The importance of nutrition in infancy and toddlerhood actually begins before conception and continues throughout the entire pregnancy. It is vitally important to take care of oneself before one actually becomes pregnant. This is not only to ensure a healthy pregnancy but also a healthy baby. Once the baby is born, breast-feeding is one of the healthiest ways to provide nutrition to your child during the first year. This continues throughout their life by choosing healthy foods for your toddler.
The best food for infants is breast milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that for the first six months of their lives babies are fed strictly breast-milk. Many times for whatever reason, a mother can not breast feed her baby. The AAP recommends to express the mother’s milk and` feed that to the baby. This is often done for premature infants. To maximize the effects of the many benefits of breast feeding for the baby, a mother should breast feed for one year (pg. 174). This is also a very emotional time of bonding for the mother and baby. Although my daughter is 14 years old now, I can still remember the little smiles she would do as she would nurse.
Benefits of breast-feeding do not just add to the health of the child but also help to prevent some health issues as well, such as ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, bacterial and urinary tract infections. According to Papalia, some of the benefits of breast-feeding are “visual acuity, neurological development, and long-term cardiovascular health, including cholesterol levels. It may help prevent obesity, diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin disease” (pg. 174). Breast milk gives to the baby all of immunities from the mother and unfortunately also transmits anything that the mother consumes. Because of this mothers that breast feed must be as cautious as a pregnant woman with what they ingest. HIV infected mothers are warned that the virus can pass through to the baby from their breast milk. My daughter was very sensitive to anything I ate. I had to stay away from certain vegetables and acidic fruits and all chocolate. I ate the most healthiest during that time.
As the baby grows around six months old and he starts to eat solid food, it is...