Feeding Baby--The First Three Years

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(NAPSI)—Sleep schedules, diaper changes and when to feed the baby are only some of the things parents worry about during their childs first three years. Another is making sure baby is getting the nutrition he or she needs. What and how much babies need to eat changes as they grow, and understanding these stages is important, especially if you have a baby with a food allergy.

0−6 months

Throughout the first six months, its crucial to give your baby the nutrients and foods he or she needs. For mothers who breast-feed their baby, ensure you are eating 2,500−2,800 calories a day. Some who breast-feed their baby have trouble getting their necessary vitamins; contact your physician if you think you may need supplements.

Mothers who feed their baby infant formula should ensure it includes DHA and ARA, nutrients found in breast milk. DHA and ARA are critical to promoting brain and eye development in your baby.

If you think your baby has a food allergy, at this age its likely a milk allergy. If youre breastfeeding your infant, remove all allergens from your diet including dairy products.

For those using infant formula, if your baby is diagnosed with a food allergy, talk to your pediatrician about switching to an elemental formula like Neocate, which also contains DHA and ARA.

6−12 months

Six months of age is the healthy time to introduce your baby to solid foods.

Adding solid foods to a childs diet is an important milestone in his or her development, says Steven Yannicelli, Ph.D., R.D., vice president of medical and scientific affairs for Nutricia North America. As you gradually introduce your child to solid food, it is important to continue to give him or her formula separately or mixed with cereals. If there is any concern of food allergies, introduce solid foods slowly.

If you are worried about food allergic reactions but want to start on solid foods, check out Neocate Nutra. Its a hypoallergenic, semisolid medical food similar to yogurt that you can feed children over 6 months old.

1−3 years

By age 1, your baby will have a larger appetite and graduated to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

In this age group, many children are able to get the majority of their nutrition from solid foods while still drinking milk. However, if your little one has milk and food allergies, it can be more difficult because they are limited in the types of solid foods that may be tolerated. Growing children with food allergies may not always get the nutrition they need solely from solid foods. Providing them an elemental formula specially formulated for their age may be necessary, says Yannicelli.

For more information on nutrition for children with food allergies, visit


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