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Our body needs zinc to produce cells and fight infections. It plays a vital role in DNA creation and healing injuries. If your child does not receive enough zinc, its repercussions can be quite unappealing.
Both newborns and grownups need a steady supply of zinc to prevent zinc deficiency. You must be wondering zinc deficiency baby how to do and how to prevent it. This post is going to offer enough information to ensure your child does not lack zinc. Continue reading to learn some important facts about zinc deficiency.
What to Do If the Baby is Zinc Deficient?
Zinc deficiency can badly affect a child’s development and growth. Zinc deficient infants are weak and sickly. They become hyperactive and somewhat irritable, which troubles most parents.
There are several ways to supplement zinc. All the adverse symptoms will vanish if you supplement zinc in time. Try the following things if your child lacks zinc.
World’s leading pediatricians and the WHO recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of the child’s life. Every mother must follow this advice because it can prevent zinc deficiency! Breastfeed at least for the first five months.
An infant can easily absorb zinc gained from breast milk and stay healthy. Its absorption rate goes up to 62% if you breastfeed on demand.
Feed food supplements rich in zinc
Options in food increase when your child is 6 months old. It is the right age to begin feeding complementary meals to the child. You should search for foods rich in zinc. Animal-based foods are quite rich in zinc.
Pick foods your baby can easily consume and digest. Feed foods, such as egg yolk, oyster, peanut rice flour, etc. once a day.
Feed zinc supplement
If your infant is diagnosed with zinc deficiency, he needs a zinc supplement. Consult with the doctor and choose the best supplement for your child. The doctor will provide information on how much and how often you should feed the supplement.
Most supplements offer protein-zinc. Protein works as a carrier to supply zinc in the body. Your baby can absorb it easily without experiencing any gastrointestinal health issues.
Feed a well-balanced diet daily!
A perfectly balanced diet reduces the risk of health issues and aids in the rapid growth of the child. Babies consume only breast milk for the first six months. They need external foods after this age and it is time to diversify their daily diet. Feed nutrient-rich foods to ensure the baby gets stronger, smarter, and healthier.
What Type of Medicine a Zinc Deficient Baby Needs?
The baby needs instant help if he is severely zinc deficient. You should not rely on home remedies in such situations. Take your baby to the doctor immediately. The doctor will screen your child and provide the best medication to improve his health.
Most doctors recommend zinc supplement to quickly cure the child. Many brands produce this kind of supplements and sell them in different countries.
The doctor will recommend a supplement that doesn’t cause any adverse effect. You should ask about potential side effects of medications and supplement to not worry anymore.
What Precautions to Take while Feeding Zinc a Supplement to your Child?
Our body cannot produce zinc naturally. It is obtained from foods we consume every day. Therefore, it is important to follow a perfectly balanced diet plan.
Since you are worried about the child, the options in food are quite limited. A little research can help you in picking zinc-rich foods from the market for your child. Take the following precautions while supplementing zinc.
Consume foods rich in zinc
Newborns and infants rely completely on the mother for their daily food needs. It is your responsibility as a mother to have a nutrient-rich diet to supply more nutrients to the child. Pick foods, which supply zinc in abundance. Even though you do not like certain foods, you have to add them to your diet for the baby.
Avoid feeding overly-refined and repeatedly processed foods to the infant
When your baby is old enough to eat external foods, you may like to feed him some refined and processed foods. It is not good for your child’s health. Excess consumption of refined and repeatedly processed food can cause several health issues in children. So, beware of this condition!
Breastfeed whenever the newborn is hungry
It takes just a few days to be familiar with the hunger signs of newborns. Zinc deficiency won’t affect your child’s health if you breastfeed on demand. Avoid mixed-feeding or formula feeding as long as possible. Feed external milk only if you lack breast milk or you are sick.
Give top priority to your baby’s health
Even though you are following a vegan diet, you will have to switch to animal-based foods for the baby. Focus only on what your child needs because you can switch back to a vegan lifestyle once the baby is healthy.
Avoid feeding zinc supplement with milk
Milk does not help the child in absorbing zinc. Therefore, the supplement should be given separately. Do not feed it with milk because the baby may not absorb it perfectly.
How to Feed a Zinc Deficient Infant?
Zinc deficiency is becoming a common issue in newborns and infants. Therefore, many pharmaceutical companies are trying to develop better supplements for children. It is quite beneficial for your baby if you supplement this mineral through food. The baby will absorb zinc easily and get healthier much faster.
1. Feed foods that improve zinc absorption
Animal foods have zinc content in much larger amount than plant-based foods. These foods have a 50% better absorption rate than plant-based foods. Amino acid is extracted from these foods, which help the body in zinc absorption. Therefore, you should start feeding animal-based complementary food to the baby if possible.
2. Know which foods do not offer zinc
You won’t find too many options in foods, which provide a rich amount of zinc. Water and staple foods do not offer this mineral. Many vegetables lack it and therefore you need to learn more about foods that offer zinc.
Peanuts, beans, radish cabbage, millet, and some fruits are rich in this nutrient. Feed these foods instead of feeding delicious but unhealthy external foods.
3. Choose foods that increase zinc absorption
Babies suffer from zinc deficiency because they cannot absorb this mineral properly. You have to focus on increasing the zinc absorption rate in your child. Foods, such as fish paste, lean minced meat, animal liver, egg yolk, oyster, walnut powder, and peanut rice flour increase zinc absorption.
A 3-4-month-old child cannot consume most of these foods. Therefore, you should choose formula milk that replenishes zinc supply. The right diet plan can cure zinc deficiency quickly and prevent this health issue in future.
How to Cure Zinc Deficiency Faster?
Zinc deficiency is not a serious health issue. Babies can have such health issues at an early age. Proper treatment and diet can improve the baby’s health faster. Follow the below-given tips to cure zinc deficiency faster:
1. Carefully assess the symptoms
If the baby has a poor appetite and yellow hair, these signs indicate a zinc deficiency. These symptoms can be mild to moderate. A baby’s growth rate slows down and he also gets skin rashes quite easily.
If your baby shows such symptoms, you should take the child to the doctor. A quick diagnosis will help you in taking better care of the child. Proper medication and supplementation will help your child in recovering faster.
Do not start home remedies for zinc deficiency without diagnosing the problem. Those symptoms can also indicate other health problems. You may mistakenly cause an excess of zinc in the child. It can also cause health problems!
2. Multiple tests might be necessary to diagnose the problem
A single test cannot reveal whether your baby is zinc deficient or not. This mineral is not distributed uniformly across the body. Therefore, the doctor will request multiple blood tests and other tests to find this health issue.
Doctors carefully assess developmental indicators, dietary conditions, and blood test to find this health issue. If any of these three indicators fail to indicate a lack of zinc in your infant, he is not zinc deficient.
3. A perfect feeding routine and supplementation will treat zinc deficiency faster
Many newborns and infants experience health issues because of poor feeding. Some mothers decide to wean off after a few months. They give more importance to their career than the child’s health. It severely affects the child’s health and overall growth.
You have to breastfeed at least for 5 months after delivery. Suppose the child is diagnosed zinc deficient, feed the supplement on time. Proper care will make sure your baby recovers faster and gets healthier in a few months.
Zinc deficiency in babies is not a health issue that you should take lightly. It can disrupt your child’s growth and cause permanent health issues. So, follow the guidelines shared in this post to diagnose it and cure it as soon as possible.