Introduction<br />Proper infant nutrition is very important for the first year of life due to rapid growth and development. Too much or too little of any food or fluids can potentially lead to health problems. Infants relay heavily on caretakers because they cannot feed themselves. Therefore, it is vital for caretakers to have the proper knowledge and training in infant nutrition. <br />
Definitions<br /><ul><li>Newborns are defined as birth to 1 month.
Infants are defined as the ages from 1 month to 12 months.</li></li></ul><li>Growth and Development of the Infant<br /><ul><li>Birth weight doubles by 5 months and triples by 1 year.
Use single-food prepared baby foods rather than combination meals.
Most importantly introduce one new food at a time, waiting at least 3 days to introduce another because if a food allergy or intolerance develops, it will be easy to identify.
Avoid carrots, beets, and spinach before 4 months of age.
Infants can be fed mashed portions of table foods such as carrots, rice, and potatoes.
Avoid adding sugar, salt, and spices when mixing own baby foods.
Avoid honey until at least 1 year of age.</li></li></ul><li>Signals that Alert the Parent to Begin Introduction Solid Foods<br /><ul><li>Has good head control such as holding head up without wobbling.
Being able to turn away to signal “enough.”</li></li></ul><li>Introduction of Water<br /><ul><li>Ask your healthcare provider when you may offer your baby a bottle of water. Don’t add sugar to the water unless prescribed by your doctor. Don’t give flavored drinks, soda pop, or even fruit juice to a newborn. Some fruit juices, such as apple juice, provide empty calories without added nutrition.</li></li></ul><li>References<br />Gnatuk, C. A. (2009, October). Newborn; Parent Express; A<br /> Guide for You and Your Baby. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Family and Consumer Sciences: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs3/fcs3130/fcs3130.pdf<br />Hunter, J. G., & Cason, K. L. (2008, October). Feeding Your Infant. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from Clemson University Cooperative Extension: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutrition/nut rition/life_stages/hgic4100.html<br />London, M. L., Ladewig, P. W., Binder, R. C., & Ball, J. W. (2007). Maternal and Child Nursing Care. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.<br />