Tiny fingers, tiny toes! You take the time to count each one and then watch as they grow. That growth, by the way, will amaze you. It seems they go from tiny to training wheels overnight. And with that, it’s best to start thinking of their vitamin and mineral needs long before those training wheels.
Breast is best
Breast milk is best for your baby, as it’s the most important of food for at least the first 6 to 9 months. Don’t be in a hurry to shove a spoonful of cereal into your baby’s face, as they don’t digest grains as well as we can. Our children’s digestive systems don’t have the strength to digest what adults can – and it’s at age 6-7 before their system has even matured.
If you’re breast feeding, then Mom should be taking a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement for breast feeding, as well as at least 1000 I.U. per day of Vitamin D as breast milk is a little shy of vitamin D. Breast really IS best, because it has the correct ratio of fats, complex carbohydrates and protein for babies. Unlike cow’s milk formula, which is very difficult for babies to digest, Momma’s milk is much easier for baby to receive and nutrients are better absorbed by their tiny digestive tracts.
I always recommend that nursing mothers also take a good pro-biotic supplement with at least 10 billion active bacterial cultures in it. This helps strengthen both Mom and baby’s digestive tract, providing all the “good” bacteria that helps combat infection and ward off illness and nasty things like thrush, ear infections and sinus infections.
What about "real" foods?
Once baby is eating some foods, start with ripe bananas, avocado (which provides good fats) and continue to breast feed as much as your baby wishes. Steamed, mashed veggies are good first foods and they digest well. A good multi-vitamin supplement, in liquid form is best for babies aged 6 months and up – one that includes vitamins A, D and C.
Supplements like these can be mixed into fruit and they usually taste good to baby. Again, probiotics are key to good digestion, so a good infant strain of probiotics can be added to fruits, veggies and cereals so baby has a good start in the intestines. Too many times I see kids with ear infections, sinus infections, rashes, eczema, tummy problems and chronic coughs – and it’s probiotics to the rescue!
Some parents argue against their child needing supplements – citing that their vitamin and mineral needs are “in their food.” Well, yes, and miserably – no! Today’s over processed, transported, imported, genetically modified, food-additive and fat-laden foods don’t deliver the needed vitamin and mineral content babies and toddlers need each day. Even if you eat healthy, the soil conditions we grow our foods in today pale in comparison to soil conditions decades ago – leaving us with fewer and fewer naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. This is why supplementing is almost completely necessary these days.
Speak with an expert!
Health stores offer a staggering variety of supplements; so it’s best to invest… take the time to see a registered or certified nutritionist or natural health care provider if you are boggled by the bottles on store shelves. These people are trained to help - and it’s better to know before you buy!