4
important
nutrients for your baby's next stage of development
As your baby grows, her nutritional needs change.
Here are some guidelines for important nutrients as she grows.
1
Calcium
Why does my baby need it?
  • Helps build strong, healthy bones and teeth
  • Aids in blood clotting
  • Helps nerves and muscles function
Where can she get it?
  • Breast milk, infant formula, cheese, yogurt and whole cow’s milk*
* The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends not introducing whole cow’s milk (3.25%) until at least 9-12 months.
2
Protein
Why does my baby need it?
  • Essential for keeping the body functioning well
  • Helps build hormones and enzymes
  • Part of every cell in the body
  • Needed to build and repair muscle, tissue, skin, nails and hair
Where can she get it?
  • Breast milk, infant formula, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu and legumes
3
Iron
Why does my baby need it?
  • Helps her brain develop
  • Makes red blood cells
  • Carries oxygen to all parts of his body
  • Helps cells work in her body
Where can she get it?
  • Breast milk, infant formula, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, iron-fortified infant cereals, enriched grain products, tofu and legumes
4
DHA
(a type of Omega-3 fat)
Why it is it important?
Your baby’s brain more than doubles in size the first year of life. That’s why now is an important time for brain-nourishing DHA, which helps support cognitive development.
Where can she get it?
DHA is found in relatively few foods. When your baby starts solids, she can get DHA by eating DHA-rich fatty fish such as Atlantic salmon. But fish may not be popular with many children and it will be some time before your baby gets significant nutrition from solids.
 
If you’re breastfeeding, your baby will be getting DHA through your breast milk, but the amount depends on how much food with DHA you’re eating. Health Canada recommends that breast-feeding Moms eat two 75 g servings of cooked fish per week.
Offer iron-rich foods 2-3 times per day starting at 6 months.
TIP:
If you’re formula feeding, consider switching to a next stage formula such as Enfamil A+ 2, which has the same expert recommended* DHA level as Enfamil A+, plus age-appropriate levels of iron, calcium and protein to support your growing baby as she starts solid foods.
* Koletzko B et al. J Perinat. Med. 2008;36:5-14
Popular with older babies— but zero DHA
Many older babies love bananas, yogurt, infant cereals and green snap beans. But none of these foods contain brain-nourishing DHA.
Iron from animal sources is absorbed two to three times more efficiently than iron from plant sources. To increase the iron absorbed from plant foods, serve them with foods rich in vitamin C.
 
Whole cow’s milk (3.25%) is low in iron, and the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends not introducing it until at least 9-12 months.