05 Jan Children’s Nutritionist Dietary Tips
Until 6 months old breast/bottle milk is enough. Once they start solids offer drinks too, but only water. Fruit juice has too much sugar and should be avoided. If they do drink juice, make your own and dilute it 1:10 juice to water. Store-bought juice has added man-made chemicals and is high in sugar and should be avoided.
Salt – Avoid
Do not add salt to their food. Check store-bought food not especially formulated for infants for its salt content. Avoid bread, it can have a very high salt content. Keep an eye out for the salt content in cheese, hummus, baked beans etc. Home-made is best.
Sugar – Limit or Avoid
It’s very important to limit your infant’s sugar intake because it can disrupt the friendly bacteria and cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria. Sugar is naturally found in fruit and vegies and you shouldn’t need to add it to their foods. Steer clear of processed foods because they are high in sugar especially fruity yoghurts, dried fruit, cereal bars etc.
Adequate Iron Status – To Support Neurological Development
Once your child reaches their 6 month milestone their iron stores begin to drop. Iron is very important for your infant’s neurological development and low iron levels can impact their IQ and social development. It’s really important to provide your child with iron-rich foods when they start eating solids. The best iron-rich food is provided from an animal source such as red meat, chicken, turkey and eggs.
Bone Broths – To Heal and Seal the Gut Wall
Make bone broths are an essential component of your child’s diet. They are simple to make and a nutritional powerhouse to boost vitamin and mineral stores and gut healing glutamine with each mouthful. Aim to add broth to each meal, in the beginning to purees and moving forward as a base for casseroles, soups, bolognaise sauce, scrambled eggs, sauces and vegie mash – the list is limitless. Make broth regularly and freeze into silicon ice-cube trays, for easy use and enough for each meal.
Fibre – To Feed Friendly Bacteria
While the friendly bacteria are still establishing themselves in your child’s gut, it’s important to feed your baby plenty of fibre because this is bacteria’s favourite food source. When the bacteria are well fed, they produce short chain fatty acids which are used to feed the cells that make up the paper thin gut wall. In turn this helps to support your child’s immune system and optimal brain functions. The best source of fibre comes from vegetable purees.
FIONA STOCK | THE CHILDREN’S NATUROPATH | MELBOURNE NATUROPATH
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