For those of you who’ve already experienced parenthood would know all about the confusing advice about infant nutrition. However, those, who’ve yet to go through it, can get their infant off to a healthy start with only a couple of basic guidelines.
Babies’ first year of life is a major time for development and changes all through the body. What infants consume firmly affect their long-term body weight, metabolism, immune system, and overall aging.
Protein is one of the nutrients that children require, however the dosage for infants and young children differs from that for grown-ups. The reasons as to why protein is vital, in any case, are the same regardless of the age.
The Purpose of Protein
Protein is the building block and responsible for manufacturing and repairing tissues in the human body. It is also made of the enzymes that cause chemical reactions inside the body and the hemoglobin that conveys oxygen to the blood. The lack of protein will result in muscle mass reduction, failure of body growth, and issues with heart, immune and respiratory systems. This is especially fundamental during infancy and the initial years of the toddler stage when the need of development signifies that getting the appropriate measure of protein is indispensable.
Nonetheless, running over the edge with protein intake prompts dangers, as well. A research published in 2013 in Food and Nutrition Research showed that excessive protein initially in life – particularly in the starting two years – is related to an expanded danger of being obese later in life.
Protein Needs for Infants
The pace of growth in an infant body is faster than that in an adult body. Thus, infants require more protein for every pound of their body weight than adults. Between 0 to 6 months, an infant needs about 0.69 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. This need decreases to 0.55 grams per pound of body weight between 7 to 12 months. What needs to be noted here is in the initial months, protein should originate only from the sources such as breast milk or infant formula. Breastmilk is around 1 percent protein and consists of both whey and casein proteins. Infant formula is expected to copy the nutritional description of breastmilk.
A baby can be brought on to the solid forms of protein once he/she meets certain criteria. A baby needs to have his birth weight doubled to no less than 13 pounds and should have the capability to keep his/her head up, open mouth when food is given, eat and swallow it. At this point, protein-rich options shall include scrambled eggs, mashed cooked chicken, red meat, turkey, fish, or beans.
Protein Needs for Toddlers
Children between 1 to 3 years require about 0.48 grams of protein for each pound of their body weight. As the baby grows and falls between 12 to 18 months, this requirement will drop down to 7 to 11 ounces a month, and 5.3 to 8 ounces per month when toddlers are between 18 to 24 months. The need for protein for nourishment decreases however it remains an essential part of keeping up the growth.
Although young children are free to eat all kinds of protein-rich foods that infants eat, however, they will probably demonstrate preferences. Parents can give them different protein foods and drinks so that toddlers get enough to eat. Some of the food choices are cheese, butter, milk, Greek yogurt, and pasta made with chickpeas or beans.