22 September 2018

Does baby need Vitamin D ?

vitamin-D-FOR-BABIES

Vitamin D is one of the quintessential vitamin not only for adults but also for babies as well .Babies need Vitamin D for a healthy growth and overall well being.

As per the well known researcher Michael F. Holick, Professor of medicine, Physiology, and Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine , Vitamin D deficiency can not only cause rickets (a disease that can lead to bone deformity and fractures), it can also keep a child from reaching her genetically programmed height and peak bone mass  ~ Babycenter.com

What are the health benefits of Vitamin D for babies and adults ?


HEALTH-benefits-of-vitamin-D

Did you know that,though breast milk is consider the elixir,all-in-one nutrition for baby ,it typically doesn't have enough Vitamin D necessary for an infant's overall development and so a baby may require supplements prescribed by the doctor.On the other hand ,most of the infant formula milks are already fortified with enough Vitamin D ,that any further supplement (medicines) are unnecessary . 

How to get Vitamin D ?

  1. Sunlight -Vitamin D is also called "the sunshine" vitamin as Vitamin D is naturally created by skin when directly exposed to sun .However,the harmful effects of Ultra violet radiation can also cause skin cancer ,making it tricky .Moreover,in babies because of the clothing and sunscreen sunlight effects are minimal and hardly helps in creating Vitamin D .
  2. Foods - Most of the formula milks are fortified with enough Vitamin D  for the baby.Mothers who took enough Vitamin D during pregnancy ,may forward it to the baby after birth  via breast milk but they may or may not meet baby's need and may require additional supplements .As a baby gets older and on solid food ,including  food items rich with Vitamin D will be helpful.
  3. Vitamin Supplements - For adults ,many Vitamin D tablets are available in the medical store or as advised and prescribed by the doctor.Babies with Vitamin D deficiency are prescribed Vitamin D in liquid form ,easy to swallow ,using a dropper .As per FDA,the baby should be given the exact amount as prescribed by the doctor using the dropper that came with the medicine and it should not exceed the dose in any way ,which may otherwise be harmful to the baby .

How much Vitamin D the baby / child needs ?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics ,all infants,older kids,teens should  take Vitamin D supplements of 400 IU each day unless otherwise advised/prescribed by the doctor.


What are the best sources of food that contain Vitamin D ?


Sources-of-vitamin-D

I remember, when I was struggling hard with breast feeding my baby properly after she was born and when I visited India with my baby,after lots of trials and guilt trips,I finally decided (with doctor's suggestion and assurance) relied upon the infant formula milk completely to feed my baby .

In US and in India,I was interrogated , belittled ,judged by many "women" (people I know well) for that as if I was committing a sin and I was lectured that there is nothing like breast milk ,it has everyyyything and I knew a few women who completely breast fed their babies ,(those babies) were always sick and by God's grace ,my baby was doing well (touchwood!)…

I do agree there is nothing good like the natural breast milk for the baby but it also has its own cons -Breast milk doesn't have enough vitamin D,iron etc  but infant formula has ...so,all those breastfeeding moms cut some slack ,sometimes even mother's love will be enough to make a baby thrive happily and healthily and mothers who give infant formula to their baby,"If you can't breastfeed your baby and you have switched to infant formulas ,don't worry,be happy,you are doing your best for your child ,rest leave to God,he will take care of rest with blessings "...😊

Anyways,I always wanted to write in my blog all about Vitamin D as Vitamin D is one of the unavoidable vitamin for adults as well and Vitamin D deficiency is quite common among adults nowadays and it causes lots of health issues if not restored sooner .So,when it comes to baby,we want to give them the best jumpstart to a good health and Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamin a baby must have .Now,I am relieved as I finally have the complete list of the Vitamin D food items for referral.

So,this is for my little sunshine ,so that she may shine bright always (AMEN!)








DISCLAIMER:This article/blogpost is for informational purpose only and are not intended to offer any personal medical advice. 

