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Fit For Life: A Nutritional Guide For Newborns

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

You nourished your baby for nine months and now that he/she has arrived, nutrition remains a vital part of his/her growth and development, especially during the first year of life. And, what you feed your baby is essential in ensuring health and proper development.

Experts note the benefits of breast-feeding especially for the first six months to a year. According to experts, breast milk is formulated specifically for the baby’s digestive system and is abundant in antibodies essential for fighting off bacteria and viruses. Plus, as your child experiences different stages of development, breast milk (also) changes (in composition) to meet baby’s new nutritional needs.

Although solid foods should be introduced at around 6 months old, experts suggest (still) continuing to breast-feed (as well). In fact many professionals believe that a combination of breast milk and solid foods greatly benefits the baby’s health, growth and development, especially during the first year.

However, while breast-milk is praised for being the best choice for baby’s health, not all moms can or want to breast feed, leaving them to consider the next best thing, iron-fortified formulas.

While many are geared toward “replicating” mom’s breast milk as far as composition and nutritional advantages are concerned, they are NOT, note experts identical to breast milk, making it imperative to choose a formula fortified with iron and containing the essential vitamins and minerals as suggested and recommended by your doctor.

Doctors generally do no recommend giving an infant cow’s milk until after the one year mark. For infants, milk is difficult to digest and often lacks in nutritional vaulue (needed by the baby.

Regardless however which route you decide to take, experts note that sticking to this form of feeding and routine is imperative for the first 12 months of your baby’s life.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Fit For Life: A Nutritional Guide For Newborns

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