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Baby Nutrition

Breast milk is the first and best feeding choice for your baby. Whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding or a little bit of both (or maybe baby is already moving on to solid foods!), there’s a lot to consider when it comes to nourishing your little one.


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Breastfeeding

Your pregnant body is nothing short of miraculous. In just nine months it nourishes and grows a tiny fertilized egg from conception into an awe-inspiring baby. But this miracle doesn't stop at birth. It continues with the production of the perfect baby food, breast milk. We’ve put together this guide to give you the breastfeeding tips and basics you’ll need to get breastfeeding off to a good start, even before baby arrives.

Solid foods

As babies grow, so do their nutritional needs. By about six months of age, most babies are ready to explore their first solid foods. You’ll need to be ready too, so it’s best to plan ahead when introducing solids. Every baby is different and the time of food introduction and their appetite may differ slightly between babies. Be sure to consult with your baby’s doctor about when to introduce solids to your little one.

Solid foods

Your baby is ready for solid foods! There are just a few more things to consider in preparation for his first taste. If you aren't sure whether your baby is ready to start on solid foods, talk to your doctor and find out more here.

Common Feeding Challenges

There is growing evidence that factors in the environment, including baby's first foods and the time of their introduction, can play a critical role when a child develops allergies.

Infant Formula

You’ve packed your bag for the hospital and you’ve been dreaming about your baby non-stop. You’re probably experiencing a million different emotions, from excitement to apprehension, and everything in between. Being prepared with a formula choice now, in case you need it, can go a long way to help ensure you’re ready for those first few days and months with baby.

Breastfeeding

Experts agree breast milk is best for babies. Not only is it the most nutritionally complete food your newborn will ever have, but it also benefits you and your baby in other ways, some that will last a lifetime. Long before baby's birth, your body silently prepares to be the primary source of nourishment for your little wonder. During pregnancy, hormones begin to stimulate the mammary glands in your breasts so they can produce milk, and amazing milk it is. The benefits of breastfeeding listed below are just some of the reasons why infant feeding guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life, with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age and on, or for as long as you can.

Common Feeding Challenges

He likes it. He likes it not. As your 8-12 month old baby becomes more strong-willed, it can seem like he's getting more finicky by the day. Here's how to create a healthy eating environment and get your picky eater eating.

Infant Formula

Breast milk is best for your baby but you may decide to supplement breast milk with formula or to switch completely to formula-feeding. Whether it's to accommodate back-to-work schedules or share the feeding responsibilities with other family members, find out about supplementing breast milk with formula.

Feeding your Baby

.As a mom there’s nothing more important than protecting your baby’s healthy growth and development. To help you get off to the right start, use this baby feeding guide as you navigate your baby’s nutrition from birth to pre-school.

Common Feeding Challenges

It may seem a little messy, but spit up is common and can occur whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding*. Learn why babies spit up and try these 6 simple steps to help reduce spit up and help make feeding time a happy time.

Solid foods

The correct preparation and storage of baby food is as vital to your baby's well-being as the ingredients are. Whether you’re making your own baby food or purchasing commercially prepared food, these guidelines can help to ensure your child safely enjoys the full nutritional benefit of their food at home. If you choose to make your own baby food, keep in mind that Canadian health experts recommend that baby’s first foods should be iron-rich.

Infant Formula

Healthy full term infants are born with iron stores, which meet their needs until about 6 months of age, when these initial reserves may start to run out. Since no one can predict exactly when these iron stores will be depleted, an iron-rich diet will help ensure that these stores stay topped up. For moms who decide to breastfeed, breast milk will provide your baby with adequate iron until about 6 months, which is when you should begin to introduce iron-rich foods. Should you choose to supplement or exclusively formula feed, choose an iron-fortified formula. Canadian health experts recommend iron-fortified formulas from birth because they provide the assurance that your baby will get the right amount of iron from the start1.

Breastfeeding

Did you know that your breast milk changes to meet the needs of your baby? During the first few days after birth you will produce colostrum, a nutrient-rich milk, in small amounts, perfect for your baby’s tiny tummy. By the second week your breast milk will change to mature milk to meet your baby’s growing needs.

Common Feeding Challenges

Introducing new foods to toddlers is always a surprise because one reaction is so different from the next, perhaps even different from the day before, even though you're serving the same food. But keep at it; it may take up to 10 tries before a picky eater decides they like something.

Solid foods

Let the fun begin! By about 6 months, when your little one is ready for solid foods, you’ll need to be ready too. We’ve compiled this guide to help you make the transition to solid foods easier for you and your baby. We have more information for you if you aren’t sure whether your baby is ready for solid foods, and may also want to also consider talking to your baby’s doctor.

Infant Formula

To ensure that you are giving your baby the right amount of nutrition, and to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination, it is essential to prepare and refrigerate formula properly.

Feeding your Baby

Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and omega-6 fatty acids such as ARA (arachidonic acid) offer many health benefits.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and sustained for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers and has many benefits for you as well.