REFERENCES:
  1. Vitamin D in child's diet
  2. Does my baby need a Vitamin D supplement ?
  3. Babies may get too much vitamin D from dropper
  4. Breast fed babies still need extra vitamin D
  5. Vitamin D for infants
  6. Sources of vitamin D













30 August 2018

Is fish a good food for babies?

FISH-FOR-BABY-FOOD



"Omega-3's are the head-to-toe nutrient because they're good for nearly every organ of a child's body, from the brain to the skin. Most parents, however, are unsure about feeding their babies fish, which is the richest source of DHA, the healthiest type of omega-3 fatty acid for infants." ~ Dr.William Sears, M.D. via Parenting.com

Fish is a super nutritious food for baby and adults.However,they are also prone to mercury contamination etc ,making them scary, skeptical and risky to consume wholeheartedly especially when it comes to feeding a baby .

RISK - What exactly is mercury contamination in fish ?

The industrial garbage,agricultural wastes,storm water run off etc release mercury products or similar deadly contaminants into the water bodies like river,streams,sea etc which is then consumed by the marine animals and then they get contaminated especially with Methyl Mercury .Methyl Mercury is toxic for fetuses and especially for young children leading to developmental problems .

BENEFITS - What are the benefits of consuming a fish ?

  • Fish is low in saturated fat and a good source of high protein,vitamins ,minerals ,Omega 3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ) and some fish may also provide Vitamin D, making it an excellent food for brain,heart and overall health .
  • Omega 3 (DHA) aids in neurological and visual developments in infants making them brighter,smarter and happier .
  • Improves the immune system of the baby.
  • Keeps skin allergies at bay - Omega 3's decreases the inflammation in all parts of the body ,prevents any skin allergy flare ups and ease asthma symptoms as well .
According to an article published in mercola.com ,"Omega-3 deficiency is likely the sixth biggest killer of Americans, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year."

How to avoid the risk and achieve the benefits, the fish has to offer ?

There are plant based Omega 3s but they can never replace the effectiveness of animal based Omega 3s .So, according to recent studies and medical experts advise ,Fish is an ideal food that cannot be avoided .Trick is to go for fish that falls into the category of low mercury level .

What are those fish that are low or high in mercury level ?

Here is an apt pictorial representation straight from FDA AS IT IS in their website for a credible referral .(The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for protecting and promoting public health.



Picture Credit : FDA




When can we start feeding the baby fish ?


Dr.William Sears mentioned in the article in Parenting.com ,that baby can start on fish except the shellfish right from 6 months of age . 

And as mentioned in the Babycenter.com,fish is one of the top allergenic food and if a baby has chronic eczema or a food allergy or allergy runs in the family,discuss with your baby's doctor first.As with any new food ,offer fish for 3-5 days to rule out any allergy symptoms  like facial swelling,skin rash,wheezing,vomiting,diarrhea,abdominal cramping etc .



How much fish baby should eat ?


Baby (less than 6 years of age) should eat 2-6 Oz of fish per week .

Other points to remember while offering fish to baby are :

  • Fresh fish is the best.
  • Fish should be cooked well to destroy bacteria and viruses that thrive in raw or undercooked fish.
  • To prevent choking,fish should be boneless,skinless,minced and pureed.
  • Smaller fish have few contaminants.
  • Cut off the fatty parts of the fish which collects contaminants like PCBs .However,mercury cannot be removed like this as it is stored in  the muscle tissue of the fish.
    Picture Credit :Washington State Depatment of health


Old studies Vs New studies of serving fish to baby


According to the old studies fish were advised by medical experts to be given to babies after 1 year of age to prevent any allergy.

According to the new research,fish can be introduced as soon as 4-6 months whenever baby is introduced to solid food ,it ensures any future fish allergy and also makes baby more open to different kinds of foods with ease.

