Supplementation For Infants
Patricia Zifferblatt | July 1, 2007

The question of when to start supplements for a new baby is one we at Better Life hear quite often. The answer differs from child to child, and circumstance to circumstance. So here in a capsule are the guidelines we at Better Life recommend be discussed with the child’s pediatrician:

A baby’s supplementation begins with a mother’s supplementation program during her pregnancy. A healthy mother passes on her good nutrition to her baby from the time the baby starts developing inside her.

If a child is breast fed, the mother should continue with her pre-natal supplements and healthy-eating program throughout her lactation period. This will ensure that the baby is getting whatever he or she needs in the mother’s breast milk.

Choose a formula formulated with the vitamins and minerals generally recommended by physicians, plus omega-3 fatty acids with DHA. Also talk with the doctor about iron fortification.

Make sure the child visits the doctor on schedule. The pediatrician will check the baby’s growth patterns and perform regular tests to make sure he or she is healthy and developing normally.

As solid foods start replacing breast milk or formula, make sure the child gets all the calories and nutrients necessary. Be sure to talk with the pediatrician about supplementation when solid foods are added to the diet.

When the child starts walking and eating the same foods as the rest of the family and 2% milk is replacing breast milk or formula, the time to start regular supplementation has definitely arrived. Many children at this age will eat only whatever they like; the rest of the food is turned into art material or dropped on the floor for the dog. Who knows exactly how much is actually getting into the mouth and stomach? The best insurance plan is a daily infant/child chewable supplement. This is also the time to add a chewable omega-3 fatty acid supplement with DHA to help with brain and vision development.

From before birth and throughout life, it’s the parent’s responsibility to insure that the child’s diet is healthy. Every child needs the right nutrient-rich foods, little or no refined sugar, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and daily supplementation. Heaven knows, it’s not always easy, but it’s the key to raising a healthy, happy child.
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