Decreased caloric intake
Your child’s well being is affected by many factors, including nutrition status, vaccinations, hygiene and many more. Although many factors play a role in your child’s general health, some are more susceptible to your influence than others, while the most prominent example is the food he eats.
Latest data shows that the eating habits that your child acquires in the beginning of his life may affect his health in the following years. You have the ability and potential to guide him through the right way and knowing what is best for you and for him is just the beginning.
When your child is just born, he mostly eats, poops, pees, sleeps, and cries. During the first few weeks of his life, if it is possible to breastfeed it can provide a great benefit to both the child and the mother. Researches have shown that it may help your child’s immune system and protects him, thus reducing the rate of infectious diseases, prevents diseases related to obesity in older ages and even lowers the risk for other chronic diseases such as asthma and allergies. Breastfeeding can help create a special bond with your child. And to top it all, it has many potential health benefits for the mom, lowering the risk for bleeding, and even shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, breast and ovary cancer. Another important advantage of breastfeeding is that it saves the need to worry about sanitation of water and bottles for formula, and therefore protecting your child from a variety of infectious diseases in the first few months.
In the first few weeks, the breastfeeding hours might not be organized and regular, but you shouldn’t worry. If your child is breastfeeding at least 6 times a day, gaining weight, peeing, and looks alert and relaxed, then everything is OK. The latest recommendation published by the World Health Organization state that breastfeeding is all your child needs during the first six months of his life, and can be continued as long as it a positive experience for both mother and child
At the age of six months, you can start adding small bits of your own daily meals, exposing him to different new flavors piece by piece. It is very important that you try maintaining a varied nutrition, giving your child all the nutrients he needs. We recommend starting with small pieces of cooked vegetables, meat or fish, which are foods containing a lot of vitamins and iron. Try avoiding sweets at the beginning. With each passing day, you can try new flavors and see what your child likes more. Just remember, keep introducing foods, even if your child doesn't like them the first time. At the age of one year your child should join the family meals and eat by your schedule, adding healthy snacks during the day when he is hungry. Always stay alert when he is eating; so don’t forget to cut everything into small and child friendly pieces.
It is best to try and maintain a varied menu, that will include vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, carbohydrates such as bread, rice or potatoes, and avoid candies. The variety of foods will help your child get all the vitamins and nutrients that he needs to grow and develop the best he can.
As time passes your child will become more independent, he will eat by himself and you won’t have to prepare different meals for him. But you must remember that he is in danger of choking, so you should stay by his side as he eats finger size bits. Other than that, with time he might prefer some foods more than others – it is understandable, but continue offering him the variety you can..
Maintaining a healthy and varied nutrition is one of the most important elements in keeping your child healthy and allowing him to grow and develop properly. If your child does not receive sufficient nutrition, he may have "Failure to Thrive" and not be able grow to his full potential. This state might make him susceptible to infectious and delays, and affecting the development of every major system in his body.
Not everything is under your control as a parent, but knowing what is best for your child to eat is an important first step towards making it happen!