To help with your baby's growth and development, it is important that you provide nourishment for her mind, body and soul. Here is how you can encourage your little one to become successful by giving her a good headstart in life
As parents, we only want what’s best for our children and in order to give them a healthy start in life, we are encouraged to provide them with love, care and proper nutrition.
After six months your baby is halfway there to celebrating her very first birthday. She is well on her way to officially become a toddler — and before you know it, she will already be starting preschool!
So what can you do to help give your growing baby all she needs for proper growth and development for her to get a good headstart to a successful future?¹
And what important nutrients should she be getting to help support her overall nourishment?
Nourishing the mind
After six months, your growing baby is now more alert, active and curious about the world around her.
She will be busy exploring her surroundings and making wonderful discoveries everyday, so it is important that you help provide her with a variety of stimulating activities to promote cognitive development such as:
Read books together
Although your baby doesn’t know how to read just yet, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging parents to read aloud to your children, even when they are still young.²
Reading to your child encourages word learning, literacy and is a good opportunity for bonding — then as your little one grows up, she will form a healthy reading habit which will cultivate an impressive vocabulary and also help her shine when it comes to creative writing.³
Psychologist Dr Fernald explains, “You are building a mind that can conceptualise and imagine, and think about the past and think about the future.”
Important nutrient needed: Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) help build cells; regulate the nervous system; strengthen the cardiovascular system; builds immunity; helps your child’s body to absorb nutrients; is necessary for healthy brain function and vision.4
Babies and young children learn through play and the toys that they interact with can help with their brain development.5
Parents are encouraged to choose toys that are not only fun and safe, but also suitable for your child’s age, stage of development and emerging abilities.
Vicki Panaccione, PhD, a child psychologist and founder of the Better Parenting Institute believes that toys should be thought of as developmental learning tools and says, “Play is so important in the social, mental, physical, and emotional development of children.”6
Example of important nutrient needed: Vitamin A plays an important role in your child’s vision and bone growth; helps protect her body from infections; promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body (including hair, nails, and skin).7
Children will benefit from interaction from an early age and can learn a lot by observing and imitating those around them.
Studies have shown that the areas of a baby’s brain associated with moving certain body parts will become more active when they see adults move those same parts, which is why it is beneficial to play with your little one or let her interact with others.
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Center for Mind, Brain & Learning (CMBL)8 have also found that social interaction plays an important role in how infants learn language — so it’s never too early for your child to start making friends!
Example of important nutrient needed: Vitamin C boosts the immune system; keeps infections at bay; helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues; helps keep your child’s gums healthy and strengthens blood vessels, minimises bruising; assists with healing.9
Keep reading for more ways you can help nourish your child