Solid foods

Iron is a vital nutrient that contributes to the normal growth and development of infants and young children. Iron is also essential in building red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout your baby’s little body. When babies don’t get enough iron they can become iron deficient and may be less active than usual and could develop more slowly. Healthy full term infants are born with iron stores, which meet their needs until about 6 months of age, when these initial reserves may start to run out.

Infant Formula

While preparing and filling bottles in advance may seem like a good idea, preparing and then storing formula is not recommended. Following the manufacturer's label instructions is important for the health of your baby. If you are looking for ways to save time, bottles can be sterilized and filled with the appropriate amount of boiled, sterilized water ahead of time to decrease the preparation process during feeding time.

Feeding your Baby

Your baby’s developing immune system helps shield her from sickness and infection to help her grow up strong and healthy. One of the many ways the immune system works is by maintaining natural protective barriers. The first and most important natural protective barrier is the skin. However, another equally important protective barrier is the digestive tract, where 80% of the body's immune cells are found.1 The digestive tract is home to the gut flora, a delicately balanced community of about 500 different kinds of bacteria. In a healthy digestive system, good bacteria (or natural cultures) help keep baby’s immune system and body safe from illness. As well, good bacteria can help to balance potentially harmful bacteria. One way to help support this protective barrier is to increase the levels of natural cultures in your baby's digestive tract.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and sustained for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers and has many benefits for you as well. Learning as much as you can now, before baby arrives, is ideal for you to be prepared to breastfeed and can help ensure that both you and baby enjoy this wonderful experience together. Part of this new experience is an awareness of challenges that some women encounter, but most of all, to know how to prevent or manage them, and to get help right away if they do happen.

Solid foods

Your baby is now used to eating solids and may be grabbing at the spoon or picking up food by herself. This means she is ready for more self-feeding, a whole new messy adventure! Continue to offer new foods and textures, especially a wide variety of iron-rich foods, and fruits and vegetables and remember to be patient; you may need to offer foods as many as 10 times before she accepts them.

Infant Formula

No one needs to tell you that your little baby is growing and changing every day; that’s easy enough to see with your own two eyes! What you can’t see is that on the inside, baby’s digestive system is also growing and maturing day-by-day. Every baby is unique, and fussiness, gas, and spit up are all a normal part of your baby’s development. Your baby’s tummy may just take a little more time to mature.

Solid foods

As your baby gets older, you can help ensure that she's getting enough iron in her diet by adding Nestlé® Gerber® Baby Cereal to recipes. You can try these fun recipes once she's comfortable eating finger foods and is used to a wide variety of foods and textures, by about 12 months.

Infant Formula

Once your baby reaches the 6 month mark, you may consider transitioning her from a stage 1 to a stage 2 formula. NESTLÉ® GOOD START® Stage 2 infant formulas are designed to complement the expanding diet of older babies and contain added calcium and iron, so your baby always gets the right nutrition at the right time, especially during this rapid stage of her growth and development. At about 6 months your baby’s maternal iron stores (iron she received from you while in the womb) may become depleted. So she now needs iron added to her diet whether it be from solid foods or formula.

Feeding your Baby

It is never too early to start planning for one of the first important decisions you’ll make as a parent: how you will feed your newborn. Experts agree that early-life nutrition is important for long-term health. Take time before baby is born to create an infant feeding plan and get educated on the importance of baby nutrition.

Solid foods

Once you notice your baby begin to grasp small objects, he is ready to begin feeding himself. It's time for introducing finger foods! It’s more than just fun, as finger foods add texture to the diet and encourage self-feeding to help with oral and motor development. The foods in the list below are nutritious and, when prepared appropriately, are safe finger food choices. Remember, babies should always be supervised whenever they're eating or drinking.

Solid foods

By now you've noticed that everything seems to make its way into your little one’s mouth. Once he’s able grasp small objects, eating those little goodies is exactly what he'll try to do. His tiny teeth are ready to be put to good use. Although he's only using them for cutting, not really chewing, that doesn't mean your child is ready for just any food you offer. Even though it's now finger food time in his life, you still need to be careful about what foods he grabs with those little fingers.

Solid foods

Canadian health experts recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and sustained for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding, with a focus on iron-rich first foods. Breastfeeding is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers. Even after your baby starts eating solid foods, his primary source of nourishment should still be breast milk or infant formula, if you chose to supplement or exclusively formula feed.

Solid foods

By one year of age, your little one should be eating a variety of foods from the four food groups in Canada's Food Guide. He’s likely discovering new tastes, textures and skills. As he continues to grow, new food challenges may arise. Variety becomes more important and eating as a family takes centre stage.

Solid foods

You may feel that because your toddler is moving so much more, she needs more food to provide extra fuel, but she'll actually start to eat less. Once her first birthday passes, your tiny tot's growth slows down, so she needs less food than what you were providing in those important first 12 months. Besides, your little one has way too much going on now to think about eating.

 
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