Feeding Your Baby

Nutrition and Your Baby

  • Consult with your health care provider before giving your baby vitamin and nutritional supplements.
Breastfed Babies
  • Breast Feeding is the normal way to feed your baby. For you and your baby it may be a skill you both have to learn. You will have a lot of practice very quickly as your baby will breast feed 8 to 12 times every 24 hours during the first month or so. Breast milk has the right blend of nutrients that nourishes your baby and provides a unique balance of fats, vitamins, minerals, sugars, and proteins. The breast milk you produce helps your baby to fight infection and disease. These benefits last your child’s lifetime.
  • Health Canada recommends that babies who are breastfed receive a daily supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D until 1 year of age or until you stop breastfeeding. After 1 year, all children should consume 200 IU of vitamin D daily through their diets.
Alternatives to Breast Milk
  • Health Canada advises that commercial formulas are the most acceptable alternative to breast milk until 9 to 12 months of age. The formula should be cow’s milk-based and iron fortified.
  • Pasteurized whole cow’s milk can be introduced to your baby’s mixed diet after 9 months of age. For infants unable to take cow’s milk products, speak to your doctor about alternatives.

To Learn More…

Eat Right Ontario: www.eatrightontario.ca

Feeding and Food Safety for Baby

You’ve probably heard a lot about food borne illness and keeping food safe. Food borne illness is spread through the food you eat. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable, because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off the disease-causing germs.

It’s important to be very careful when you are feeding your baby. In addition to basic food safety, keep the following tips in mind.

Storing Breast Milk Safely

Guidelines for Storing Breast Milk in the Refrigerator or Freezer at Home
Location How long can I keep breast milk here?
Unrefrigerated breast milk (room temperature) 6 to 8 hours/td>
Refrigerated 5 days
In a freezer section within a refrigerator Up to 2 weeks
In a freezer section separated from the main refrigerator where the freezer maintains a temperature of at least -18° C (0° F) Up to 3 to 6 months
In a deep freezer which maintains a temperature of at least -28°  C (-18°  F) Up to 6 to 12 months

For information in making and using formula, contact your local health department.

Breast Milk: Heating and Handling It Safely
  • When heating baby’s milk, always shake the liquid to even out the temperature, and test it on your wrist before feeding. Milk that’s “baby-ready” should feel lukewarm.
  • Heating breast milk in the microwave is not recommended. Microwaves heat milk and food unevenly. This causes “hot spots” that can scald a baby’s mouth and throat.
Heating in Hot Water:
  • Method 1: Place the bottle under hot, running tap water until the desired temperature is reached. This should take one to two minutes.
  • Method 2: Heat water in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat and set the filled bottle in it until it’s warm.

Drinking Water

  • Once your baby is 6 months old you may give them water to drink.
  • Let the cold water tap run for 2 minutes to flush the pipes every day before using the water for drinking.

Transporting Baby’s Food

  • Transport bottles and food in an insulated cooler when travelling with the baby. Cold temperatures (4°C or 40 °F and below) keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying. Throw away any perishable food except for fresh breast milk left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Use frozen gel packs to keep food or bottles cold on long outings.

Bottles, Jars, and Utensils

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning bottles before you fill them with milk.
  • Make sure that the safety button on the lid of commercial baby food jars “pops” when you first open the jar.
  • Throw away jars with chipped glass or rusty lids.
  • Use detergent and hot water to wash blenders, food processors, and any utensils (including the can opener) that come in contact with a baby’s foods. Rinse well with hot water after washing.
  • Don’t put a bottle back in the refrigerator if your baby does not finish it. Bacteria from the baby’s mouth can get into the bottle during feeding, then grow and multiply—even after refrigeration.
  • Don’t feed your baby directly from a jar and then refrigerate the jar. Why? Because bacteria can be transferred from the spoon to the jar. Instead, put one serving in a dish with a clean spoon, and refrigerate the rest of the food in the jar. Throw away any food that may be left in the serving dish.
  • Don’t place dirty diapers in the same bag with bottles or food. Harmful bacteria from a dirty diaper can spread to baby’s food.

Plastic Baby Bottles

The Government of Canada is moving to ban the sale of plastic baby bottles containing Bisphenol A because of concerns about long-term exposure to this chemical.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate. It is also used in a protective lining on the inside of metal-based food and beverage cans, including baby formula. The government is working with manufacturers to come up with alternatives to BPA while ensuring that infant formula contains the lowest levels possible.

  • Bisphenol A can move from polycarbonate baby bottles into the liquid inside the bottle when boiling water is added, or when the bottle is heated in a microwave.