Baby Vitamins Knowledge
Vitamin C is one of the best-known antioxidant vitamins. Antioxidant vitamins are well-known for helping to prevent life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, but they are also particularly good at boosting the immune system.
Vitamin C is needed for growth and healthy body tissue and is important in the healing of wounds. Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron and 'probably' zinc. This makes it particularly useful to babies fed little or no meat. Breast and formula milk are normally good sources of this vitamin.
It is important to make sure that your baby's diet provides a good combination of both raw and cooked fruits, and cooked vegetables. Vitamin C is very easily destroyed by heat and light, so include raw or very lightly cooked foods in your baby's diet. But remember, babies cannot cope with citrus fruits until they are 6 months old, and you should only serve chunks of fruit and vegetables to babies who are confident with chewing.
Key Vitamin C Foods
• Kiwi fruit
• Mango Papaya
• Red, green, and yellow peppers
• Cabbage Potatoes
• Mange-tout and peas.
Vitamin A is found in animal products. Betacarotene is a substance found in plant foods and converted by the body into vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for growth, development, healthy skin and hair, and good vision.
Only a limited number of foods contain vitamin A other than breast milk, infant formula milk or full-fat milk. For this reason, the UK Department of Health still recommends vitamin drops to ensure that babies have an adequate intake, especially those who are still being breastfed after 6 months or taking less than 500m1 formula milk a day. Ask your family doctor or health visitor or paediatric doctor for more information.
Key Vitamin A Foods
• The main source is breast milk, infant formula milk or full-fat cow's milk.
• Full-fat cheese, unsalted butter
• Egg yolks.
Good Beta-Carotene Sources Include:
• Sweet potatoes
• Puréed or finely chopped dried, unsulphured apricots
• Yellow-fleshed melons, such as cantaloupe
• Red and yellow peppers
• Green beans.
Vitamin B Group
The vitamin B complex comprises vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), folic acid, B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cyanocobalamin).
The B vitamins play many roles. They are essential for your baby's metabolism and maintenance of a healthy nervous system. B vitamins help with the digestion of food and convert it into energy, assist in the production of red blood cells, and maintain a healthy brain and immune system, tissue, and hair.
Many foods supply these vitamins as a package. However, babies breastfed by vegan mothers may receive low levels of vitamin B12 from the breast milk. Similarly, babies weaned onto vegan diets may be at risk of becoming deficient in vitamin B12.
Key Vitamin B Group Foods
• B1: bread and cereal products, potatoes, milk, and meat.
• B2: milk, meat, fortified cereals, and eggs.
• B3: meat, potatoes, bread, and cereals. Folic acid: green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts; oranges, yeast extract, cereals, and bread fortified with folic acid.
• B6: meat, fish, eggs, cereals, and vegetables. B12: meat, and milk products.
Vitamin D works with calcium and is essential for the normal growth and healthy development of strong bones and teeth.
Few foods contain vitamin D. It is made mainly by the skin in the presence of sunlight. All babies should have at least 30 minutes of fresh air each day. Breast milk contains little vitamin D and breastfed babies rely on their stores at birth and exposure to sunlight to maintain satisfactory vitamin D levels. Infant formula milks are fortified with vitamin D. Some babies may need vitamin D and A supplementation - ask your state-registered dietician, registered paediatrician, or family doctor for more details.
Key Vitamin D Foods
• Oily fish, such as sardines
• Unsalted butter
• Fortified margarine
• Yogurt and full-fat cheese
• Fortified cereals.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant which has been shown to decrease the risk o some cancers and heart disease. Vitamin E is needed to help develop and maintain strong cells, especially in the blood and nervous system.
Vitamin E is pretty widely available from the diet, including breast milk and infant formula milk.
Key Vitamin E Foods
• Unsalted butter
• Vegetable oils, such as olive, sunflower
• Cereal products
• Finely ground nuts (do not give nuts to babies if there is a family history of food allergies)
• Ground seeds
• Tomatoes and avocados
• Sweet potatoes
• Egg yolks