Sample Nutrition Paper on Food Intake During Infancy
Infants have diverse nutritional needs as well as requirements as compared to older babies. Apart from breastfeeding, solid foods can be introduced to their diets at subsequent stages of their growth. However, it is important for one to solely breastfeed her baby for the initial six months. This essay focuses on issues that surround suitable intakes of breastfeeding and micronutrients in young children, but concentrates on the initial 6 months of their life.
Normally, the first 3 years of an infant’s life are the most vital for growth because the baby grows very fast at this stage than the other stages of life (Thurnham 28). So, healthy food facilitates growth and is also vital for the development of the brain which is linked to knowledge as well as school readiness. On the other hand, poor nutrition during early child development has effects which can pose adverse challenges in a child, such as; social or rather emotional issues, prolonged thinking and motor growth, attention problems as well as bad learning achievement. In this case, an infant should be given a variety of suitable foods which are rich in iron from the 6 months old. The infant should have a feeding timetable that comprises of three meals that include two to three healthy snacks every day, leaving about two to three hours’ interval between snack and meal times. Water and any other kind of fluid should never be given to an infant who is below 6 months.
The following is an infant food chart
|Birth to 3 months
|Breastfeeding only: 8 to 12 times each day at interval of 2 to3 hours
|4 to 6 months
|Breastfeeding and single grain cereals or fortified cereals. They contain iron which is a vital nutrient at this age.
|6 – 9 months
|Provide smashed vegetables and fruits
|9 to 12 months
|Breastfeeding for more than 4 times daily.
Grains: Fortified cereals about 3 tablespoons each meal
Vegetables and fruits 2 to 4 tablespoons for about 4 times a day
Meat and dairy: Give yogurt and finely chopped poultry or meat
|1 to 2 years
|Breastfeed and give cow milk. This can be in form of yogurt or any other dairy product
Grains, breads, rice or crackers (about 3 to 4 tablespoons each meal)
Vegetables and fruits
Fish, meat, poultry as well as eggs. 1 to 2 servings
|2 to 3 years
|Cow milk and other dairy products
Fish, meat, poultry as well as eggs. 2 servings which can be 3 to 4 tablespoons
Thurnham David. “Adequate Nutrient Intakes for Infancy.” Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, University of Ulster, Coleraine, United Kingdom, 2012: 28-37.