We all love babies and their cheerful smiles, but nurturing them is a tedious, full-time job. A chubby, happy baby looks so perfect, but is he? How does one make sure that the child is getting the right nutrients needed for growth?
There can be many factors affecting the health of a baby. As a mother or caretaker, the priority should be to feed the healthy baby food. The most critical aspect to be considered is the diet of a baby, and it must contain all the essential vitamins and minerals required for growth and good health.
Are you aware of the term Micronutrient Deficiency?
Yes, it is real, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is a lack of essential vitamins and minerals that are required by our body to sustain optimum physical growth and mental development. The average Indian household diet generally focuses on all the necessary macronutrients for the health of the infants, but they miss out on micronutrients –like Vit A, B2, B12, Vit C, Iodine, Zinc, Iron and Folate– which means that even an average looking baby with perfect height and weight can be suffering from micronutrient deficiency. The first 1000 days for a baby are crucial for the development of the brain as 90 % of the brain development occurs in this age. If a child is malnourished during the first 1000 days of his life, the child’s physical and mental growth and development are slowed down drastically. The deficiency of essential growth vitamins and minerals in the diet of the baby leads to a phenomenon commonly known as ‘Hidden Hunger’. National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau of India has researched and has found that 50% of healthy looking babies suffer from Hidden Hunger.
How do we apply Food Fortification for a healthy mental and physical growth?
Food Fortification is an approach for overcoming micronutrient malnutrition. It suggests that a comprehensive plan is mandatory for meeting the nutrient and vitamin needs of an infant. It should be done on priority, and on a daily basis.
The primary diet of an infant should contain nutritional foods like green vegetables, fruits, dairy products, nuts, vitamins and minerals. These are the ideal micronutrients that are essential for the mental health and the physical growth of a child. With this fortification of food with all necessary micronutrients, one can shield the baby from infections and also ensure proper brain development. Fortification has the potential not only to eliminate any deficiencies in the diet of the baby but also to enhance the nutrient consumption of the child. It acts as a supplement to the overall mental and physical growth of the baby.
The Need of the Hour
And now it’s clear that there is a need to add vitamins and minerals to their daily diet or fortifying the standard food with all micronutrients.
Fortifying standard food is simply adding essential vitamins and minerals to the menu. The diet approach should be structured for a baby to increase the nutrient and vitamin consumption. For example, mothers can include supplements like Ceregrow in their baby’s diet plan. Once all these factors get taken into consideration, we would be moving towards a better, healthier generation in the future. Let’s work towards developing children and combating malnutrition in our country.
Also, Don’t forget to check out – The Ultimate Snacking Hack for a Healthy and Nutritious Diet.