TNC 005: Top Baby Nutrients Parents Need to Watch

top baby nutrients

Food choices in the first 2 years of life help to establish the future health and intellect of your child. Why? The top baby nutrients have a critical role in overall growth, development and brain growth. 
Yes, what you feed your child–breast milk, formula and solid foods–impact your child’s growth, health and future intellect. In this show, I cover the top baby nutrients you need to know and watch in the first two years of life.

In this show you will learn:

  • The top baby nutrients that are important in the first 2 years of life
  • Why the top baby nutrients should guide your food choices for your baby and young toddler
  • Why trendy feeding approaches and special diets may miss out on the top baby nutrients
  • What’s going on with body and brain growth in the first 2 years of life
  • How the top baby nutrients impact future health, optimal growth and intelligence

I cover these nutrients:

  • Iron
  • DHA
  • total fat
  • vitamin D

Links mentioned in the show:

CDC stance on Vitamin K shots for infants 
Carol Cheatham’s research on DHA
Vitamin D council statement on sun exposure
The Calcium Handbook for Kids: 100 Way to Grow Healthy Bones
Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School
Iron and Baby-Led Weaning
My Baby Nutrition Wish List
To make this topic a bit easier to grasp, I’ve created a Cheat Sheet of the Top Baby Nutrients Parents Need to Watch. Get it here:  
Click Here to Get your Free Top Baby Nutrients Cheat Sheet
Thanks for listening! If you like the show, be sure to review it on iTunes, share it on your social media channels, and subscribe to the show in iTunes!

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  1. I was surprised to hear you recommend an iron supplement for all breastfed babies given the research showing how iron supplementation is linked to growth of pathogenic bacterial colonization of the gut. Wouldn’t it be better to only recommend iron supplements in babies that are not eating iron-rich foods? And to recommend delayed cord clamping whenever possible?

  2. Hi Amy-
    Thanks for your comments–the AAP recommends iron-supplementation for all breast-fed babies at 4 months to cover the dip in iron content in breast milk and the high iron requirements beginning between 4-6 months related to rapid growth. Yes, delayed cord clamping does help increase iron status in infants. Of course, much of baby’s iron status depends on mother’s iron status throughout pregnancy and beyond. I am not familiar with the research behind bacterial colonization of the gut due to iron, but I will keep my ears open–as it stands, there has been no change in recommendations from the AAP related to iron supplementation, and we know that iron is a critical nutrient for brain development and later cognition. I discuss this a bit in this article: http://jillcastle.wpengine.com/infants/iron-with-baby-led-weaning/