The contents of the child’s nutrition are of great importance for the child’s growth and well-being. Growth in the embryonic stage and the first year of the child’s life influence the child’s height as an adult and the child’s health in the long term.
The great importance of the diet is obvious when you consider that the infant triples its weight and increases its length with 25cm during the first year. At no other time is the need for nourishment as big as in the first year. It is therefore important to have knowledge about the child’s needs in the first year.
You must offer the child a diet constructed to benefit growth and function while leading to good health. The child needs nutrients containing energy, vitamins and minerals.
- Breastfeeding for the first 4 to 6 months or formula, if it is not possible to breastfeed.
- Transitional diet from about 5 to 9 months where solids gradually replace about half the breast milk or formula.
- Regular food from 9 to 12 months where the child gradually eats the same food as the rest of the family.
- When the child is 1 year old the child is offered the same diet as the rest of the family.
This kind of diet covers the child’s needs – except for vitamin D in the first year of the child’s life and iron in the last half of the first year of the child’s life. It is therefore recommended to administer:
- 5 drops of vitamin D every day from the child is 2 weeks old and until the child is 2 years old. Children with dark skin should have drops of vitamin D throughout its childhood. Vitamin D can be bought on the pharmacy.
- 5 drops of iron drops on a daily basis from the child is 6 months old until it is 1 year old. This is not necessary if the child gets 400 mL of formula, a supplementing mixture or industrially produced gruel that contains iron. This can be bought at the pharmacy.
When the child is 1 year old, the iron supplement can usually be stopped. It has never been proven that the many vitamin pills parents give their children after they turn 1 have any effect – neither on the child’s growth, well-being or health.