I gave my baby right from 7 months and by God's grace and her grace of course,she accepted it wholeheartedly without any fuss so far (Touchwood!!) and the fish I trust and love to give her is Salmon as it is not only the best source of Omega3s but also provides Vitamin D.I was skeptical as I personally don't like the taste of the salmon but my baby is kind and cooperative so far(Touchwood again!) 😀

I was also very confused with the varieties of fish with low level mercury level that can be given to baby aptly and now I finally have the list here to refer properly.:)

So,yes there is something fishy about them (fish) but then personally,I believe hardly anything in today's era is not adulterated or contaminated .It's a tricky world out there ,we have to use our brain and heart to make the smart choice about everything ..and when it comes to baby,we have to be extra cautious because what an adult body can handle (foods etc) ,a baby's immature or developing digestive system or body may not and even be harmful .

However, inspite of the dark sides ,we have to look at the bright side and make the right decisions as much as possible that would ensure baby is still getting all the essential nutrition properly to the best of our ability . 

So,say yes to fish (with big heart and low mercury !) 😊

Cheers to a brainy healthy baby !! AMEN!








DISCLAIMER:This article/blogpost is for informational purpose only and are not intended to offer any personal medical advice. Please seek and follow the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions/concerns you may have regarding a medical condition .



REFERENCES:







16 August 2018

Iron rich foods for babies during their first year


iron-rich-foods-for-babies-in-their-first-year
Iron is an quintessential nutrient required by the baby for proper growth ,overall health and development.Iron makes haemoglobin,an important component of red blood cells that supplies oxygen throughout the body.

Insufficient iron in the body makes the red blood cells small and pale ,leading to iron deficiency disease called anemia .According to medical experts,a baby may experience cognitive and behavioral issues if she/he has low iron in their body.

What are the symptoms of iron deficiency in babies?

  • Less physically active and slow growth.
  • Pale skin
  • Slow weight gain
  • No appetite
  • Irritability 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive things like dirt,starch etc
  • Behavioral problems
  • Weak immune system

How much iron do babies and children need ?


HOW-MUCH-IRON-BABY-NEED







How can iron deficiency be prevented ?


Up until 4-6 months of age,a full term healthy baby gets the necessary iron from the breastmilk or iron-fortified infant formulas. After 6 months of age,baby must derive iron from the solid food and or as advised by the doctor ,must take the prescribed iron supplement .Needless to say,,it is very important to feed a baby with iron rich foods .

Between 1-5 years of age,babies and kids must not take milk more than 24 oz in a day or it may lead to iron deficiency.

It is recommended by medical experts to pair the iron rich food with a Vitamin C enriched food for the apt and maximum absorption of iron in the body.


What are foods rich in iron ?


Two types of dietary iron are there :
  • Heme iron - A type of iron that comes from animal proteins - meat,fish,seafoods etc that is mostly and easily absorbed by the body.
  • Nonheme iron - A type of iron that comes from plants like vegetables,fruits,nuts,seeds,grains,beans etc and eggs and dairy.
foods-rich-in-iron


What are foods rich in Vitamin C to increase iron absorption in the human body or for here ,let's say,baby?

vitamin-c-foods

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants be tested for iron deficiency anemia starting between ages 9 months and 12 months and, for those who have risk factors for iron deficiency, again at later ages. ~ Mayoclinic.org

Recently,my baby had screening for iron level.She was doing well there by God's grace .However,I didn't know much about the importance of iron for a baby and only knew a few foods rich in iron .So, to enhance my knowledge regarding the same,I gathered all these information to guide me always.So,that I can prepare more nutritious food for my munchkin aptly enriched with iron that will keep her fit and hit by God''s grace .

AMEN!



















DISCLAIMER:This article/blogpost is for informational purpose only and are not intended to offer any personal medical advice. Please seek and follow the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions/concerns you may have regarding a medical condition .

REFERENCES: