A balanced diet during the first year of life promotes development and can help protect against disease. The following recommendations on healthy nutrition of infants are mainly based on the findings of the Institute for Research on Child Nutrition (FKE, since 2017, Unit for Research on Child Nutrition ). They are scientifically justified and take into account the physical development of babies. Breast milk is the best choice for the first months after birth.
Breast milk: breastfeeding prevents allergies
During the first four to six months, it is unanimously recommended to breastfeed. Breast milk fully meets the energy and nutritional needs of infants and protects against gastrointestinal infections. In addition, exclusive breastfeeding during the first four months is the best prevention against Allergies. Breastfeeding also promotes maternal health and the bond between the mother and the child.
Which mothers should pay attention to breastfeeding
Mothers should look for a balanced and varied diet during breastfeeding and drink enough, preferably with each breastfeeding meal. Beverages containing caffeine are allowed in moderation. Alcohol should be the exception, it goes into breast milk. If the mother drinks a small glass of wine or beer, then after breastfeeding, the amount of alcohol in the breast milk until the next breastfeeding meal is significantly reduced. Nutritional supplements such as vitamin tablets usually do not require breastfeeding mothers – with the exception of iodine: Healthy Living Network, an association of competent institutions, professional societies and associations taking care of young families, recommends one tablet per day with 100 micrograms of iodine, such as during pregnancy, in addition to the use of iodized salt.
If the mother does not breastfeed
Breastfeeding is not possible or breast milk is not enough, the baby with milk produced industrially for mixing (test infant formula). The corresponding milk can be identified by the prefix "Pre" or "1" in the name. Milk mixed with "pre" powder contains, in the form of milk carbohydrates, only milk sugar (lactose). The starter formula labeled "1" adds starch and other carbohydrates in addition to lactose. This makes the milk thicker than breast milk and "pre" milk. That she saturates it longer, it is not proven.
When to recommend hypoallergenic foods
Infants whose parents or siblings have an allergy and who are not breastfed should receive what is known as HA diets (hypoallergenic diets) – see also Test infant formula. In this, the protein is divided into smaller components that do not have such an allergenic effect. Special diets – eg for babies allergic to cow's milk protein – should be discussed with the doctor. Soy, almond, or rice milk, as well as cow's milk, goat's milk, ewe's milk, or baby's homemade mare are unsuitable for infant nutrition.