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Must-have foods for newborn- The quest for ideal nutrition

  Must-have foods for newborn

Congratulations on being a new mom. The new guest has surely filled your heart with unfathomable emotions. Whether it be joy, delight, intimidation, anxiety, or even postpartum irritability, your baby has put you on an emotional roller coaster. Even if it’s the firstborn, the second-born, or even the later-born, this experience feels new each time and every time. As a mom, you have started finding cuteness in anything and everything your baby does. Moreover, if you are reading this, then it is safe to say that you have begun your thrilling journey by spending hours searching for the right diet and supplements. However, the ever-increasing pile of products and their advertisements is compromising your search. Furthermore, the stack of dedicated articles, blogs, YouTube videos, and peer pressure is further complicating your search and clouding your judgments. Therefore, how to deal with all this data, conflicting opinions and arrive at a fruitful conclusion! Let us see! 

  Foods For NewBorn                    

          The best and foremost among your choices must be breast milk- “the nectar of life”. Since the baby’s digestive tract is in its developing phase and needs to be mature to handle solid foods, breast milk serves as the prime source of essential nutrients. Breast milk has three different stages- colostrum, transitional milk, and mature milk. Colostrum is rich in proteins, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and immunoglobulins helps to create passive immunity, and protects the baby from a wide variety of bacterial and viral infections. The transitional milk with high calories, high levels of fat, lactose, and other water-soluble vitamins, and the mature milk with a percentage composition of 90% of water and 10% of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, keeps your baby hydrated and provides strength and energy. The only downside is the lack of vitamin D that you should supplement. While you are establishing your breastfeeding routine, keep your breastfeeds between seven and twelve times a day. You need to remember that frequent and efficient feeding is the only way to ensure ample supply for your baby every day. 


                       Formula feeding is the next best and healthy choice. Generally, formula milk or infant formula employs cows’ milk that has been broken down into simpler forms. Such baby formulas ensure easy and convenient availability of all essential nutrients including vitamin D. Generally, the formula comes in two different forms- a dry powder that needs to be prepared with water, and a ready-to-feed liquid formula. While the latter can be convenient, it tends to be more expensive and offers no shelf life once opened. Nowadays, a wide range of brands and types of formulas are available in pharmacies and shops near us. The first step is to seek the advice of your doctor or nutrition expert. As per Food Safety and Standard Authorities of India, FSSAI regulations, the formula must be packed in hermetically sealed, clean, and sound containers or flexible packs of paper. Therefore, you should avoid broken or deflated packaging. In addition, you should choose a formula that has not exceeded its expiry date. Go through the contents to ensure that the ingredients adhere to FSSAI regulations and are back traceable to their origin. You should always choose gluten-free formulas and BPA-free packaging. 


                       Healthy vegetable purees are a good option once your baby turns 4 months old. The addition of pureed vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins serve as a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients and it allows the baby to experience different flavours. Even fruit purees such as apples, bananas, pears, and avocadoes can supply large amounts of monosaturated fatty acids, fibre, potassium, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients to your baby. Make sure to purchase organic and fresh vegetables and fruits. You must also soak them in warm salt water and rinse thoroughly before use. BPA-free packaging is ideal and procuring freshly harvested veggies and fruits will offer superior nutritional value to your baby.


                       In about six months, your baby uses up all of the iron gained from you. So, it becomes necessary to incorporate iron-rich food into the menu. You should start with a semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal such as rice or wheat. You should choose a single grain formula at first and you should always introduce new foods one at a time and in small quantities to check the dietary response of your baby and allergies if any. Avoid lumps to prevent choking. If your baby seems happy and satisfied, slowly increase the quantity over time.  If you would like to learn more about what a baby can and cannot have, click here.          

                       Being concerned and loving parents, we must remember that the right choice of food and dietary supplements will undoubtedly help our babies to grow into healthy and happy adults, and thereby contribute to the development and establishment of dynamic, productive, and progressive families and societies therein.