6 Essential Nutrients that Help Protect Your Baby
As your baby grows up, it is exciting to introduce new food items to his diet. This is also the time when protecting him from germs and diseases becomes more important than ever. But your worries can stop now! Here are a few nutrients which will build your little one’s immunity and keep him healthy:
- Vitamin A helps improve the eyesight and immunity of the child.
- Vitamin A helps promote normal growth and development.
- Some of the good food sources of Vitamin A are carrots, spinach, milk, cheese, eggs, meat, papaya, and tomato.
- Vitamin C helps promote the immune system, thereby resisting any kinds of infections.
- Vitamin C helps promote teeth and bone health.
- This nutrient also helps promote the absorption of a very important mineral- iron.
- Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, mosambi; Berries like strawberry, blueberry, amla (gooseberry); tomato, bell peppers, guava, sweet potato, broccoli etc. are a few food items rich in Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E helps to strengthen the immune system of a child’s body.
- Vitamin E has beneficial antioxidant properties.
- Deficiency of this particular vitamin could lead to impairment of certain important immune functions.
- Some good sources of this vitamin are nuts like hazelnut, walnut, almonds, vegetable oils like sunflower oil, safflower oil, and seeds like sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin B6 helps in the functioning of the immune system.
- It also helps improve efficiency of the nervous system and the red blood cells.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency simultaneously leads to deficiency of antibodies in the body, thereby resulting in suppression of the immune system.
- Whole grains like oats, brown rice, wheat germ; beans, fish, poultry, egg, legumes, papaya, cantaloupe, dark green leafy vegetables etc. are a few good sources of Vitamin B6.
- Zinc is an important mineral that is responsible for strengthening immunity in a child.
- It is an essential nutrient, which helps to heal any kind of wounds in an infant.
- Zinc helps to regulate the body’s resistance to all the different kinds of pathogens present in the environment that can affect the child’s immune system.
- Zinc deficiency can impair the child’s immunity, thereby increasing the chances of infections even more.
- Some good sources of zinc are red meat, poultry, oysters, crab, lobster, beans, nuts, whole grains like oats, bran, fortified cereals, brown rice etc.
- Iron is majorly responsible for the formation of red blood cells in the body and helps carrying oxygen. A deficiency in iron will impact this important function and leave the baby prone to infections.
- Some of the good food sources of iron are chicken, meat, eggs, green leafy vegetables like amaranth, radish leaves, fenugreek leaves, spinach, beans, nuts, whole grains like wheat bran, oats, quinoa, fortified cereals, and jaggery.
The meal you serve to your infant should be well balanced and should include foods to increase immunity in babies. Always remember, your baby’s nutritional needs increase after 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding and cannot be met just by breast milk. Your baby will now require semi solid and solid food to keep up with his nutritional needs. With the proper use of complementary foods with added vitamins and minerals, you can help meet the nutrient needs of your growing child. The micronutrients in these fortified cereals may help in maintaining growth and development of your baby by providing a healthy and balanced diet.