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Essential Nutrients Your Baby Needs for Growth and Development

Nov14-Essential-Nutrients-Baby-Growth

Vitamins and other nutrients are vital to the growth and development for your baby. Ensuring they have what they need in their diet will also help them to be a happier and healthier child. This article is going to look at the most important nutrients your baby needs for growth and development.

Calcium

Calcium is a vital nutrient your baby needs for growth and development as it can help to build healthy bones and teeth but is also important for nerve, muscle and heart function. Helping to develop strong bones early on will benefit them when they start to climb trees and play sports as it will help to prevent fractures.

Calcium-rich foods include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Yoghurt

Iron

Iron is an excellent source to help with brain development. Although babies have enough stored to last them until they’re about 4-6 months’ old, introducing iron-rich sources into their diet will be beneficial for continuous development.

Foods rich in iron include:

  • Beans
  • Poultry
  • Red meats
  • Whole grains

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Folate

Folate is not only important for pregnant mums, it is also vital for the healthy growth and development of cells and not including it in their diet could lead to anaemia.

Foods that are folate-rich include:

  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kidney beans
  • Whole grain cereals

Magnesium

As well as calcium, magnesium can help to build strong bones and teeth but it also plays a part in helping to regulate insulin and blood-sugar levels.

Foods that are a good source for magnesium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Brown rice
  • Okra
  • Spinach

Manganese

Manganese is often a forgotten nutrient your baby needs for growth and development. Not only does manganese help with the development of bones and the pancreas, it also helps with the processing of fats and carbohydrates.

Foods that contain manganese include:

  • Black beans
  • Pecan nuts
  • Porridge

Potassium

As well as being able to help with muscle activity and contractions, potassium is also responsible for helping with the development of the metabolism as well as nerve function.

You can introduce potassium in your baby’s diet with the following foods:

  • Banana
  • Grapefruit
  • Potatoes
  • Raisins

Vitamin A

On of the most important nutrients your baby needs for growth and development, vitamin A keeps skin healthy and also assists in the development of the eyes by helping them to adjust to dim and bright lights.

It’s easy to include vitamin A in your child’s diet as there are a lot of foods to choose from:

  • Apricots
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Egg yolks
  • Sweet potatoes

Vitamin C

As well as being renowned for helping with the immune system, vitamin C is also responsible for strengthening the walls of red blood cells and helping to build strong bones and teeth.

There are many vitamin C-rich foods out there, including:

  • Any kind of citrus fruit
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Melons
  • Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Zinc

Zinc is vital for the growth and development of organs, skeleton and nerves as well as proving to have a positive effect on the development of cognition. A healthy amount of zinc in your baby’s diet will help their immune system to repair itself and improve their circulatory system.

Foods rich in zinc include:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Sardines
  • Sunflower seeds

Resources:
http://www.parenting.com/article/the-5-nutrients-all-babies-need  
http://www.parents.com/kids/nutrition/healthy-eating/must-eat-nutrients/ 
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a4540/vitamins-and-minerals-that-help-your-baby-to-grow  

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