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The Latest Buzz on Essential Vitamins for Baby

Ever wonder if your baby is getting all the vitamins and nutrients she needs for healthy growth? What do the experts recommend? Do breastfed babies need a supplement? What about when baby begins to eat solids? There's a lot of information out there and we're here to make it easy for you to get answers. Babies will get most - but not all - of the vitamins they need from breast milk or formula. Breastfed babies will require vitamin D supplements. (See our Essential Nutrients for Babies chart for more details.)



We've been busy gathering the facts from trusted sources like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the NIH. Of course, if you need a little extra support when it comes to supplements, its a good idea to speak to your Doctor. Here's to good health in your hive.

Essential Nutrients for Babies

Essential Nutrients for Babies and Toddlers

(Vitamins & Minerals)

What they are known for

Daily Recommendations

(Based on NIH guidelines)

Vitamin A

For growth, healthy skin, tissue repair, immunity and vision

1 to 3 years - 300mcg

Vitamin B12

Supports healthy nerve and blood cells and provides energy

0 to 6 months - 0.5 mcg

1 to 3 years - 0.9 mcg

Vitamin C

Strengthens connective tissues, muscles and skin

Helps with bone and skin healing

Is an important antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals

Contributes to immune defense

0 to 6 months - 0.4 mcg

7 to 12 months - 0.5 mcg

1 to 3 years - 0.9 mcg

Vitamin D

Helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus essential for building strong bones and teeth

Supplements for breastmilk: 10 mcg or 32 oz. D-fortified formula or milk for babies 1 year+

Vitamin E

A powerful antioxidant that plays a role in neurodevelopment and cognition

0 to 6 months - 4 mg

7 to 12 months - 5 mg

1 to 3 years - 6 mg

Vitamin K

Important for blood clotting and healthy bones

A 0.5 or 1 mg single dose injection at birth depending upon infant’s weight

Zinc

Supports growth and the development and healthy function of the immune system

7 to 12 months - 3 mg

1 to 3 years - 3 mg

Iron

Helps transport oxygen throughout the body

The AAP recommends breastfed infants get 1 mg/day of a liquid iron supplement starting at 4 to 6 months

Teens need 3 to 4 servings of iron-rich foods a day

Calcium

Healthy bone development

7 to 12 months - 260 mg

1 to 3 years - 700 mg

Fluoride

Strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay

The AAP recommends drinking water should contain 0.7 mg per liter and if baby drinks water, she won’t need additional fluoride

Essential Nutrients for Babies and Toddlers

(Vitamins & Minerals)

Natural Sources & Supplements

(Found in a variety of foods and supplements when recommended)

Vitamin A

Foods rich in A: Dairy, fish, poultry and meat including liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, cantaloupe, oranges, mango, apricot, green vegetables, fortified cereals, pumpkin, yogurt

Vitamin B12

Foods rich in B12: Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk/milk products, fortified breakfast cereals, whole grains

Supplements: Recommended by the AAP for breastfeeding moms who are vegan

Vitamin C

Foods rich in C: Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli

Vitamin D

Foods rich in D: Fortified dairy products and plant-based milks, oily fish (salmon, tuna, trout) beef, liver, egg yolks

Vitamin D Supplements: Recommended by the AAP for babies who are breastfed

Vitamin E

Foods rich in D: Fortified dairy products and plant-based milks, oily fish (salmon, tuna, trout) beef, liver, egg yolks

Vitamin D Supplements: Recommended by the AAP for babies who are breastfed

Vitamin K

Foods rich in K: Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, turnips). Also brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, fish, liver, meat, eggs, fortified cereals

Supplements: Recommended by the AAP as 1-time injection for newborns at birth

Zinc

Foods rich in Zinc: Beef, pork, chicken, shellfish, fortified cereals, cashews, chickpeas, nuts, lentils, red meat, fish

Iron

Foods rich in Iron: Fortified cereals, meats, fish, beans, green vegetables.

Iron-rich foods for babies 6+ months: soybeans, lentils, spinach, garbanzo and navy beans, swiss chard, kidney beans, tofu, black beans, beef and eggs

Supplements: Breast milk is low in iron. The AAP recommends a liquid supplement for breastfed babies from 4 to 6 months

Calcium

Foods rich in Calcium: Milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, salmon, broccoli, spinach, kale

Fluoride

Naturally found in raisins, grape juice, cooked oatmeal

Available in: Fluoridated drinking water, most toothpaste

Note: If your drinking water is not fluoridated, speak to your pediatrician for supplement recommendations

Essential Nutrients for Babies and Toddlers

(Vitamins & Minerals)

Did You Know?



Vitamin A

The type of vitamin A found in animal based foods is retinol

The type found in fruits and vegetables is A-carotenoid (ex. Beta-carotene)



Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is generally not found in plant foods and vegan and vegetarian diets are at higher risk for deficiency



Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid

It’s important for toddlers to help iron get absorbed into the body from the digestive tract



Vitamin D

The AAP recommends breastfed babies take D supplements as breast milk does not provide adequate levels of D



Vitamin E

Women who are breastfeeding should increase their vitamin E to 19 mg per day



Vitamin K

Babies are born with very little vitamin K

The AAP recommends a single dose of vitamin K injection for newborns to help with clotting



Zinc

Zinc intake is especially important between 6 to 9 months



Iron

Iron intake is especially important between 6 to 9 months

Breast milk is low in iron

Breastfed babies may need a supplement at 4 to 6 months



Calcium

Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium which your skin naturally produces when exposed to the sun

However, babies should not be exposed to direct sunlight and people with darker skin may require supplements



Fluoride

As soon as soon as baby teeth start to appear, you can use a small amount (size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste twice a dayIncrease to a pea size amount at age 3n as baby teeth start to appear, you can use a small amount (size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste twice a day

Increase to a pea size amount at age 3



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