Toddler Formula: Nutrition For Growth And Development

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Toddler Formula: Nutrition For Growth And Development
For a healthy brain development and physical growth, good nutrition during infancy and toddlerhood is crucial. The importance of nutrition during the infancy and toddlerhood should not be belittled. Providing your child with a well-balanced toddler formula full of all the necessary nutrients is the key to healthy babies and children.

Nutrients and Development

Meeting nutrient requirements is vital throughout the lifespan but it is especially important that infants and toddlers have the proper nutrients, more than for any other age group. Most growth and development occurs during infancy and toddlerhood. About 25 percent of a baby's caloric intake is used for growth. At one-year-old, an average infant will have increased in length by 50 percent and by two years old, a toddler is usually about 75 percent taller than at birth.

Specific Nutrients That Cause Impairments

There are many micronutrients that are important to development; it may be difficult to study each individual micronutrient requirement, however deficiencies of some nutrients have been known as a causative factor for some impairments.

Iodine and Iron deficiency

The deficiency of Iodine and iron can cause anemia. Iron is vital for brain development and a deficiency in iron can cause behavioral and cognitive impairments.

Zinc deficiency

Zinc plays a vital role in cognitive development. Although, it is not fully clear how zinc functions in the brain, it is found in the brain, bound to proteins and it is found in high concentrations in synaptic vesicles in neurons in the forebrain. Zinc deficiency can have effect on attention span, short and long-term memory.

Deficiency of vitamin D and Calcium

Vitamin D and calcium are important for bone development. A Low level of vitamin D and calcium in the body can prevent proper bone formation, thereby causing weak bones and increased chances of osteoporosis in later life.

Food Intake recommendation for Infants and Toddlers

The best way to achieve good nutrition during infancy and toddlerhood is through a healthy diet. There are different daily caloric requirements and feeding frequencies at different age levels. For every infant and toddler, there is a different caloric requirement, energy levels appetite levels.

For 0 - 4 to 6 Months: They should be fed with only breast milk or iron-fortified formula for the first 4 to 6 months of their life. Newborn infants should be fed 2 to 3 ounces of iron-fortified formula, 6 to 8 times a day. When a baby reaches about 2 months old, the times for feeding a day decreases but the amount fed at each meal increases. After 2 months of age, bottle fed babies are to be offered a bottle 4-6 times a day or even more often if the baby demands it.

For 4 to 6 Months: At 4 to 6 months of age, babies usually have higher energy requirements and are able to swallow simple foods. Babies at this age should be fed baby cereal, mixed with formula, twice a day. You can start with 2 tablespoons of dry cereal mixed with enough formula to hydrate the cereal. You can gradually increase the amount of cereal to 4 tablespoons, mixed formula.