A baby’s first year is one of the most crucial stages of a child’s growth and development. Aside from offering them the appropriate nutrients from the milk and food that they eat, giving them the right vitamins for their age also plays an important role. Here are the essential vitamins for babies 6-12 months old to further boost their immunity and their development.
How does proper nutrition and diet help a baby’s development?
Good nutrition is needed in ensuring that babies reach their developmental milestones. When babies are still in the mother’s womb, the sustenance they get comes from what the mother consumes. After birth, infants will get nourishment from breast milk, which still comes from their mothers.
However, once they are able to feed on solid foods, the key nutrients that they need to keep their body healthy will come from food that will be offered to them.
Different foods contain different vitamins and minerals that are essential for the process of growth and development. It is the parent’s responsibility to find and prepare healthy food choices that will give the most benefits to their babies.
Key Vitamins and Minerals for babies
The best minerals and vitamins for babies 6-12 months commonly comes from the food they consume. To know what healthy choices to make, here are the key minerals and vitamins babies need for growth and development and immunity:
Babies need vitamin A to maintain the health of their teeth, eyes, hair, skin, as well as to strengthen their immune system.
There are 8 types of B vitamins, namely:
- Thiamine (vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
- Biotin (vitamin B7)
- Folate (vitamin B9)
- Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)
These B vitamins are responsible for managing bodily functions, such as improving cell health and metabolism. It also helps with brain function and development.
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C plays a vital role in keeping the body’s immune system in its best shape. When babies have strong immunity, they become less susceptible to infections and other diseases.
Vitamin C is one of the key vitamins for babies 6-12 months as it aids the forming of an important protein called collagen. Collagen gives the structure and elasticity of the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, and blood vessels. It also helps in developing strong bones and promotes tissue growth for faster healing.
Your baby’s body needs vitamin D to help with the absorption of calcium, which helps to build strong and healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D also aids in stimulating phosphorus absorption, which is essential in the growth, maintenance, and repair of tissues and cells.
Other than vitamins for babies 6-12 months, infants also need minerals for their healthy progression. One of the most important minerals that a baby needs is calcium. Calcium is responsible for the healthy development of bones and teeth. It also enables blood clotting as well as the maintenance of nerves and muscles.
People who get enough calcium from infancy until adulthood will most likely have low risk of having weakened bones and have a higher chance of not experiencing bone loss.
Infants need iron as it is a key nutrient that is in charge of the proper growth and formation of healthy cells, such as the production of red blood cells. Iron is also essential in preventing iron-deficiency anemia.
Babies also need zinc, another essential nutrient, which aids in the formation of protein that helps in repairing body tissues, muscles, and skin. Zinc also boosts the immune system, which is crucial for combating viruses and bacteria that try to invade the body.
An infant needs sodium for sustenance as it maintains the balance of water in the body and controls blood volume. Sodium makes certain that the cell membrane and other body tissues are properly functioning as well.
If your baby starts eating solid foods, there is no need to add salt in their diet as they’re getting enough sodium from breast milk or infant formula to sustain their growth.
Other essential nutrients
Infants need carbohydrates as it provides the energy they need for growth and development. Carbohydrates also allow protein and fats to be efficiently used in the body.
Another essential nutrient that is vital for babies’ brain development and overall growth is fat. Infants can also get other benefits from fat, such as absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, as well as supplying energy to the body.
Aside from carbohydrates and fats, protein is also an essential nutrient that is important in building, maintaining, and repairing tissues of the skin, eyes, muscles, heart, lungs, brain, and other organs.
Protein also makes important enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and other properties that are critical for the growth and development of an infant. In addition, protein acts as the building blocks of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Usually, babies get water from breast milk until 6 months of age. However, when infants start to eat solid foods, their parents need to give them additional water to support their developmental needs.
Water is an essential nutrient that helps regulate body temperature and cell metabolism. It also helps transport nutrients and metabolic products, as well as maintain the normal functioning of the kidneys.
Parents should be aware of all the essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for babies 6-12 months old. This information is useful so that parents can provide a better and healthier diet for their babies, especially when they start getting nutrients from other food items other than breast milk or formula milk.
As a parent, you must keep in mind that if your baby isn’t nutrient-, vitamin-, or mineral-deficient, then there is no need for you to give them additional supplements like vitamin drops.
Always consult your infant’s pediatrician for nutritional concerns and additional information.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.