Ensuring Infants Healthy Growth And Development Without Metabolic Stress Pt 2

Peak development of important brain functions occurs in the first year
Development in gastric capacity


  • Small stomach capacity
  • Immature kidney function
  • Lower digestive ability than adults
  • Low HCL in stomach
  • Low levels of digestive enzymes
  • Low lipase and bile salts

BREAST MILK COMPOSITION: Best Nutrition for Babies

The role of protein in Paediatric Nutrition

  • Protein is important for the growth and maintenance of our tissues and organs; however, do we know how much is enough for babies?
  • High protein intake early in life has been associated with obesity later in life.

Protein in Human Milk

  • Protein is a prime example of how human milk is unique nutrition( no wonder we call it the Best food of choice) for human babies.
  • Human milk is LOW in protein, at least when compared with the milk of other species, especially cow’s milk.
  • NOTE: This is not a Nutritional deficiency; there are good reasons for this as Human infants are designed to grow slowly and steadily (developmental milestones)
  • High protein in infant diet leads to an increase solute load for the KIDNEY. •High protein in infant diet leads to rapid rate of growth-Obesity.

Why is unmodified cows milk unsuitable for infants?

  • Nutritionally unbalanced for the human infant
  • High renal solute load –3 times as much protein as human milk –Excess sodium
  • Too low in iron
  • Difficult to digest fats
  • Poor in essential fatty acids
  • Too high in casein leading to a poor protein quality
Some examples of Unsuitable Breastmilk Substitutes given to Infants

Infant Formula feeds

  • It must be an age-appropriate breast milk substitute tailored to meet the developmental milestone of the child; 0-6months, 6-12 months as the infant’s nutritional needs are different at this stages. This also ensures less stress on the infant’s immature organs.
  • The lower regulatory limit for protein content of formula milk for children aged 0-6 mths is 1.8g/100kcal (1.2g/100mls) in both the EU and US, with the actual protein content in some formulas typically exceeding this level!!!.


  • A baby grows faster during the first year of life than anytime in life.
  • A baby’s birth weight doubles during the first 6 months and triples by the end of the first year.
  • Adequate nutrition is critical to support this rapid growth and development.


  • Ensuring infant’s healthy growth and development without metabolic stress has adequate nutrition at its core.
  • Starting from the timely initiation of breast milk and appropriate age-related substitutes where medically indicated to cater for increasing energy and nutrient needs of infants, to nutritional vigilance against harmful practices that can alter the outcome of raising healthy children.
  • HCPs to guide Moms on age-appropriate food choices for the child

–Size of tommy means dense nutrition

–Growth requirements means adequate nutrition

–Limited digestive capacity means right composition


  • Pronczuk J  Global perspective in breastmilk contamination: Infectious and toxic hazards. Environ Health Pesrpec,2002,110: A349
  • Acceptable medical reasons for use of breast milk substitutes 1 WHO/NMH/NHD09.01 WHO/FCH/CAH/09.01

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