be replenished with iron-rich nutrients. Fourth, your baby will be reaching major milestones like sitting without support, rolling over and reaching for items. All this require significant energy that can only be obtained through complimentary feeding. A baby between the ages of 6 and 12 months needs around 95 grams of carbohydrate, 11 grams of protein and 30 grams of fat per day.
Below is the summary of the nutritional requirement of 6-12 months old baby and the sources.
- Iron-Iron is very crucial brain development. It enhances the function of nervous system that enable transmission of information to the brain. Also, iron is key in production of hemoglobin. A baby is born with enough iron to last for 6 months. That’s why it’s advisable to consume plenty of iron while pregnant. At six months, you want to ensure that your baby has enough of it and hence you have to offer iron rich foods. Your baby requires at least 11 mg of iron daily. The good thing is that iron-rich foods are readily available and affordable. They include: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and amaranth, peas, beans, red meat, eggs and lentils.
- Zinc- Your baby needs 3 g of zinc daily. Zinc is helps in the production of white blood cells that fight infections within the body. They are also an important element in growth of body cells and their repair. Sources of zinc include Cheese, yoghurt, milk and cereals.
- Calcium- Your baby needs 500mg of calcium daily. Calcium is important in ensuring that your baby has strong teeth and bones. Most calcium is met through breastmilk. Other sources of include milk, cheese, yoghurt, oatmeal
- Omega 3-If you want your child to be perform well in school, then you need to ensure that get sufficient Omega 3 in their diet. Omega 3 is not only essential in vision and brain development but also help in developing cognitive skills in babies. Sources include Avocado and salmon.
- Vitamins- Your baby require variety of vitamins daily.
- Vitamin A: It is crucial for healthy skin and sharp vision. This vitamin is present in carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
- Vitamin B: It is vital for improving metabolism and better immune systems. You can find vitamin B from green leafy vegetables, beans, bananas, etc.
- Vitamin C- Vitamin C prevents a disease called Scurvy. It also helps in absorption of iron in the body. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that iron rich food and given to the baby alongside Vitamin C sources. The sources are mainly fruits such as oranges, tangerine, paw paws strawberries, tomatoes kiwi fruit. I normally serve any of these fruits like an hour before the main meal.
- Vitamin D:It is vital for bone strengthening and lack of it can cause rickets. Though vitamin D is not easily available you can find it from cow’s milk and egg yolk. If unable to consume the above food, supplements can be taken.
- Vitamin E: It has anti-oxidant quality and is necessary for development of nervous system. It can be derived from vegetable oil and cereals.
- Vitamin K: It is necessary to prevent clotting of the blood. In order to consume vitamin k, your baby should have leafy vegetables, fibrous fruits and soya.
- Proteins- These are body building foods. This how you introduce proteins in your baby.
That’s a breakdown of nutrients. Ensure that your baby gets enough of everything. You need to like and follow my facebook page for Recipe Wednesdays to learn how to prepare healthy meals for your baby to meet the nutritional requirement. Before I sign out, here is what you have to do. Offer variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, cereals, dairy throughout the week. You can check a sample weekly meal plan here.
WHAT NOT TO GIVE BETWEEN 6-12 MONTHS
- Raw honey- This can cause botulism in infants. Wait until your baby is 12 months of age.
- Cow milk– At this age, babies cannot digest lactose in the milk. It causes microscopic bleeding in stool and allergy. If you must give milk, dilute it with distilled water.
- Choking hazard foods- They just started eating solid foods. Give mashed and pureed foods and in the right consistency to avoid chocking
- Certain fish in excess- Due to pollution of our waters, the fish may contain mercury. White fish and salmon are safer for babies.
See also the meal plan for 1-2 years toddler.
There you have it. I hope now you are in the know. To stay informed, like follow my page on facebook, Instagram and twitter. You don’t want to miss out. See you tomorrow for First Aid Tuesday.