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Importance of nutrition during the Infancy and Toddler-hood period Essay

Children are a blessing from God and it is therefore important that we ensure that those bundles of joy are well taken care of. Infants are generally taken to be children from birth to around one year, and it becomes therefore important to give them utmost care since they are at their most vulnerable stage in life. This care should not only be confined to attention and love but most importantly should be the focus of what and how best to feed the infant. Scientists have expressed their belief that what we feed our infants might have drastic consequences later in life.

These consequences include such conditions as diabetes and obesity and the rampant rate of obesity in developed countries might just be a reflection of the inability of parents to feed their children’s appropriately (Fallows & Kingham, 2005). Doctors have stated categorically that child4ren should be fed milk only during the first six months of their lives and it should be noted that faulting this wise counsel could risk the health of these infants in the future.

Breast milk contains all the vital nutrients that an infant need in order to grow and appropriate vitamins to boost his/her immune system top fend off diseases. It is important to note that while it is advisable to feed the infant using breast milk, infants could also be fed with formula as a supplement of breast milk. There are many reasons why many mothers choose to use formula to feed their babies. Some simply find out that breastfeeding does not work for them either for psychological or practical reasons.

The demands of life that leads to very busy lifestyles work against the need for mothers to be with their children full time and formula simply happens to be a better alternative. However, there are still those who express their breast milk in feeding bottles and the milk is fed to the infant by someone else who is available to care for the toddler (Ward, 2009). Infants usually need to feed eight to twelve times in a day since they are growing rapidly and the proteins inside the milk are a vital component for this growth.

For those with infants who sleep a lot, it is advisable to wake them regularly in order to feed the since failure to do so might hamper their growth. It is also recommended that parents take their babies to the clinic to have them weighed and observed to ensure that they are growing in a healthy manner and acquire vital information about how best to take care of their babies. There are signs to observe during the sixth month to signify that the infant is ready to start being weaned.

This include such period when the baby can sit up, baby does not reject the food put in its mouth, can pick up food stuffs and stuff it into the mouth and an increased appetite for milk. Babies should be weaned slowly with a meal per day and it is important to continue breast feeding at least till one year. Some of the food which one can feed and infant include cereals, soft fruits, rice and vegetables that can be crushed. However, around 10 months infants are ready to be introduced to adult foods but such a transition should be handled with utmost care.

As the baby becomes a toddler a period which lasts from between 12 months to 24 months, his food needs increases. During this period the toddler starts to walk and he requires increased proteins for growth and energy foods to sustain his activities. At this period toddlers may change their eating habits due to changes in growth patterns. Moreover, toddlers become choosy when it comes to certain foods and it is nothing to do with illness. Again, parents needs top be careful about the food they feed the infants and toddlers since some of them might be allergic and impair the health of this babies.

They should therefore make a point of seeking information diligently about how best to feed their children (Papalia, Wendkos & Duskin, 2007). References Fallows,C. & Karen Kingham, K. (2005). Baby & Toddler Food. Murdoch books. Papalia, D. , Wendkos S. & Duskin, R. (2007). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence:11th Ed. McGraw-Hill Ward, E. (2009). What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler. Retrieved May 17, 2009 from http://children. webmd. com/guide/what-to-feed-your-baby-toddler.


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