Vitamins are certainly an important factor in life. However, some babies do have vitamin deficiencies. The most likely to be encountered are those due to a lack of vitamin C or vitamin D.
Vitamin C is present in breast milk. If baby is breast-fed, and is taking a reasonable daily intake, his vitamin C needs will be adequately catered for.
Cow’s milk is devoid of this essential vitamin. A supplement is essential. This is most simply given in the form of orange juice, which is very rich in vitamin C.
One orange contains about 60 mg. It is essential that the juice, when squeezed, is not boiled, for this could destroy the entire vitamin C component.
Give it to baby freshly squeezed. This can be done between feeds. It can serve a twofold purpose adding to his fluid intake, and providing the essential vitamin.
Scurvy is the disease produced by a lack of vitamin C. Rickets, due to a lack of vitamin D. Sunshine assists the vitamin to be produced in the body. However, occasionally cases of premature babies with rickets have been reported.
Taking a vitamin supplement is practically standard practice for babies. Doses are usually marked on the label.
Here are some tips on vitamins for babies:
It is important to start giving this vitamin early in life. It is usually given in the form of orange juice. If this is unobtainable or does not agree with baby, tomato juice, carrot, apple or swede turnip juice must be given.
Deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy. Tomato juice is at times cheaper than orange juice, but double the quantity must be given. Start with ½ teaspoonful of fresh orange juice diluted with an equal amount of cool boiled water. Gradually increase the amount until the baby is having six teaspoonfuls daily at two months. This amount is then gradually increased to 1 oz daily.
Give marmite, vegemite, or some similar preparation. Start with ¼ teaspoon daily, divided and added to two or three bottles. Vitamin B stimulates the appetite and is concerned with the health of the digestive tract.
This may be given as cod liver oil, 1-3 teaspoons daily.
In the preparation of juices, select sound, fresh fruit or vegetables, squeeze, strain and dilute with cold boiled water. Mashed ripe bananas can be given to babies from three months old.
From nine to twelve months the food of the infant should be chiefly milk, with the addition of rusks, toast, milk puddings, porridge and mashed vegetables, also a chop bone to massage the gums, and stimulate the growth of healthy teeth.
Baby can have egg, broth, butter, baked or stewed apple, or scraped raw apple, all new food being given with discretion and one new one tried at a time.