Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that is essential for body function and bone development. It is also important for the development of your baby’s muscles and nerves. Adequate intake of calcium ensures that your baby’s blood clots properly. Low calcium intake can contribute to the development of rickets in infants and children, and they are more likely to suffer from bone fractures and may develop osteoporosis later in life. They also risk having weaker teeth and tooth decay later in life. Excellent sources of calcium include breast milk, dairy products such as; Yoghurt, Soymilk, Green leafy vegetables, Sardines, Okra, Fortified baby cereal.

Thiamine/Vitamin B1

Plays an important role in energy metabolism and building of tissues. Vitamin B1 is stored in the body for only 3 weeks and needs to be replenished frequently. Deficiency in infancy has long term implications on fine motor functions and balance skills in childhood and also leads to beriberi a disease that affects the heart and circulatory system. Excellent sources for babies include; Eggs, Rice, Nuts, Fortified baby cereals, Legumes, Fish.

Iodine

Iodine is a mineral used to make thyroid hormones that control growth and development in the brain during infancy and childhood. Even a slight deficiency of iodine can cause neurodevelopmental deficits such as lower than average intelligence as measured by IQ and irreversible mental retardation for a lifetime. Iodine deficiency in childhood is often associated with goiter which reduces motor function in children. Iodine is not produced by the body and is therefore required from diet. Good sources of Iodine include; Milk, Yoghurts, Fish, Potatoes and Eggs.

Vitamin A

This vitamin is necessary for good eyesight and is naturally found in Breast milk. Breastfeeding is, therefore, a natural way to ensure your baby gets their daily dose. Deficiency leads to impaired bone growth, dry skin, and hair, as well as increased risk of infections. Meals rich in vitamin A, helps with tissue repairs, reduces the risk of blindness, stunted growth as well as death from life-threatening childhood infections like diarrhea and measles. Good sources of vitamin A include; Eggs, Dark green leafy vegetables, Fortified cereals, Sweet potatoes, Carrots, Fish.

Zinc

Zinc is a vital nutrient for the brain with important impact on functional and structural roles in a child. When children do not get it in sufficient proportions, it can lead to reduced memory and learning disabilities. It also reduces the concentration span of the mind. Zinc deficiency leads to uncontrollable diarrhea, pneumonia and increased susceptibility to malaria. Zinc is necessary to build immunity, wound healing, healthy growth and disease prevention. Good sources of Zinc include; Fortified cereals, Nuts, Legumes and Eggs.

Iron

Iron is an important mineral that is necessary for blood development and for neurological development during infancy and early childhood. Iron is also important for the immune system and when children do not get enough iron, they are prone to more infections. Children deficient in iron have poor cognition, delayed motor skills, muscle weakness, poor school achievements and more behavioral problems in the middle of childhood. Good sources of iron include; Fortified cereals, Beans, Fish, Potatoes

Selenium

This is an important trace element important for cognitive function and a healthy immune system. Its antioxidant properties protect cells from damage. Dietary sources include Sea foods, Meat, Brown rice and Eggs.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth and helps protect the body from infection. It also promotes the growth of cells and tissues in the body especially those in the skin, hair and nails. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause visual impairment in the form of night blindness and may increase risk of illness from childhood infections. Best sources of vitamin A include; Carrot, Sweet potatoes, Mango, Fortified cereal, Eggs, Pawpaw.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important vitamin that boosts your baby’s immune system and helps their body fight infection. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects body cells from damage. Vitamin A can be gotten from Nuts, Fortified cereal, Tomatoes, Sweet potatoes.

Pyridoxine/Vitamin B6

This vitamin important for healthy brain development. It is also responsible for energy production from foods and because it is not stored in the body for long periods, it is important for babies to consume foods containing vitamin B6. Richest sources are Fish, Beans, Fortified cereals, Dark leafy green vegetables, Pawpaw, Oranges.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is an important vitamin that supports brain and spinal cord formation and development in children. It is found naturally in Dark leafy vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Eggs, Sea foods, Wheat, Bananas.

Cobalamin/Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is important for supporting brain development and producing healthy red blood cells. Infants who do not get adequate vitamin B12 can be deficient and this can lead to permanent brain damage. Vitamin B12 for babies is gotten from Fish, Milk, Eggs and other animal foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important micronutrient that is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, aids the production and repair of red blood cells, aids the absorption of iron, and protects cells from damage. Severe deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy which leads to bleeding gums, fatigue and loss of appetite. Vitamin C cannot be produced by the body hence must be obtained from food a baby eats daily. Sources of vitamin C for babies include; Pawpaw, Orange, Mango, Potatoes, Banana.

Riboflavin

Riboflavin is important for energy production and allows oxygen to be used by the body. It is also known to serve as an antioxidant in the eye and can lower the risk of developing cataracts. The deficiency of Vitamin B2 causes anemia and mouth sores. Sources include; Yoghurt, Eggs, Fortified cereals.

Niacin/Vitamin B3

Niacin is an important vitamin that boosts brain functionality and improves skin health. Deficiency of Niacin causes, memory loss, diarrhea and skin problems. Good sources of niacin include; Tomatoes, Peanuts, Sweet potato, Carrots