Iron, calcium, vitamins : what are they used for and why are they important for baby ?
To develop properly, at 6 months old, your baby needs to start discovering new foods, which will provide them with essential iron, calcium and vitamins, an important trio for their health!
What is iron used for?
Iron belongs to the family of nutrients, and its role in your child’s development is really important. It not only contributes to their growth, but also to their brain development. It is vital for forming the cells in the blood and it serves as a defence against infection.
Breast milk provides the iron your baby needs and for babies who are not breastfed, after 6 months, it’s iron-enriched follow-on milk because they need 7 times more than an adult1!
Why is calcium important?
Calcium is in the mineral salts family and, of all of them, it is the one that is found in the highest quantities in the body. It is found in bones and actively contributes to the growth of your child’s skeleton. It can be found in milk, breast milk above all and then, after 6 months and from when you start to diversify their diet, in follow-on milk if your child is not breastfed.
There are 4 vitamins that are truly important to contribute to your baby’s growth and development:
- Vitamin A: it plays a role in the functioning of the immune system and therefore helps baby defend against infection and illness.
- Vitamin D: this is the best friend of calcium, as it enables your baby’s bones to absorb calcium to build strong bones.
- Vitamin C: this is the best friend of iron! Thanks to vitamin C, iron is absorbed by your baby, who is then armed against illness and infection.
- B vitamins: there are several of them and they all have a number. They all contribute to development of the nervous system.
Iron, calcium and vitamins are found in the diet, which should be as varied and balanced as possible: it’s up to you!
1 Besoins en vitamines et minéraux dans la nutrition humaine, Deuxième édition, Organisation mondiale de la santé et Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture, 2004