Babies, Babies, Babies
The best possible nutrition foundation you can give your baby is breastmilk. However, if for some reason this is not possible, the next best option is homemade formula, offering far superior nutrition compared to commercial formulas. Radiant Life is a great source for homemade formula items and information.
Since breastmilk is generally low in Vitamin D, it is important to offer an additional source to baby for proper bone formation and overall health. However, most baby Vitamin D drops contain artificial colors and flavors. I recommend 400 IU of Vitamin D3 (in cholecalciferol form). The best option I have found is these capsules, which you can poke a hole in and squirt into babies mouth immediately after a feeding (to help them absorb it with the fat in milk).
Healthy gut bacteria is essential for normal gut & immune function. It is normally transferred from mom to baby during a vaginal birth. If baby is born via c-section or if mom had any antibiotics during birth, I always recommend a probiotic supplement for baby. It is also a good option if baby is excessively gassy, fussy, or has reflux. Mix 1/4-1/2 tsp of probiotic powder with breastmilk or formula in a bottle one time per day. I recommend this brand. This will help their little intestines to start harboring good bacteria, which is essential for proper gut function and a healthy immune system.
Now that your little cherub is getting bigger, it is time to add some good healthy fats in the form of Omega 3’s. DHA & EPA (form of omega 3) have been shown to support healthy brain, eye, and nervous system function, as well as language and learning abilities. The best brand I have come across is Nordic Naturals. It is unflavored, which is super helpful when you’re trying to get opinionated little ones to take it. This liquid also contains 300IU of Vitamin D, so no need to continue the other. Double wammy!!
(Practitioner Code: 106184)
Another alternative is Cod Liver Oil. This is the stuff Superman and grandma would use. Amazingly nutritious, and a perfect blend of Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Omega 3’s. It’s truly nature’s super-food. I would recommend 1/8-1/2 tsp mixed in with babies bottle. It has a rather strong flavor and odor so it may take some getting used to (but the sooner you start, the better). Everyone in the family can share the love. See recommended adult usage below.
Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil
By now it is time to start considering introducing some solids. You can grab some ideas on what to do for babies first bites. Continue with Vitamin D & Omega 3’s, and consider adding some super foods into their baby foods.
Dessicated liver is a great product to add in to your babies food. It is an amazing source of Vitamin A, natural folate, iron, B vitamins, as well as several minerals. It is in powder form, so it can be easily mixed in with baby foods. Start with a small amount at first, and increase as you desire. You can also add to any soups and stews for extra nutrition for Mama!!
You are currently a human factory and solid nutrition is the name of the game. And…lets be honest, nutrition isn’t always in tip-top shape during this time. Extra nutrients are essential no matter if you’re a clean eating machine or shoving down pickles & ice-cream faster than you can say “get in my baby bell-ay”.
A solid pre-natal vitamin is a good bet for all mamas. I like Designs for Health Prenatal Pro packs. Each daily pack contains 5 pills total: a multi-vitamin (split into 3 pills), an Omega 3 fish oil, and a Calcium/Vitamin D combo. I know, it sounds like a lot to take in 1 day, but there are endless benefits to not taking an all-in-one pill form. For example, iron and calcium can’t be absorbed at the same time, so they compete against each other when they are in the same pill. Also, nutrients are generally better absorbed in small doses. So, taking one multi pill at each meal helps baby and mama get max nutrition. Lastly, the quality and form of all contents are top notch…and I’m picky!!
(Code: JENNAWATERS )
Omega 3: DHA/EPA
At the very least, you need to make sure you’re getting a good source of Omega 3’s (DHA & EPA). Eating a good source of wild-caught fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies) 1-2 times a week will help, but isn’t always possible if you’re already feeling green to the gills. Also, there is some concern that eating too much fish may pose a risk for high mercury levels.
Aim for at least 300 mg of DHA with some EPA (DHA is the main priority). If you’ve never been a big fish eater (or Omega 3- taker), you can go higher. If you’re not already getting Omega 3’s from the Prenatal Pro packs consider Prenatal DHA from Nordic Naturals, which also have 300 IU of Vitamin D.
(Practitioner Code: 106184)
In a perfect world, I would take Cod Liver Oil. It offers not only high quality fish oil, but Vitamin D & Vitamin A in perfect synergy. I would recommend taking 1-2 tsp mixed with 1/2 cup warm water with dinner or right before bed. Some can’t stomach it during pregnancy (including myself) but if you can… more power to you (and your baby). Your baby can tutor mine in Algebra.
One teaspoon= 500 mg DHA, 750 mg EPA, 10,000 IU Vitamin A, 1000 IU Vitamin D
I recommend a good quality probiotic to all mama’s, especially in their third trimester, up until birth. Reason being, that you are your babies ‘bacteria lifeline’. There is good & bad bacteria that lives with you. During vaginal birth, your baby will get a dose of healthy bacteria on their way out…sort-of like their ‘exit gift’… which will lay the groundwork for their healthy gut and immune system. Basically, if Doc ‘Baby Catcher’ finds that you have too much bad bacteria, they will put you on an antibiotic….which will also prevent your baby from getting the good stuff. Moral of the story is: the goal is to decrease bad bacteria and increase good bacteria before the ‘big dance’. This probiotic both removes the bad and adds the good. I suggest 1 probiotic capsule each day with a meal.
Protein isn’t just for gym rats. Getting adequate protein is important, especially during your 2nd & 3rd trimesters, for babies muscle and bone development, and overall growth in general. The goal is 75-100 g of protein each day, which must be split up in 20-30g increments for max absorption. Although whole food protein sources are the best option, a quality protein powder can be beneficial when you’re crunched for time (or motivation to cook). The best quality protein would be a grass-fed whey or beef protein. Each has about 21 g protein per serving and is great is smoothies or shakes.
Nordic Naturals (Code: 106184)
Designs for Health (Code: JENNAWATERS)
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