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Nutritional Requirement or Daily Need of Nutrition for Babies from 6 Months Onwards

Nutritional Requirement or Daily Need of Nutrition for Babies from 6 Months Onwards

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In India, 2 out of 10 children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition. As a baby grows, its nutritional requirement also increases. Nutrient deficiency is a major concern for any parent. It is crucial for you to know your child’s nutritional requirement so that you can provide them with adequate food and nourishment.

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

A baby’s diet consists mainly of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. On an average, a 6-month-old infant requires about 100 calories per kilogram weight. A 6-month-old baby’s diet should include about 11 grams of protein, 95 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of fat per day. Besides these, micro-nutrients and vitamins are also vital to a baby’s growth and development.

Most nutritional deficiencies arise from poor nutrient intake.

Here is a list of nutrients important for the development of a child aged 7-12 months, along with the symptoms and consequences of their deficiency:

1. Iron: Iron is a key nutrient involved in the development of the brain and the overall well-being of your child. Babies are born with iron reserves that can last for up to 6 months, after which they stand the risk of developing iron deficiencies.

If you notice that your baby’s skin is unusually pale, or if it is easily bruised, you should get his or her haemoglobin levels checked at the nearest hospital. If there is a deficiency, you must include iron-fortified foods in your baby’s diet.

The daily requirement of iron is 11 milligrams per day. Various iron-fortified baby foods, fruits and vegetables can help your baby combat an iron deficiency.

2. Vitamin D and Calcium: Vitamin D helps in the formation of bones. It is also necessary for the development of a healthy immune system. It helps in the absorption of Calcium, an essential component of bones and muscles. A deficiency of Vitamin D causes rickets, a disease that affects bone formation.

An infant’s Vitamin D intake should be about 5 micrograms per day. Although breast milk contains Vitamin D, supplements may be prescribed in case of a deficiency. These supplements are available in the form of oral drops that can be administered easily to infants.

An infant’s calcium intake should be about 270 milligrams per day.  

3. Vitamin A: This essential nutrient helps in the development and maintenance of healthy vision, healthy skin and an effective immune system. The daily requirement of Vitamin A is 2.5 micrograms per day.

Increased susceptibility to infections is a common symptom of a Vitamin A deficiency. This deficiency can be countered by including Vitamin A-rich foods such as carrot, sweet potato and spinach as well as fortified foods in your baby’s diet.

4. Zinc: Zinc is vital for cell growth and repair. Its deficiency can lead to impaired growth and renders your child susceptible to infections.

Your child requires about 3 milligrams of Zinc per day. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of this mineral.

There are several food preparations that you can easily make at home to include these nutrients in your child’s diet.

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