Growing Strong: Essential Vitamins for Your Baby Day 1: Growing Strong

Growing Strong: Essential Vitamins for Your Baby

One of the most important groups of nutrients for babies is vitamins. These essential nutrients play a critical role in supporting your baby's growth and development, from building strong bones to maintaining a healthy immune system.

While breastmilk or formula provide many of the vitamins your baby needs, it's important to start introducing vitamin-rich solid foods as they grow and develop. But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know which foods are the best sources of vitamins for your baby.

That's why we've put together a handy resource that lists some of the best vitamin-rich foods for babies. From sweet potatoes packed with vitamin A to strawberries bursting with vitamin C, these foods are not only delicious, but also great for supporting your little one's health and development.

Let’s look at the important Vitamins one by one.

Vitamin A

  • Supports vision development: Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight and helps with the development of the retina, the part of the eye that senses light.
  • Boosts immune system: Vitamin A plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system, helping babies fight off infections and illnesses.
  • Promotes healthy skin: Vitamin A helps to keep skin healthy and promotes the growth of new skin cells, making it an essential nutrient for your baby's skin health.
  • Supports growth and development: Vitamin A is involved in the growth and development of bones, teeth, and soft tissues, making it essential for your baby's overall growth and development.
  • Good Sources of Vitamin A-Rich Foods

  • Eggs
  • Saffron
  • Yogurt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Liver
  • Leafy greens, all spinach varieties
  • Oranges, muskmelon/cantaloupe, green papaya, apricots, peaches, pineapples, cherries
  • Yellow vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin
  • Kale, tomatoes, peas, bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage, plantain flowers, field beans, sun-dried tomatoes, okra/bhindi, ridge gourd, cluster beans, yam, brinjal, capsicum
  • Amaranth stem
  • Vitamin C

  • Boosts immune system: Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties and helps to protect your baby from illnesses and infections.
  • Aids in iron absorption: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, an important mineral that supports your baby's growth and development.
  • Supports healthy skin: Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen, a protein that helps to keep skin healthy and strong.
  • Helps heal wounds: Vitamin C is necessary for the healing of wounds and helps to promote tissue repair.
  • Protects against oxidative stress: Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it helps to protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.
  • Include These Vitamin C-Rich Foods in Your Baby’s Diet!

  • Amla juice or lychee juice can be added to food (not given as beverages)
  • Fruits: Guava, apple, orange, tangerine, mandarin, kiwi, berries, black currant, grapes, raspberry, peach, green mango, plum, rambutan, clementine, strawberry
  • Veggies: Green peas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, sprouts, tomato, Brussel sprouts, sugar peas, Kohlrabi, snow peas, red cabbage, bitter gourd
  • Orange peel, orange extract, lemon peel
  • Cashew fruit
  • Agathi leaves, drumstick leaves, radish leaves, ponnanganni leaves, kale leaves, amaranth leaves, radish leaves, celery leaves, Knol khol leaves, Basella leaves, Pak choi leaves, Cassava leaves
  • Turnip greens, mustard greens, papaya greens, cauliflower greens
  • Kokum juice, yogurt
  • Whole wheat flakes, oat bran flakes
  • Fresh thyme, parsley, dill, oregano, chives
  • Vitamin D

  • Helps build strong bones: Vitamin D is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth, as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus.
  • Reduces the risk of rickets: Rickets is a condition that can cause soft, weak bones in babies. Adequate Vitamin D intake can help reduce the risk of developing rickets.
  • Supports brain development: Vitamin D is important for the development of the nervous system, including the brain.
  • Since Vitamin D is not abundantly supplied through food, there are very limited sources of this vitamin. Certain fish and mushrooms contain some amounts, but not sufficient to meet our daily requirements.

    The general recommendation worldwide is to supplement Vitamin D. Apart from supplementation, sunlight is the other source of Vitamin D. However, we do not recommend direct sunlight exposure as it can expose your baby to health risks.

    Top Sources of Vitamin D-Rich Foods

    Some foods contain Vitamin D, but they don’t usually meet our nutritional requirements:

  • Mushroom
  • Butter and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring)
  • Meat (lamb, pork, chicken breast, beef)
  • Milk and yogurt; fresh cream; almond milk
  • Oatmeal, all bran cereal/bran flakes, whole wheat flakes, corn puffs
  • Raisins
  • Fortified breakfast cereals and fat spreads