Excellent childhood nutrition begins with what the child is fed as an infant. Most parents and guardians yearn to feed their young ones with nothing but the best for healthy development. However, do you know how to account for your baby’s nutrition, especially when it comes to protein and vitamin intake?
As much as every parent wants to feed their babies nutritious foods, most don’t understand the amount their child needs. In this article, you’ll learn how much protein and vitamins your baby needs.
Protein Requirement For Infants
Most parents are wondering: how much protein does an infant require? When can babies eat meat?
It’s recommended that you feed your infant not less than one and a half grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 11 grams of protein in a day for babies aged between 7 and 12 months. Meanwhile, from day one to six months, your baby should get protein from breast milk or infant formula.
On the other hand, if your pediatrician sees it fits, you can introduce solid foods to your baby’s diet based on age. While feeding your child solid foods is mostly for fun since they get everything their body requires from breast milk or formula, the food can also be a good source of protein.
For instance, a mixture of pureed peanut butter, sweet potato, banana, milk, spinach, and scrambled eggs can be an excellent source of protein and minerals for your baby. Remember, as your child gets bigger, the protein requirement increases. If you’re wondering when babies can eat meat, it’s essential to seek your pediatrician’s advice to avoid introducing it too early.
Protein Requirement For Toddlers
As your baby gets to toddlerhood, they can get their protein requirements from solid foods instead of breast milk and formulas. To get a fair share of protein, feed your child some beans, whole cow’s milk, organic soy foods, lentils, butter, and minced meat. You can also visit myserenitykids.com or similar sites for nutritious baby food pouches rich in vitamins and protein.
How Much Protein Does Your Toddler Need?
Children aged one to three years are recommended to indulge in 13 grams of protein daily. To be sure you’re feeding your baby enough protein in a day, here’s an example of what their diet should look like:
- A quarter cup of white beans is equivalent to three grams of protein.
- A slice of whole wheat toast is equivalent to five grams of protein.
- A tablespoon of peanut butter is equivalent to three and a half grams of protein.
- A quarter cup of cooked quinoa is equivalent to six grams of protein.
- A tablespoon of hummus is equivalent to one gram of protein.
- One ounce of tofu is equivalent to three grams of protein.
- A quarter cup of cooked lentils is equivalent to eight grams of protein.
Remember, this is just an example and not limited to what you can feed your child throughout the day to account for the right amount of protein they need. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand the right diet for your baby to avoid stomach issues.
Vitamins Requirement For Your Baby
Babies’ vitamin requirements are different from adults. The question is: does your baby meet these requirements? To help you provide enough vitamins for your baby, here’s the list of the essential vitamins a child requires:
B vitamins are essential for a healthy heart, strong nervous system, energy, and metabolism. Among the most important B vitamins is vitamin B12. Infants are recommended to take 0.5 micrograms of B vitamins daily, while toddlers require 0.9 grams daily.
You can get B vitamins from animal-based food such as poultry, meat, fish, and eggs. Fortunately, most children get enough daily B vitamins from a typical diet.
Vitamin D aids in strengthening your child’s bones. This vitamin can also protect against chronic illnesses as the child grows. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants and toddlers should consume not less than 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D.
Breastfeeding babies require liquid vitamin D supplements when they start taking at least 32 ounces of vitamin D from formulas or milk. Meanwhile, you can get vitamin D from eggs and fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
Vitamin E is responsible for strengthening the immune system. It also cleanses blood vessels to enhance blood circulation. Infants and toddlers between one and three years require 9 IU of vitamin E daily.
This vitamin can be found in vegetable oils such as safflower and sunflower. Nuts seeds such as hazelnuts and sunflowers are also rich in vitamin E.
Calculating the amount of protein and vitamins your child requires isn’t that challenging. Feeding your child with the right amount of food high in protein and vitamins will ensure that your child gets the right amount they require for healthy growth.