Good nutrition is essential for your baby’s growth. Key to getting the right nutrition is based on eating a variety of foods in the proper combinations so their little bodies can function well while using energy.
Below is a listing of the key essential nutrients for our diets, how much our babies need, and where we can find them. It’s especially important for those raising vegan and vegetarian babies to know what nutrients provide the most benefits. And, you’ll see below that getting all these essential nutrients in a meat-free are just as easy, or easier, that feeding your baby meat.
There are seven types of nutrients your baby’s body needs to grow and to maintain optimal health:
1. Vitamins (organic compounds)
2. Minerals (inorganic compounds)
3. Carbohydrates (energy supply)
4. Fat (energy supply and insulation to keep the body warm)
5. Protein (body-building and repair)
6. Water (hydration — contributes to every bodily function)
7. Fibre (keeps bowels healthy)
Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can cause certain symptoms or illness (for example, a deficiency in the mineral iron can cause anemia).
There’s so much to know about nutrition, and the more we dig into it, the more we can drive ourselves crazy — especially when we’re trying to feed our babies solid foods. Sometimes it can be hard enough getting our baby to eat anything at all, let alone 6 tablespoons of this or 5 ounces of that.
But, if we feed our babies the ultimate diet — that is, a diet based on a large variety of whole, plant-based foods, like fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and for some, dairy and eggs — they’ll get all the essential nutrients they need to grow up to be strong, healthy and happy.