Mar 052014
 

Vitamin Supplements for Baby

My fans are the best…very smart and very hip. Recently, I was asked a question about suggestions for vitamin supplements for baby. As I write in Super Baby Food, I always suggest checking first with your pediatrician and here is why. There are very specific amounts of vitamin D, zinc, iron and other nutrients recommended for babies at certain ages by the American Pediatric Association.  I wrote about vitamin D and breastfeeding in a previous blog and want to mention how important iron supplements are for your baby too!

It is very important that your baby gets enough iron, but not too much. Too much can cause baby constipation and other problems. Iron is very important, though. Red blood cells need iron to transport oxygen throughout baby’s body for growth and development. Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in babies, which is why many commercial baby foods are fortified with it.

How can you be sure that your baby is getting enough iron?

The new mandatory Nutrition Facts Panel on packaged foods makes it easier to see just how much iron your baby is eating. Fresh homemade food does contain iron, but if your baby is eating all homemade baby food, and especially if your baby is a vegetarian, ask your pediatrician about over-the-counter supplemental iron drops.

Have you recently got a advice from your pediatrician on vitamin supplement drops for your baby?  Share with us!

Nov 152011
 

In a recent comment a mom asks about dessicated liver.  We thought it was a great question and that we would ask Ruth for her thoughts…

The mom asks:

I really love your book. Thanks for such a great work.

I’d like to start using desiccated liver powder for my 8 months old daughter but I cant find the powder version of it,  all I can find is the tablet version.

Can you recommend a brand/company who makes powder form of the desiccated liver?

Thnx.

Ruth Says:

Desiccated liver is a powdered nutritional supplement made from dried liver.  It is high in vitamin B12 (a nutrient sometimes claimed to be lacking in vegetarian diets) and other B vitamins. You can introduce desiccated liver to your baby beginning at about 8 months.  Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to your baby’s  Super Porridge daily or several times a week to make up for whatever you feel your baby would be missing in a meatless diet.

I recommend the Now brand. Please go light on the liver powder so baby does not get too much iron.  The nutrition section of Super Baby Food discusses the daily recommended amounts of iron.  The iron is “heme” iron and is very well-absorbed, unlike iron from plants.  You can also buy the tablets and crush them by putting them in ziploc bag and crushing with a spoon

Check back at the Super Baby Food Blog for more information for feeding your baby the very best!

May 082011
 

When to Give an Iron Supplement to Your Baby

A full-term baby is born with enough iron stores from Mom to last him about 4-6 months, or until his birth weight doubles.  Babies, then, after 4-6 months, need foods high in iron such as iron-fortified formula or iron-fortified cereal.  The question is: does a baby need an iron supplement?  Again, the first resource to turn to is your pediatrician.  Together, you and he can determine what your baby’s diet is providing and if there is a need for a daily, supplemental iron drop, as suggested by the American Academy of  Pediatrics in some cases.  Babies may continue to need an iron supplement until they are 18 months old, but be careful to give the baby too much iron, it can lead to constipation.   A detailed list of iron-rich foods is included in Super Baby Food’s nutrition reference section.  For online information regarding iron-rich foods, try this list at Wholesomebabyfood.com.

Does your Baby Need a Fluoride Supplement?

A fluoride supplement is another nutritional supplement that should be discussed with your pediatrician.  The prevailing guideline from the AAP is that fluoride NOT be given in infants under the age of 6 months. Specifically,

“The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Dentistry recommend that all children older than six months of age, breast fed or formula fed, be given fluoride supplements if they live in an area where the fluoride level of the water is less than 0.3 ppm. Optimal fluoride concentration in water for teeth is .7-1.2 ppm. Use of fluoride supplements is indicated for children in non-fluoridated areas.”

The take-away here is that up to 6 months, fluoride supplements are not necessary.  After 6 months have a talk with your pediatrician regarding your baby’s diet (breast-feeding or bottle feeding) and the percentage of fluoride in your drinking water to decide if a fluoride supplement is necessary.  As with many child care practices, prevailing wisdom changes, so be sure to discuss with your pediatrician and check out the websites of the AAP and the AAD for the most updated  information.

Check back with the Super Baby Food Blog for more information regarding Iron and Fluoride Supplements.