Your Guide to Vitamins: Introducing Your Baby to Vitamins Day 1: Growing Strong

Your Guide to Vitamins: Introducing Your Baby to Vitamins

Vitamins are essential nutrients that play a main role in 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.

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

Vitamin A

  • Supports vision development: Supports eyesight health, helps with the development of the retina.
  • Boosts immune system: Supports immune system, helps babies fight off infections and illnesses.
  • Promotes healthy skin: Keeps skin healthy and promotes growth of new skin cells.
  • Supports growth and development: Contributes to growth and development of bones, teeth, and soft tissues.
  • Good Sources of Vitamin A-Rich Foods

  • Eggs
  • Saffron
  • Yogurt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Liver
  • Leafy greens, all spinach varieties
  • Fruits like muskmelon, 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: Has immune-boosting properties, protects your baby from illnesses and infections.
  • Aids in iron absorption: Helps the body absorb iron, an important mineral needed for a baby's growth.
  • Supports healthy skin: Contributes to the production of collagen, a protein that helps to keep skin healthy and strong.
  • Helps heal wounds: Needed to promote tissue repair.
  • Protects against oxidative stress: As an antioxidant, it protects cells from damage caused by (harmful) 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
  • Turnip greens, mustard greens, papaya greens, cauliflower greens
  • Kokum juice, curd
  • Whole wheat flakes, oat bran flakes
  • Fresh thyme, parsley, dill, oregano, chives
  • Vitamin D

  • Helps build strong bones: Helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, thus promoting strong bones and teeth.
  • Reduces the risk of rickets: Rickets is a condition that can cause soft, weak bones in babies.
  • Supports brain development: Required 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
  • 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