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Every baby needs a steady supply of calcium to grow and develop at a natural pace. Lack of this mineral can interrupt the growth process and cause many health problems. The child’s body won’t develop perfectly if he is calcium deficient. So, how to meet baby calcium demands to ensure his better health? Continue reading to reveal calcium’s role in your child’s growth and development!
Does Newborn Babies Need Calcium Supplement?
Everyone knows that milk is the best food to replenish calcium in babies, teenagers, and adults. It is easily available and it also provides phosphorous in the right ratio. Phosphorous helps in calcium absorption and thus it prevents calcium deficiency.
Some newborn babies have calcium deficiency by birth. Therefore, breastfeeding does not help them in coping with this health issue. Mothers, who start mixed feeding too early, take the risk of calcium deficiency in their children.
There are some calcium supplements for newborns, who suffer from neonatal hypocalcaemia. Such babies need additional calcium supply for a few months to get stronger bones. Parents can start feeding calcium-rich complementary meals once the child is 6 months old. Thus, it won’t affect the baby’s health at all.
What If Your Baby Is Not Calcium Deficient And You Still Feed Calcium Supplements?
Parents learn about the adverse effects of calcium deficiency in babies and start feeding calcium supplements to their children. Such actions increase the risk of hypercalcemia. Your baby does not need any supplement if he is already getting nutrients from food. This mistake can put the child’s life in danger, especially if he is 4-12 months old!
Hypercalcemia can cause several painful health issues in babies!
You may wonder that calcium’s excess won’t affect the child’s health at all. Some parents even think their child’s bones will get much stronger and he will develop much better. That doesn’t happen because excess calcium causes several painful health issues.
Healthcare experts have found that babies can suffer from the kidney stone problem. He may also experience urinary tract malformations. Calcium excess can also cause premature calcification of bones. There might be premature closure of the epiphyses.
Excess of calcium can severely affect the proper development of long bones. Consequently, the child will be shorter and weaker. Excess calcium supply does not make bones stronger. It makes bones prone to fractures because the bones get brittle.
Feed calcium supplements only when it is necessary
Companies around the globe produce calcium supplements to prevent calcium deficiency. Some brands even advertise their products to help people, who can’t find the right over-the-counter supplement.
It doesn’t mean you must get a calcium supplement for the child and feed him. Those products are designed for people experiencing a lack of calcium. Parents should first recognize the signs of calcium deficiency and then feed a supplement.
Babies need a different amount of calcium per day. Breast milk provides 225-250mg calcium per day. The rest can be obtained from a supplement or calcium-rich foods.
What if your child doesn’t even need a calcium supplement? It can happen if the child has a vitamin-D deficiency. These fat-soluble secosteroids play a crucial role in calcium absorption. Some babies have a calcium deficiency because their body doesn’t absorb calcium from food. Thus, you might feed a wrong supplement to your child if you don’t know what he needs!
Can Babies Get Enough Calcium From The Food They Eat?
It won’t be necessary to feed a supplement if you can feed calcium-rich food to the baby. It is a relatively safer and healthier way of replenishing the calcium supply. You get many calcium-rich foods to choose from. Some foods are easy to digest and they also provide other nutrients.
Choose a perfect recipe for your child
A perfect food recipe contains calcium-rich foods and is easy to prepare in the kitchen. Babies need food several times a day when they are 6 months old. Do not feed the same kind of complementary food. Change the recipe every day to make things more interesting for the child.
You can choose any local recipe or learn some calcium-rich complementary food recipes online. Make sure it is easily edible for your child and it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredient. A baby’s digestive system works quite better after 6 months. It still can’t handle too much load. Therefore, you should be extra careful when preparing complementary foods for the child.
What can you feed your baby to prevent calcium deficiency?
Every baby needs a different amount of calcium per day according to his age. Newborns can’t eat any food until they are 6 months old. Luckily, breast milk provides enough calcium to keep the child fit and healthy.
The baby can eat beans, dairy foods, and other mushy foods once he is 1-year old. Parents can also add pancakes, cakes, and other delicious foods to the baby’s daily diet after 1.5 years. The baby can also consume seafood as he gets older and chews better.
When Is It Necessary To Feed Calcium Supplements?
Babies develop and grow quite fast during the infancy period. It is the time when they need nutrient-rich food to grow mental and physical strength. Babies need many nutrients during this phase and calcium is one of them.
Calcium makes 990% of all the bones and teeth we have. Therefore, a baby’s proper growth is not possible in calcium deficiency condition. Calcium is also essential for the smooth functioning of many bodily functions. Therefore, calcium-deficient infants need calcium supplements to grow normally.
Observe the calcium deficiency signs from the first day
It is the parents’ responsibility to monitor the child’s health and growth. Calcium deficient babies give many signs so that you can help them. The baby will become irritable, he will sweat a lot and rarely sleep for a while. These symptoms tell us that the child is experiencing a health issue. It is calcium deficiency in most cases.
Take your child to the doctor
Some parents get panicked when the child is diagnosed with calcium deficiency. There is nothing to worry about because you can easily meet the child’s calcium needs. Take the baby to the doctor for a complete checkup. The doctor will suggest a perfect supplement to cure this condition.
The doctor will also find out whether the baby is not getting enough calcium or he is not absorbing it. If calcium deficiency has occurred due to poor calcium absorption, the doctor will provide a different supplement. It will increase the calcium absorption rate to treat the problem.
Feed calcium supplement for better development
Two factors influence a person’s height, his genetic inheritance and acquired factors. Parents’ genetic factors account for 70% and acquired factors account for 30%. Lack of calcium can severely affect a baby’s opportunity to grow taller in the future.
Parents should pay attention to their child’s supplement needs. There are many products in the market, which are calcium-rich. Your baby will love the delicious taste of the supplement and gain many vital nutrients from it.
Lack of calcium can badly affect a child’s growth. This issue will trouble him a lot in the future if the child is not as tall or strong as his friends. So, provide a feature-rich calcium supplement to your baby to ensure he grows taller and stronger.
Which Are the Best Foods to Prevent Calcium Deficiency in Babies?
Babies not only need calcium-rich foods but also vitamin-D rich foods to fight calcium deficiency. Fortunately, there are many delicious foods babies can eat to get more calcium. Those foods are as follows:
- Milk and dairy products
- Almond milk or almond butter
- Calcium-fortified orange juice
- Calcium-fortified cereals
- Green leafy vegetables
- Calcium-fortified soy milk
As mentioned several times before, vitamin D is quite essential for baby calcium absorption. The following foods offer a rich supply of vitamin D
- Salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, cod, and other fatty fish
- Cereals fortified with vitamin D
- Soy-based products
You are going to discover many delicious recipes prepared from the above-listed ingredients. Get these foods to prepare a new dish daily for your baby. Your child will never suffer from calcium deficiency. The baby will recover faster if he is already suffering from calcium deficiency!
Breastfeeding babies do not have too many options in foods to fight calcium deficiency. Calcium supplements are quite essential when your newborn baby shows signs of lack of calcium.
The ways of fighting hypocalcaemia increase when your child is 6 months old. You can try a nutrient-rich mixed feeding method to keep the child healthy. Many calcium-rich complementary food recipes are available online to try in the kitchen. Switch your child’s meal daily to encourage him for following a healthy meal plan.
Calcium makes your child’s bones stronger and keeps him healthy throughout his life. Both deficiency and excess of this mineral can be quite harmful.
Parents should follow the baby calcium supplementing guide shared in this post. Thus, you can ensure the child gets the right amount of calcium from the food and supplement every day.